AT&T Labs

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AT&T Labs, Inc.
Type Private (Subsidiary of AT&T)
Industry Research & Development
Founded 1988
Headquarters Austin, Texas
Bedminster, New Jersey
Middletown, New Jersey
Website att.com/labs

AT&T Labs, Inc. is the research & development division of AT&T, where scientists and engineers work to understand and advance innovative technologies relevant to networking, communications, and information. Over 1800 employees work in seven locations: Bedminster NJ; Middletown, NJ; Warrenville, IL (Integrated Test Network); Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; San Ramon, CA; and Redmond, WA (Mobility Test Center). AT&T Labs – Research, the 450-person research division of AT&T Labs, is based in the Bedminster and Middletown NJ locations.

AT&T Labs traces its history from AT&T Bell Labs, which had a distinguished role in many key inventions of the modern age. In the same tradition, researchers at AT&T Labs investigate fundamental scientific, mathematical, and engineering questions over a broad range of disciplines related to AT&T businesses.

Much research is in areas traditionally associated with networks and systems, ranging from the physics of optical transmission to foundational topics in computing and communications.

Other research areas address the immense technical challenges of large operational networks and the resulting massive datasets, leading to advances in fundamental data structures and multi-petabyte databases and data warehouses.

The growing complexity of networks—the increasing reliance on wireless communications, the emergence of cloud computing, and the growing number and sophistication of services built into the networks (VoIP, IPTV, gaming)—has spurred the creation of advanced statistical and correlation tools and new visualization and data mining techniques.

The proliferation of mobile devices has pushed for improved speech and language technologies and new multimodal interfaces, many of which adapt easily for assistive technologies. Researchers are also studying how real-time, geospatial data from mobile devices can aid community planners in understanding local social dynamics.

Powerful, ubiquitous wireless networks also present new opportunities in telehealth and the smart grid where low-power sensors become part of the network, relaying a constant data stream.

All research projects depend on new ideas and innovative applications of existing ones. Fulfilling this function inside the Labs requires interdisciplinary work in mathematics, statistics, machine learning, and algorithms and optimization. From outside the Labs, additional expertise and new ideas come from collaborations both with other industrial labs and with universities. Over 70 active university collaborations not only contribute to individual projects but help cement long-term relationships with academic researchers.

Achievements[edit]

Since its creation in 1996, AT&T Labs has been issued over 2000 US patents. Researchers at AT&T Labs developed UWIN a package for running Unix applications on Windows; Graphviz, a graph visualization system; Natural Voices text-to-speech software; speech recognition software; E4SS (open source software for developing telecommunications services); very large databases; video processing software; and other useful open-source tools and libraries. The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (now operated by the OEIS foundation) is the creation of AT&T Researcher Neil Sloane.

Researchers at AT&T Labs have successfully transmitted 100 Gigabits per second over a single optical link. In 2009, AT&T researchers led the winning team in the Netflix Prize competition.

History[edit]

AT&T Laboratories, Inc., known informally as AT&T Labs, was founded in 1996, as a result of the split of AT&T Bell Laboratories into separate R&D organizations supporting AT&T Corporation and Lucent Technologies. Lucent retained the name Bell Labs and AT&T adopted the name AT&T Laboratories for its R&D organization.

AT&T Labs also traces its origin to Southwestern Bell Technology Resources, Inc. (SWB TRI) which was founded in 1988 as the R&D arm of Southwestern Bell Corporation. It had no connection to Bellcore, the R&D organization owned equally by all of the Baby Bells.[1]

In 1995, Southwestern Bell Corporation renamed itself SBC Communications, Inc., resulting in the subsequent name changes of companies such as SWB TRI to SBC Technology Resources, Inc. (SBC TRI).

In 2003, SBC TRI changed its name to SBC Laboratories, Inc..[2] SBC Laboratories focused on four core areas: Broadband Internet, Wireless Systems, Network Services, and Network IT.

In 2005, SBC Communications and AT&T Corporation merged to form AT&T. AT&T Labs, Inc. became the new name of SBC Laboratories, Inc. upon the completion of the transaction. The merger brought in AT&T Laboratories along with its research facilities in New Jersey.

In 2006, BellSouth Laboratories was also merged with AT&T Labs. BellSouth Labs had offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.

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