IBM Research – Almaden

IBM Research – Almaden is in Almaden Valley, San Jose, California, and is one of IBM's twelve[1] worldwide research labs that form IBM Research.[2] Its scientists perform basic and applied research in computer science, services, storage systems, physical sciences, and materials science and technology.[3]


The center opened in 1986, and continues the research started in San Jose more than fifty years ago. Nearly all of Almaden’s approximately 500 research employees are in technical functions and more than half of these hold Ph.D.s. The lab is home to ten IBM Fellows, ten IBM Distinguished Engineers, nine IBM Master Inventors and seventeen members of the IBM Academy of Technology.

Almaden occupies part of a site owned by IBM at 650 Harry Road on nearly 700 acres (2.8 km2) of land in the hills above Silicon Valley. The site, built in 1985 for the research center, was chosen because of its close proximity to Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley and other collaborative academic institutions. Today, the research division is still the largest tenant of the site, but the majority of occupants work for other divisions of IBM.

IBM opened its first West Coast research center, the San Jose Research Laboratory in 1952, managed by Reynold B. Johnson. Among its first developments was the IBM 350, the first commercial moving head hard disk drive. Launched in 1956, this saw use in the IBM 305 RAMAC computer system. Subdivisions included the Advanced Systems Development Division.[4] Directors of the center include hard disc drive developer Jack Harker.

Prompted by a need for additional space, the center moved to its present Almaden location in 1986.

Scientists at IBM Almaden have contributed to several scientific discoveries such as the development of photoresists[5] and the quantum mirage effect.[6]

The following are some of the famous scientists who have worked in the past or are currently working in this laboratory: Rakesh Agrawal, Rama Akkiraju, John Backus, Raymond F. Boyce, Donald D. Chamberlin, Ashok K. Chandra, Edgar F. Codd, Mark Dean, Cynthia Dwork, Don Eigler, Ronald Fagin, Jim Gray, Laura M. Haas, Joseph Halpern, Andreas J. Heinrich, Reynold B. Johnson, Maria Klawe, Jaishankar Menon, Dharmendra Modha, William E. Moerner, C. Mohan, Stuart Parkin, Nick Pippenger, Dan Russell, Patricia Selinger, Ted Selker, Barbara Simons, Malcolm Slaney, Ramakrishnan Srikant, Larry Stockmeyer, Moshe Vardi, Jennifer Widom, Shumin Zhai.


  1. "IBM Research – Almaden". Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  2. "Labs and locations". IBM Research. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  3. "Gathering of the Most Brilliant Minds in Energy Storage to Take Place". AZOM. June 23, 2009. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  4. "Guide to the Harwood G. Kolsky Papers" (PDF). Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  5. "IBM Research Demonstrates Path for Extending Current Chip-Making Technique". Web Wire. February 20, 2006. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  6. "IBM Scientists Discover Nanotech Communication Method". Science Daily. February 7, 2000. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
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