News Article | May 25, 2017
By 2021, the average person will have multiple connected mobile devices, and 75 percent of mobile data traffic will be video1. This added video will require new robust technologies to improve the viewer experience. Carnegie Mellon University today announced that it is collaborating with Intel Corporation on a three-year, $4.125 million research program to unlock the value of the growing volume of online video and put new analytics capabilities and immersive technologies within reach of consumers, businesses and public officials. The goal of the Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for Visual Cloud Systems is to accelerate large-scale development and adoption of cloud-based computing systems architecture to handle the rapidly increasing amount of video content generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including online cameras and drones, as well as by content creators and broadcasters. Jim Blakley, general manager of Intel’s Visual Cloud Division, noted in his blog that he will discuss this news and more in his 2017 NAB Show super session today. Virtual reality, augmented reality, 360-degree video and other immersive media technologies powered by data from the billions of connected IoT devices will create never-before-seen experiences for viewers. These experiences will be more efficiently delivered on the coming 5G network, which will require more flexible, scalable and programmable communications networks for high-speed, split-second response rates. To enable new user experiences and advanced networking capabilities, the ISTC for Visual Cloud Systems will focus on developing new system architectures and data processing techniques optimized for processing data- and bandwidth-intensive workloads. The research conducted at the ISTC for Visual Cloud Systems will use Intel technologies including Intel® Xeon® processors, edge devices, and imaging and camera technology. Intel will also contribute its data center and IoT expertise. Carnegie Mellon will apply its expertise in cloud computing, visual computing, computer vision, storage systems and databases, and networking. Stanford University is also contributing computational photography and domain-specific language expertise for the ISTC for Visual Cloud Systems.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Novel fabrication of diamond nanophotonics coupled to single-photon detectors Diamond nanophotonics is a rapidly evolving platform in which non-classical light—emitted by defect centers in diamond—can be generated, manipulated, and detected in a single monolithic device (e.g., for quantum information processing applications).1–3 Indeed, novel diamond fabrication techniques make it possible to engineer unique nanostructures in which diamond's extraordinary material properties (e.g., high refractive index, wide band gap, and large optical transmission window) can be exploited.4, 5 The relatively large Kerr non-linearity6 of diamond also makes it an attractive platform for on-chip nonlinear optics at visible and IR wavelengths.7 This nonlinearity could be used for frequency conversion of photons generated by color centers in diamond (i.e., from their typical visible wavelengths to telecom wavelengths).8 In turn, this would enable transmission of quantum information and distribution of quantum entanglement9, 10 over long distances. Such integrated diamond–quantum photonics platforms would benefit from the use (and realization) of high-performance single-photon detectors that have broadband photon sensitivity and are integrated on the same diamond chip. Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) are a class of cutting-edge photon detectors that outperform other technologies in terms of detection efficiency, dark counts, timing jitter, and maximum count rates.11–13 SNSPDs typically consist of narrow nanowires that are patterned into an ultrathin (4–8nm) superconducting film.14 The nanowires are biased close to the critical current of the superconductor material so that when an incident photon is absorbed by the wire, a small resistive hotspot forms and generates a voltage pulse, which is amplified and measured.15 In our work,16,17 we have developed a novel fabrication procedure with which we can etch freestanding diamond nanostructures directly from a bulk substrate. We use these freestanding diamond waveguides to guide the emission from diamond color centers—nitrogen18 or silicon vacancies (NVs or SiVs), see Figure 1, that we implant within the waveguides—to evanescently coupled niobium titanium nitride SNSPDs. The evanescently coupled SNSPDs can thus be used to detect the color center fluorescence, while filtering out the pump laser that scatters into the waveguide. A scanning electron microscope image of several freestanding diamond waveguides (with triangular cross sections) is shown in Figure 2(a). We etched these waveguides from single-crystal diamond with the use of our angled-etching fabrication method.4 The waveguides are supported periodically by thin support structures underneath the waveguide that are created by slightly increasing the width of the waveguide at the support locations. This allows long segments of the waveguide to remain freestanding (while not perturbing the waveguide mode).19 In addition, single meander SNSPDs—see Figure 2(b)—are located on both ends of the waveguide. The SNSPDs are then connected to titanium/gold contact pads for electrical readout. Finite-difference time-domain simulations of the diamond waveguide SNSPD device are shown in Figure 3. The normalized field distribution of the optical mode in the diamond waveguide is shown in Figure 3(a), which illustrates