Where Are They Now?: 1999 Industry Hall Of Fame Inductees

Bell Labs

Achievements: Bell Labs, the product of the merger of the engineering departments from AT&T and Western Electronics in 1925, is known for its prestigious scientists, who over the years have received thousands of awards, fellowships and recognitions -- including Nobel Prizes in Physics and the National Medal of Technology -- and hold over 25,000 patents. Bell Labs made significant strides in the evolution of the tech industry with its development of RAM devices and a fiber-optic telecommunications system. In the 1990ss it continued to develop pioneering digital cellular technology and led the way in Internet-based communications.

Today: Bell Labs became the research branch of Lucent Technologies in 1996 and began focusing on the new fascination and demand for wireless technology. In 2001, the research facility struggled through a falsified data controversy, and in 2008 its parent company, Alcatel-Lucent, stopped all funds to the fundamental physics research lab. Since then, Bell Labs has gone from 30,000 research scientists to 1,000.


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