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The world's data is growing at an astounding rate, expected to double every two years. However, data collected from a wide variety of sources such as blogs, emails, videos, social media sites, photos, GPS, and other types of sensors are often unused. What makes their analysis difficult are the three "V"s: their volume, the velocity with which they arrive, and their variety. In fact many of these new types of data are unstructured and do not fit into the schemas businesses and existing analytics solutions are used to handling.
Beneath such unstructured, seemingly non-relational data lie hidden treasures of new insights and opportunities. To capture them, we need to collect, organize, and analyze data, which requires highly sophisticated processing, modeling, and analytics capabilities.
data analysis tools for proteomics and glycomics
Direct observation of proteins and modifications is essential for molecular biology. Although the genome is essentially static and constant, protein expression changes with life stage, disease, and tissue type. Mass spectrometry is the primary analytical tool for proteins and modifications, and PARC has collaborated with mass spectrometry laboratories worldwide over the past 7 years to develop new algorithms and software for a variety of generic and custom applications. PARC proteomics tools have been used to search for cancer biomarkers in blood plasma, sequence cone snail toxins, analyze low-abundance collagen fragments in dinosaur fossils, and study the gating mechanism of a membrane ion channel in vivo. PARC glycomics tools have been used to survey detached glycans in a wide variety of tissues, study the activation mechanism of CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes, and survey the glycopeptides in zona pellucida involved in sperm-egg binding.
market opportunity discovery, business practice transformation, user experience and design evaluation
Ethnography is the naturalistic, scientific, qualitative study of human behavior in context. Using various social science research methods for systematic data capture and rigorous analysis, ethnography provides a detailed, nuanced, and complete picture of what people actually do -- as opposed to just what they say they do. This approach makes explicit people's tacit behaviors/ practices/ habits, knowledge, and unmet needs or desires -- in various real-world (as opposed to laboratory or other isolated) contexts: from streets and call centers to virtual worlds and online collaboration tools. PARC pioneered the use of ethnographic methods in technology R&D and innovation, and continues to apply, adapt, and evolve these methods to provide insights not easily uncovered by standard market/customer research techniques.
research, computational modeling, prototyping, and product development
Building advanced components and systems that handle multiphase fluids or efficiently transfer heat requires a unique ability to harness a full spectrum of analytical, characterization, computational, and experimental techniques. PARC has successfully done this with a multi-disciplinary approach. Our team’s broad and deep expertise includes fluid dynamics, particulate flows, solid mechanics, electrophoresis, and heat/ mass transfer -- in fields ranging from semiconductor processing equipment and vehicle aerodynamics to microfluidic devices for biology. PARC has used its capabilities to assist clients in applications such as energy storage (e.g., batteries), printing, particle concentration, hydrodynamic separation for water treatment, micro- and meso-fluidic devices (e.g., flow cytometry), and nanocalorimetry.
flexible, printed, organic, and thin-film electronics
Displays, x-ray detectors, solar cells, and flexible sensor systems require uniquely different electronics from silicon-integrated circuit technology. With deep knowledge of materials, processes, system design, and printing technology applied across multiple domains, PARC has the fundamental understanding of materials and devices as well as the technology to create novel system prototypes based on lithography and printing technology. PARC creates such large-area electronic systems with thin-film semiconductors, including amorphous and poly-crystalline silicon, organics, and oxides for clients such as display manufacturers, consumer electronics firms, IT companies, government agencies, and materials suppliers to the flexible electronics market.
analog, digital, mixed-signal components and circuits
Microelectronics drive today’s -- and tomorrow’s -- electronic products, from mobile phones and computers, to automotive electronics, televisions, internet routers, and more. Designing, developing, and fabricating microelectronics requires deep know-how in different materials, semiconductors, circuits, and processing techniques (e.g., sputtering, evaporation, chemical vapor deposition), and PARC has developed deep expertise here. We have invented, developed, and prototyped diodes, transistors, and analog and digital circuits on a variety of materials -- including silicon, organics, III-V compounds in both bulk and thin film forms. We have used printing and lithography to produce circuits on plastic, glass, a-Si, and other substrates. Our capabilities in this area have enabled applications for clients such as complex sensors and circuits, thin-film transistor based imaging backplanes, flexible and large area electronics, and LEDs and laser diodes in the spectrum of IR, visible, and UV.
AI planning, scheduling, diagnosis, control, & optimization
As hardware and software systems become incredibly complex, model-based reasoning enables more flexible configuration, faster response times, coordination over larger systems, agility to changes in systems, and more. By creating an explicit system model separate from the reasoning process, model-based reasoning allows the model to be easily changed without affecting the reasoning algorithms. PARC has a strong, multidisciplinary team with broad expertise in this space -- ranging from modeling, planning, and diagnosis to control and optimization -- as well as experience in a variety of industry applications. We specialize in systems that interact in real-world (as opposed to cyber-only) environments; large-scale and modular systems; on-line, real-time, and continual-input approaches; and integrating high-level planning and diagnosis with lower-level coordination and control.
optics & optical systems
Imaging, non-imaging and mix-mode
Delivering advanced optical components and systems requires capabilities from technology generation and selection to hardware performance demonstration and verification -- where design latitude is proven to be greater than manufacturing variance. PARC has over 30 years of experience in developing and transferring leading-edge optical materials, devices, and systems into commercial products and government applications such as lasers, printing, document imaging, semiconductors, MEMs, optical sensors, wave guides, color filtering, biomedical systems, and solar concentrators. PARC offers unique end-to-end capabilities including: advanced modeling (e.g., refractive, reflective, catadioptric, diffractive, sequential, non-sequential, scattering absorption, optical coatings); design (e.g., lens optimization, robustness for manufacturability, tolerancing); in-house coating fabrication equipment (up to 40 layers for research experiments); and substrate characterization systems.