the capacity for single-mode waveguide operation in the triangular cross section diamond waveguide. In addition, the absorption characteristics of the device—Figure 3(b)—indicate that more than 99% of the optical power has been absorbed by the SNSPD after a propagation distance of 15μm. The photon-counting performance of an SNSPD on one of the freestanding diamond waveguides (at 4.2K)—when illuminated with vertically incident 705nm photons—is depicted by the blue curve in Figure 4, and the red curve indicates the dark count response of the detector. The temperature (4.2K) and superconductor thickness (10.5nm) of the device limit the SNSPD from reaching a fully saturated photon count rate. However, we do observe a wide photon-counting operational range (i.e., the region where the device count rate begins to level off and approach an ideal saturated regime) that is still far from the detector's intrinsic dark counts. In summary, we have developed a platform with which SNSPDs can be fabricated on freestanding waveguides that are etched from single-crystal diamond (which can host quantum emitters with good spectral properties).20 We have also characterized the photon-counting performance of our fabricated detectors. With our approach it is possible to achieve monolithic and scalable integration of diamond quantum optical circuits that are based on defect color centers. In the next stages of our work, we plan to improve the filtering of the pump beam (i.e., that is used to excite the color centers) so that the SNSPDs are no longer saturated by pump photons. This work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, which is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) award ECS-0335765. CNS is part of Harvard University. We also acknowledge the financial support of the Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Institute for Quantum Computing. This work was also partly supported by the Science and Technology Center (STC) for Integrated Quantum Materials (by NSF grant DMR-1231319) and the Harvard Quantum Optics Center. Robert Westervelt was supported by the STC for Integrated Quantum Materials by NSF grant DMR-1231319.
News Article | May 3, 2017
Smartphone apps to track menstrual cycles often disappoint users with a lack of accuracy, assumptions about sexual identity or partners, and an emphasis on pink and flowery form over function and customization. Researchers collected data from 2,000 reviews of popular period tracking apps, surveyed 687 people and conducted in-depth interviews with a dozen respondents to understand how and why they tracked their menstrual cycles. Nearly half of the survey respondents used a smartphone app to track their periods for a variety of reasons: to understand their body and reactions to different phases of their cycles; to prepare for their periods; to achieve or avoid pregnancy; or to inform conversations with healthcare providers. Women say they also use other strategies for menstrual tracking including digital calendars, paper diaries, birth control cues, being aware of symptoms, and simply remembering. “People didn’t feel like the apps were very good at supporting their particular needs or preferences,” says lead author Daniel Epstein, a doctoral student at the University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “People felt they were better than tracking their periods on paper, but still weren’t great in a lot of basic ways.” The study is among the first to investigate how women track their periods—which is surprising, researchers say, given that it’s one of the first questions doctors ask women. A lack of attention to such an essential component of women’s health surfaced publicly in 2014 when Apple rolled out its HealthKit without any way to track menstrual cycles. The new study focused on nine different period tracking apps currently available on the Android Market and Apple App Store, and on what features users liked or disliked, rather than general opinions of the apps themselves. While some apps were much more successful in meeting users’ needs, none was perfect. The modeling assumptions used in some period tracking apps weren’t accurate or flexible enough to consistently predict their menstrual cycles, particularly when periods weren’t regular. Many apps don’t allow users to correct them when the predictions are wrong or to input data or explanations about why a particularly stressful month or change in birth control might have thrown off their cycles. “In some cases, you don’t have a way to go in and say I missed my period because of x reason or because I was in the hospital—both ordinary and exceptional circumstances can screw up the algorithms because they’re not really robust,” says coauthor and independent researcher Nikki Lee. “The apps are most accurate if your cycles are really really regular, but the people who most need an app are the people whose cycles aren’t regular.” Apps rarely allow users to customize results or how they are presented. Someone who is trying to avoid getting pregnant or to prepare for their period, for instance, might want an app to provide a more generous window for predicting when they are ovulating or when their period will arrive so they aren’t surprised. Someone trying to become pregnant would likely want the app to zero in on a narrower span of time when their chances of ovulation are highest. One significant issue is that few apps are transparent about explaining their methodology or limitations, says coauthor Julie Kientz, associate professor of human centered design and engineering. In working with healthcare providers on a teen health app, she learned that teenage girls were relying on smartphone