IBM received the National Medal of Technology, one of the premier awards in engineering, for advances in semiconductors, including breakthroughs in silicon-on-insulator, copper manufacturing technologies, and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips.
Although Big Blue has had trouble in recent years making money off of its chip division, IBM's research often receives high praise. Over the past few years, it has begun to line up partnerships with companies such as Advanced Micro Devices, Sony and Microsoft. In these deals, IBM provides R&D and chip design for a fee.
The award often goes to individuals such as Caltech's Carver Mead, but IBM isn't the first organization to get the medal. DuPont, among other institutions, has received it as well.