WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 -- IBM and Motorola were among recipients of 2004 National Medals of Technology, and University of Chicago chemist Robert Clayton was awarded a 2004 National Medal of Science, presented by President Bush Tuesday at the White House.
IBM researchers pioneered the use of tungsten to create copper-based chips capable of running significantly faster than aluminum-based technology. Shown is a power chip inside a half-inch household copper pipe. (Photo: Tom Way IBM Corp.)
IBM's Microelectronics Division was honored for advances that have improved the performance and versatility of today's microprocessors, citing significant breakthroughs such as the development of multicore-processor integration, DRAM (dynamic random access memory), the use of copper-on-chip wiring, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology and high-speed silicon germanium chips. Motorola was recognized for "over 75 years of technological achievement and leadership in the development of innovative electronic solutions, which have enabled portable and mobile communications to become the standard across society."
Motorola pioneered mobile communications with car radios and public safety radio networks in the 1930s, walkie talkies in the 1940s, and in 1969 made hearing the first words from the moon possible. In the 1980s, Motorola introduced the first commercial, handheld cellular phone. In the 1990s, Motorola premiered the first digital cellular GSM network and helped create all-digital HDTV.
Roger Easton, of Canaan, N.H., was one of two New Hampshire residents who received individual National Medals of Technology. Easton helped develop the global positioning system while working at the Naval Research Lab in Washington in 1964. He said at first, the satellite-based system could pinpoint areas on earth within 50 feet. Now, he said, it's used for surveying and can pinpoint areas to within an inch.
Medal of Science winner Clayton, 75, has pioneered the use of oxygen isotopes, chemical fingerprints found in meteorites and lunar rocks, in understanding the processes that formed the planets and asteroids early in the history of the solar system. His studies have provided surprising evidence supporting the theory that the moon was part of the Earth until a collision with another planet-sized object blasted them apart, and have helped identify the first lunar meteorite. Most of Clayton’s lunar research stemmed from his examination of approximately 300 samples collected during all six Apollo moon landings from 1969 to 1972 and during the Soviet Luna 16 and 20 robotic missions. But his laboratory also has become well known as a clearinghouse for the analysis of strange meteorites.
The National Medical of Technology, administered by the Department of Commerce,is awarded to companies and individuals who have made contributions to America's competitiveness, standard of living and quality of life through technological innovation, and contributions to strengthen the nation's technological work force. The National Medal of Science, administered by the National Science Foundation, honors individuals in a variety of fields for pioneering scientific research.
The other 2004 Medal of Science recipients are:
Kenneth J. Arrow, Stanford University
Norman E. Borlaug, Texas A&M University
Edwin N. Lightfoot, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stephen J. Lippard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Phillip A. Sharp, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thomas E. Starzl, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Dennis P. Sullivan, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Other 2004 Medal of Technology recipients:
Ralph H. Baer, engineering consultant, Manchester, N.H.
Roger L. Easton, RoBarCo, Canaan, N.H.
Gen-Probe Inc. (division award), San Diego, Calif.
Industrial Light and Magic (company award), San Rafael, Calif.
PACCAR Inc. (company award), Bellevue, Wash.
For more information, visit: www.nationalmedals.org