apps as their primary form of birth control to tell them when they should avoid having sex. “That’s pretty disconcerting because accuracy can be a problem with these apps. I wanted to understand why they had so much trust in the technology.” Other users complained that the iconography used in the apps assumed that a woman’s sexual partner would be male, failing to account for those in same sex relationships, and also assume all users identify as female, which excludes transgender users or those with non-binary gender identities. Across the board, app users objected to the use of pink, flowering imagery rather than a more useful and discreet display of the information. “It’s a trope at this point that the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach to designing technology for women revolves around making something smaller and making it pink and taking all the functionality out of it,” Epstein says. “We definitely found that in the menstrual tracking apps, and that was one of the things that users had the biggest negative reaction to: ‘Why is my app so pink?'” The researchers suggest five changes could make period tracking apps more functional: Researchers will present the paper at the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing, the University of Washington, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the National Science Foundation funded the work.
News Article | September 30, 2016
Sending a password or secret code over airborne radio waves like WiFi or Bluetooth means anyone can eavesdrop, making those transmissions vulnerable to hackers who can attempt to break the encrypted code. Now, University of Washington computer scientists and electrical engineers have devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body — using benign, low-frequency transmissions generated by fingerprint sensors and touchpads on consumer devices. “Fingerprint sensors have so far been used as an input device. What is cool is that we’ve shown for the first time that fingerprint sensors can be re-purposed to send out information that is confined to the body,” said senior author Shyam Gollakota, UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. These “on-body” transmissions offer a more secure way to transmit authenticating information between devices that touch parts of your body — such as a smart door lock or wearable medical device — and a phone or device that confirms your identity by asking you to type in a password. This new technique, which leverages the signals already generated by fingerprint sensors on smartphones and laptop touchpads to transmit data in new ways, is described in apaper presented in September at the2016 Association for Computing Machinery’s International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016) in Germany. “Let’s say I want to open a door using an electronic smart lock,” said co-lead author Merhdad Hessar, a UW electrical engineering doctoral student. “I can touch the doorknob and touch the fingerprint sensor on my phone and transmit my secret credentials through my body to open the door, without leaking that personal information over the air.” The research team tested the technique on iPhone and other fingerprint sensors, as well as Lenovo laptop trackpads and the Adafruit capacitive touchpad. In tests with 10 different subjects, they were able to generate usable on-body transmissions on people of different heights, weights and body types. The system also worked when subjects were in motion — including while they walked and moved their arms. “We showed that it works in different postures like standing, sitting and sleeping,” said co-lead author Vikram Iyer, a UW electrical engineering doctoral student. “We can also get a strong signal throughout your body. The receivers can be anywhere — on your leg, chest, hands — and still work.” The research team from the UW’sNetworks and Mobile Systems Labsystematically analyzed smartphone sensors to understand which of them generates low-frequency transmissions below 30 megahertz that travel well through the human body but don’t propagate over the air. The researchers found that fingerprint sensors and touchpads generate signals in the 2 to 10 megahertz range and employ capacitive coupling to sense where your finger is in space, and to identify the ridges and valleys that form unique fingerprint patterns. Normally, sensors use these signals to receive input about your finger. But the UW engineers devised a way to use these signals as output that corresponds to data contained in a password or access code. When entered on a smartphone, data that authenticates your identity can travel securely through your body to a receiver embedded in a device that needs to confirm who you are. Their process employs a sequence of finger scans to encode and transmit data. Performing a finger scan correlates to a 1-bit of digital data and not performing the scan correlates to a 0-bit. The technology could also be useful for secure key transmissions to medical devices such as glucose monitors or insulin pumps, which seek to confirm someone’s identity before sending or sharing data. The team achieved bit rates of 50 bits per second on laptop touchpads and 25 bits per second with fingerprint sensors — fast enough to send a simple password or numerical code through the body and to a receiver within seconds. This represents only a first step, the researchers say. Data can be transmitted through the body even faster if fingerprint sensor manufacturers provide more access to their software. The research was funded by the Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing, a Google faculty award and the National Science Foundation.