III-V compound semiconductors, optics, structural and electrical properties of material interfaces
With over 40 years of innovation in semiconductor optoelectronics (laser diodes and LEDs), PARC’s expertise extends from basic experimental and computational materials research to the design, growth, and processing of semiconductor heterostructures, as well as testing prototype laser diodes and optical sub-systems. Leveraging its comprehensive on-site infrastructure, PARC has demonstrated a wide wavelength range: infrared (InAlGaAs), red (InAlGaP), blue and ultra-violet (InAlGaN). PARC’s significant accomplishments with multi-billion-dollar commercial impact include: developing multi-beam laser diodes for high-speed xerographic printing; a spinout (later acquired by JDS Uniphase) for high-power infrared laser diodes used as pumps in telecom fiber amplifiers; and creating planar-oxide-confined VCSEL architectures that are now widely used by major manufacturers in devices for gigabit Ethernet and computer peripheral data links.
security & privacy
"usable" security enabling ubiquitous, mobile, social computing
Today's information and device explosion poses enormous security and privacy challenges, in our professional, personal, private, and public lives. The rise of social networking and realization of ubiquitous computing has led to immense privacy concerns. The rise of cloud computing has led to novel security and privacy challenges, and so our techniques include data mining and machine learning. Meanwhile, human-computer interfaces obscure security concerns. To address these general trends and specific client needs, PARC specializes in "usable security systems". Our approach emphasizes practical, end-to-end security architectures and state-of-the-art applied cryptography.
silicon, compound, and organic
The foundation of electronics, semiconductors require expert knowledge in materials science, crystal structures, and electrical properties of materials and their interfaces -- together with the process techniques required to fabricate them (such as doping, sputtering, evaporation, and chemical vapor deposition). PARC's deep expertise in semiconductors includes silicon, III-V compounds, and organic materials. We have invented, developed, and prototyped thin film technologies and systems as well as sophisticated optoelectronic devices (e.g., multiple quantum well LEDs and laser diodes). We have leveraged our deep understanding to improve performance of solar cells and invent new techniques for their fabrication. Our capabilities in this area also have been used to assist various clients with applications such as complex sensors and thin film transistor based imaging backplanes, flexible and large area electronics, novel solar photovoltaic cells, and LEDs and laser diodes in the spectrum of including IR, visible, and UV.
enabling collective intelligence and mitigating information overload
Social software systems have transformed communication and collaboration in enterprises and among consumers by helping people share information, communicate, establish relationships, collaboratively co-create knowledge, learn faster, and make better decisions. To reach their full potential, these systems require critical mass beyond early adopters, better filtering of signal vs. noise to reduce information overload, and other optimizations. Since inventing the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and advancing the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), PARC has evolved its work in information foraging/scent for individuals to groups, and has developed a number of customizable prototypes that combine cognitive psychology theories, data mining, user studies, expertise modeling, recommendation systems, and social analytics.
data mining in online social spaces
Virtual worlds and massively multiplayer games have now become so widespread that they replicate, across extensive communities, important issues social scientists have studied for centuries. PARC has pioneered the use of automated, large-scale data collection tools in virtual worlds to understand and predict the behaviors of their users: for instance, PARC has been running the largest and longeststudy of World of Warcraft to date, analyzing social interactions between more than 200,000 players over four years and in three countries. This continuing line of work has led to several innovations including a set of "dashboards" to monitor and manage the social health of virtual spaces, as well as tools to predict the socio-psychological profile of users with high accuracy.
characterization, process development, device design
Effectively developing and using cost-effective conformal thin film technologies for both electronic and mechanical applications requires deep expertise in materials, surface properties, surface chemistry and process techniques (e.g. sputtering, evaporation, chemical vapor deposition and printing). PARC has over 40 years of inventing, developing and prototyping thin film technologies and systems. Our experience involves a wide range of materials, from organic e.g. spin-on insulators to inorganic e.g. laser-recrystallized polysilicon and silicon nanowires. We have used our capabilities to assist government agencies and commercial clients in applications such as complex sensors and imaging back-planes using thin film transistors and circuits, flexible and large area electronics, compliant high density interconnects, MEMS devices and novel solar photovoltaic cells.
intelligent mobile computing & context-aware systems
Ubiquitous Computing ("ubicomp") technologies bridge physical and electronic information spaces to increase the efficiency and seamless experiences in our personal and professional lives. Going beyond simple mechanical automation, ubicomp utilizes sophisticated processes to proactively predict future needs, accurately target information, help people reach one another at convenient times, conserve energy resources, remember meetings and encounters, and much more. PARC invented the paradigms of Ubiquitous Computing and Context-Aware computing over 20 years ago, and possesses core intellectual property and highly evolved models of user activity, knowledge, and intention. Our ubicomp researchers invent software techniques and systems that leverage the ubiquity of computation and machine sensing to proactively filter and prioritize pertinent information, reducing overload from interacting with too many devices, networks, tasks, and people.