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Lubomyr Romankiw, David Thompson National Inventors Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees

For thin-film magnetic head invention at IBM
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on 2012.03.05

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The National Inventors Hall of Fame, Inc. will induct two IBM Corp.' scientists whose invention paved the way for the advancement of commercial disk storage technology used in computers, digital cameras and other devices.

ibm_lubomyr_romankiw Dr. Lubomyr Romankiw and ibm_thompson Dr. David Thompson (retired) are being honored for their invention of a technique that produced the first practical and manufacturable thin film magnetic head, which increased the density of data stored on magnetic disks and dramatically reduced the cost of data storage.

Over 30 years ago, Romankiw and Thompson patented their thin film inductive transducer invention (U.S. Patent #4,295,173), which enabled magnetic disk storage devices to be produced smaller and less expensively than previously possible. The technique, along with two other patented inventions (#3,921,217 and #3,908,194) and a new through mask electroplating process and tools, enabled an industry estimated to generate more than $35 billion in annual sales. It also has facilitated very small and sensitive magnetic disk storage devices able to store increasingly greater amounts of information. Today, a disk drive in a typical desktop computer can store up to 400 gigabytes (or 400 billion bytes) of data.

"IBM's global technical community shares a passion for invention and innovation, along with a  relentless pursuit of progress that can help make our world a better place," said IBM Fellow and Vice President of Innovation, Bernie Meyerson. "The accomplishments of Lubomyr Romankiw, David Thompson and other IBMers in the Inventors Hall of Fame illustrates that our continuing commitment to R&D is consistently delivering benefits to IBM clients and society."

IBM scientists continue to push the limits of storage technology and pursue the future of data storage through projects like Atomic Scale Magnetic Memory and Racetrack Memory. IBM also holds more than 4,000 active storage patents.

Romankiw and Thompson will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in a ceremony on May 2, 2012.

Other IBM National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees
include:

  • Norman Joseph Woodland; Optically Scanned Barcode (UPC code), inducted 2011
  • Louis Stevens: Data Storage Machine, inducted 2008
  • William Goddard: Magnetic Disk Drive, inducted 2007
  • John Lynott: Magnetic Disk Drive, inducted 2007
  • Samuel Blum: LASIK Eye Surgery, inducted 2002
  • Rangaswamy Srinivasan: LASIK Eye Surgery, inducted 2002
  • Jim Wynne: LASIK Eye Surgery, inducted 2002
  • Mark Dean: Microcomputer System with Bus Control Means for Peripheral Processing Devices, inducted 1997
  • Dennis Moeller: Microcomputer System with Bus Control Means for Peripheral Processing Devices, inducted 1997
  • Robert Heath Dennard: Field-Effect Transistor Memory DRAM, inducted 1997
  • Gerd Karl Binnig: Scanning Tunneling Microscope, inducted 1994
  • Heinrich Rohrer: Scanning Tunneling Microscope, inducted 1994

Romankiw holds over 65 patents and has published over 150 scientific papers. He is an IBM Fellow, a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, an IEEE Fellow, and an Electrochemical Society Fellow. He received the 1993 Society of Chemical Industry Perkin Medal, the 1994 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Technical Field Award, and the 1994 Electrochemical Society Vittorio de Nora Award.

Thompson holds over 20 patents and has published over 30 scientific papers. He is a retired IBM Fellow, a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, an IEEE Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Thompson received the 1992 IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award.

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