As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur in silicon photonics manufacturing and discuss techniques to mitigate these effects.Figure 1. Example test photonic IC, with common elements such as waveguides, grating coupler, MZI, photodetector and fill pattern.Figure 2. A directional coupler with line edge roughness.Waveguide edge roughness (Figure 2) causes additional backscattering and increases propagation loss in waveguides. Edge roughness can originate from lithographic effects, etching, or other processing nonuniformities. Processing solutions such as photoresist cure, sidewall oxidation, or thermal treatment can be applied to reduce … [Read more...] about Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation And Manufacturing Challenges
8d problem solving process
Video Friday: SelfDriving Tractor, Robot Sumo, and Trolley Problem Solved
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your organic Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): NASA SRRC Level 2 – September 25, 2016 – Worcester, Mass., USA ISyCoR 2016 – September 79, 2016 – Ostrava, Czech Republic European Rover Challenge – September 1013, 2016 – Podkarpackie, Poland Gigaom Change – September 2123, 2016 – Austin, Texas, USA RoboBusiness – September 2829, 2016 – San Jose, Calif., USA HFR 2016 – September 2930, 2016 – Genoa, Italy ISER 2016 – October 36, 2016 – Tokyo, Japan Cybathlon Symposium – October 07, 2016 – Zurich, Switzerland Cybathalon 2016 – October 08, 2016 – Zurich, Switzerland … [Read more...] about Video Friday: SelfDriving Tractor, Robot Sumo, and Trolley Problem Solved

Does the type of device you use affect your problemsolving skills? Study says yes
Here’s some food for thought: What if the type of device you use affects your problemsolving skills? Research published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior suggests it just might. Specifically, smartphone users have been found to exhibit more rational, utilitarian decisionmaking, while their counterparts on PC were found to let emotions undermine their logic more frequently.In the experiment, roughly 1,000 subjects were asked to decide between two possible outcomes of a moral dilemma. Some were assigned a smartphone to make their judgment call, while others were on a computer. The dilemma took the form of the classic “Trolley Problem,” in which a train is about to hit multiple workers, and the subject is asked if they would divert the train to instead kill one individual rather than several.There were a few modifications made to the question. In the first trial, subjects could save five workers by pushing one man off a bridge and onto the tracks well … [Read more...] about Does the type of device you use affect your problemsolving skills? Study says yes
APP REVIEW Soulver Takes the Problem Out of Problem Solving
Soulver is a numbercrunching app by Acqualia, is available at the Mac App Store for US$19.99.Necessity, however, doesn't make numbers any more interesting to many of us, especially those of us more comfortable with words. Numbers and words need not be mutually exclusive, though, and when they're not, they can be a lot more engaging.Proof of that can be found in Soulver, a neat program that allows you to use numbers and perform calculations in a more natural way, with both figures and words. When a waiter hands you and your three friends a check for $62.50 for lunch, you think what do we each owe, with tip, if we split the tab equally; not ($62.50/4)+(4*($62.50*.20)).When you launch Soulver, a twopanel display appears. In the left panel, you type your words and numbers. In the right panel, the results from what you typed in the left panel appear. So if you type 2+2 in the left panel, 4 will appear in the right one.If the answer in the right column is in a unit  dollars or degrees, … [Read more...] about APP REVIEW Soulver Takes the Problem Out of Problem Solving
PODCAST Making IT Problems Solve Themselves
IT must do whatever it takes to make businesses lean, agile and intelligent. Modern support services, then, also need to be able to empower workers and IT personnel to maintain peak control of systems and to keep the applications, data and processes performing reliably at lowest cost.Not only are data centers supporting many types of converged infrastructure, and now increasingly virtualized technical workloads, too. They're also supporting big data requirements  as data continues to explode  but they must do this all efficiently, with increased automation as a key component of that efficiency.To accomplish this high efficiency and to exploit the best in performance management and operational governance, enterprises must move now toward proactive types of support  to continue the ongoing improvement and to maintain systems with high expectations met.In a special sponsored HP Expert Chat discussion on new approaches to data center support, remote support and support automation, … [Read more...] about PODCAST Making IT Problems Solve Themselves
40yearold Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry Phasing Problem Solved
