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IEEE honors Zurich LAN pioneers

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Zurich, Switzerland, 14 April 2003—The IEEE has named Werner Bux, manager of the Communication Systems department at IBM Research - Zurich, and Hans Müller, retired senior researcher of the same department, as recipients of the 2003 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award. The award recognizes the two IBM scientists for their contributions to the design, development and standardization of the Token Ring local area network (LAN). The legacy of the technology can be seen in today's high-speed, fault-resistant fiber optic LANs and Ethernet.

The IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award, sponsored by Lucent Technologies, recognizes outstanding contributions to communications technology. The award was officially announced at the 2003 General Assembly of the IEEE Switzerland Section in Neuchâtel on April 11.

A key local area network standard from the 1980s through the 1990s, Token Ring network technology introduced several benefits including automatic fault detection and recovery, reduced delays at ring interfaces and stable transmission. One of Bux and Müller's most important innovations, a system to automatically detect and recover from faults on the network, has since become a part of many other networking systems, and part of IEEE standard 802.5.

Token ring also features a remarkably stable transmission method, based on a variety of transmission media, which made Token Ring the network of choice for United Airlines' major hub at Chicago's O'Hare Airport and at CERN, the European organization for nuclear research in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hans Müller contributed several key ideas for the architecture of the Token Ring, and led the design of the system. He was a member of IBM Research - Zurich from 1958 to 1990. Werne Bux is credited with making major contributions to the architecture of the Token Ring, demonstrating its superior performance and contributing to the development of international standards based on the technology. He joined IBM Research in Zurich in 1979 and became manager of the Communication Systems department in 1989.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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