News Article | March 14, 2016
In a breakthrough for energy-efficient computing, engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown for the first time that magnetic chips can operate with the lowest fundamental level of energy dissipation possible under the laws of thermodynamics. The findings, to be published Friday, March 11, 2016 in the peer-reviewed journalScience Advances, mean that dramatic reductions in power consumption are possible -- as much as one-millionth the amount of energy per operation used by transistors in modern computers. This is critical for mobile devices, which demand powerful processors that can run for a day or more on small, lightweight batteries. On a larger, industrial scale, as computing increasingly moves into 'the cloud,' the electricity demands of the giant cloud data centers are multiplying, collectively taking an increasing share of the country's -- and world's -- electrical grid. "We wanted to know how small we could shrink the amount of energy needed for computing," said senior author Jeffrey Bokor, a UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "The biggest challenge in designing computers and, in fact, all our electronics today is reducing their energy consumption." Lowering energy use is a relatively recent shift in focus in chip manufacturing after decades of emphasis on packing greater numbers of increasingly tiny and faster transistors onto chips. "Making transistors go faster was requiring too much energy," said Bokor, who is also the deputy director the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science, a Science and Technology Center at UC Berkeley funded by the National Science Foundation. "The chips were getting so hot they'd just melt." Researchers have been turning to alternatives to conventional transistors, which currently rely upon the movement of electrons to switch between 0s and 1s. Partly because of electrical resistance, it takes a fair amount of energy to ensure that the signal between the two states is clear and reliably distinguishable, and this results in excess heat. Magnetic computing emerged as a promising candidate because the magnetic bits can be differentiated by direction, and it takes just as much energy to get the magnet to point left as it does to point right. "These are two equal energy states, so we don't throw energy away creating a high and low energy," said Bokor. Bokor teamed up with UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Jeongmin Hong, UC Berkeley graduate student Brian Lambson and Scott Dhuey at the Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, where the nanomagnets used in the study were fabricated. They experimentally tested and confirmed the Landauer limit, named after IBM Research Lab's Rolf Landauer, who in 1961 found that in any computer, each single bit operation must expend an absolute minimum amount of energy. Landauer's discovery is based on the second law of thermodynamics, which states that as any physical system is transformed, going from a state of higher concentration to lower concentration, it gets increasingly disordered. That loss of order is called entropy, and it comes off as waste heat. Landauer developed a formula to calculate this lowest limit of energy required for a computer operation. The result depends on the temperature of the computer; at room temperature, the limit amounts to about 3 zeptojoules, or one-hundredth the energy given up by a single atom when it emits one photon of light. The UC Berkeley team used an innovative technique to measure the tiny amount of energy dissipation that resulted when they flipped a nanomagnetic bit. The researchers used a laser probe to carefully follow the direction that the magnet was pointing as an external magnetic field was used to rotate the magnet from "up" to "down" or vice versa. They determined that it only took 15 millielectron volts of energy - the equivalent of 3 zeptojoules - to flip a magnetic bit at room temperature, effectively demonstrating the Landauer limit. This is the first time that a practical memory bit could be manipulated and observed under conditions that would allow the Landauer limit to be reached, the authors said. Bokor and his team published a paper in 2011 that said this could theoretically be done, but it had not been demonstrated until now. While this paper is a proof of principle, he noted that putting such chips into practical production will take more time. But the authors noted in the paper that "the significance of this result is that today's computers are far from the fundamental limit and that future dramatic reductions in power consumption are possible."