Data Analysis 40yearold Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry Phasing Problem SolvedScientists have developed a computation which simultaneously doubles the resolution, sensitivity and mass accuracy of Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FTMS) at no extra cost. Researchers in the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry have solved the 40yearold phasing problem which allows plotting of spectra in absorption mode.This breakthrough can be used in all FTMS including FTICR, Orbitrap and FTTOF instruments and will have applications in proteomics, petroleum analysis, metabolomics and pharmaceutical analysis, among other fields.Professor Peter O’Connor, who codeveloped the method, said: “We have vastly improved the quality of data available at no extra cost. FTMS is used extensively in the fields of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, industry, natural resources and environmental management. So, this breakthrough represents a real step towards improving research across … [Read more...] about 40yearold Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry Phasing Problem Solved
How Many Ways Can You Arrange 128 Tennis Balls? Impossible Problem Solved
Mathematics/Statistics In research carried out at the University of Cambridge, a team developed a computer program that can answer this mindbending puzzle: Imagine that you have 128 soft spheres, a bit like tennis balls. You can pack them together in any number of ways. How many different arrangements are possible?The answer, it turns out, is something like 10250 (1 followed by 250 zeros). The number, also referred to as 10 unquadragintilliard, is so huge that it vastly exceeds the total number of particles in the universe.Far more important than the solution, however, is the fact that the researchers were able to answer the question at all. The method that they came up with can help scientists to calculate something called configurational entropy — a term used to describe how structurally disordered the particles in a physical system are.Being able to calculate configurational entropy would, in theory, eventually enable us to answer a host of seemingly impossible problems … [Read more...] about How Many Ways Can You Arrange 128 Tennis Balls? Impossible Problem Solved
Problemsolving Ants inspire Nextgen Algorithms
Informatics Problemsolving Ants Inspire Nextgen AlgorithmsArgentine ant. Courtesy of PenarcAn ant colony is probably the last place you'd expect to find a math whiz, but researchers have shown that the humble ant is not only capable of solving difficult mathematical problems, but is even able to do what few computer algorithms can — adapt the optimal solution to fit a changing problem. These findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, deepen our understanding of how even simple animals can overcome complex and dynamic problems in nature, and will help computer scientists develop even better software to solve logistical problems and maximize efficiency in many human industries. Using a novel technique, Chris Reid and Associate Professor Madeleine Beekman from the University of Sydney School of Biological Sciences, working with Professor David Sumpter of Uppsala University, Sweden, tested whether Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) could solve a dynamic … [Read more...] about Problemsolving Ants inspire Nextgen Algorithms
Knotty Fourdecadeold Math Problem Solved
Mathematics/Statistics Knotty Fourdecadeold Math Problem Solved It’s not as famous as Fermat’s Last Theorem. In fact, the math problem, which has not had a correct solution since it was proposed in the 1960s, doesn’t even have a name. But a new, elegant solution for the unnamed 40year old problem has intrigued scientists enough to be published in a twopart paper in one of the world’s top math journals. Dino Lorenzini of the University of Georgia and two French colleagues, Michel Raynaud and Qing Liu, recently published the mathematical foundations for the new proof in the journal Inventiones Mathematicae and will soon published the proof itself. “What makes this problem possibly unusual,” said Lorenzini, “is that two mathematical mistakes in the literature had to be corrected before the problem could be correctly solved.” Intractable problems in mathematics have long had an allure for the general public. … [Read more...] about Knotty Fourdecadeold Math Problem Solved
Devs Rev Up for a Weekend of Galactic ProblemSolving
More than 10,000 software and hardware developers, scientists and space fans will spend this weekend huddling in rooms in 136 cities around the world to participate in NASA's fourth annual International Space Apps Challenge  a hackathon for space wonks.Using IBM's Bluemix Platform as a Service, they will develop apps, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions to help space exploration missions and to improve life on Earth.The participants will leverage publicly available data from more than 200 NASA sources, including datasets, services and tools from reallife NASA missions and technology.They will use them to design solutions to 35 challenges in four categories  outer space, Earth, humans and robotics.Two projects from each city will advance to global judging, and a panel of NASA judges will select one winner in each of the finalist categories: best mission concept; best user of hardware; best use of data; most inspiring; and galactic impact.Further, IBM will … [Read more...] about Devs Rev Up for a Weekend of Galactic ProblemSolving