News Article | February 15, 2017
In the world of the very tiny, perfection is rare: virtually all materials have defects at the atomic level. These imperfections – missing atoms, atoms of one type swapped for another and misaligned atoms – can uniquely determine a material's properties and function. Now, physicists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), together with collaborators, have mapped the coordinates of more than 23,000 individual atoms in a tiny iron-platinum nanoparticle to reveal the material's defects. Their results, which are reported in a paper in Nature, demonstrate that the positions of tens of thousands of atoms can be precisely identified and then fed into quantum mechanics calculations to correlate imperfections and defects with material properties at the single-atom level. Jianwei (John) Miao, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and a member of UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute, led the international team in mapping the atomic-level details of a bimetallic nanoparticle, more than a trillion of which could fit within a grain of sand. "No one has seen this kind of three-dimensional structural complexity with such detail before," said Miao, who is also a deputy director of the Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional Imaging. This new US National Science Foundation-funded consortium consists of scientists at UCLA and five other colleges and universities who are using high-resolution imaging to address questions in the physical sciences, life sciences and engineering. Miao and his team focused on an iron-platinum alloy, a very promising material for next-generation magnetic storage media and permanent magnet applications. By taking multiple images of an iron-platinum nanoparticle with an advanced electron microscope at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and using powerful reconstruction algorithms developed at UCLA, the researchers were able to determine the precise three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms in the nanoparticle. "For the first time, we can see individual atoms and chemical composition in three dimensions. Everything we look at, it's new," Miao said. The team identified and located more than 6500 iron and 16,600 platinum atoms, and showed how the atoms are arranged in nine grains, each of which contains different ratios of iron and platinum atoms. Miao and his colleagues showed that atoms closer to the interior of the grains are more regularly arranged than those near the surfaces. They also observed that the interfaces between grains, called grain boundaries, are more disordered. "Understanding the three-dimensional structures of grain boundaries is a major challenge in materials science because they strongly influence the properties of materials," Miao said. "Now we are able to address this challenge by precisely mapping out the three-dimensional atomic positions at the grain boundaries for the first time." The researchers then used the three-dimensional coordinates of the atoms as inputs into quantum mechanics calculations to determine the magnetic properties of the iron-platinum nanoparticle. They observed abrupt changes in magnetic properties at the grain boundaries. "This work makes significant advances in characterization capabilities and expands our fundamental understanding of structure-property relationships, which is expected to find broad applications in physics, chemistry, materials science, nanoscience and nanotechnology," Miao said. In the future, as the researchers continue to determine the three-dimensional atomic coordinates of more materials, they plan to establish an online databank for the physical sciences, analogous to protein databanks for the biological and life sciences. "Researchers can use this databank to study material properties truly on the single-atom level," Miao said. Miao and his team also look forward to applying their method, termed GENFIRE (GENeralized Fourier Iterative Reconstruction), to biological and medical applications. "Our three-dimensional reconstruction algorithm might be useful for imaging like CT scans," Miao said. Compared with conventional reconstruction methods, GENFIRE requires fewer images to compile an accurate three-dimensional structure. That means radiation-sensitive objects could be imaged with lower doses of radiation. This story is adapted from material from UCLA, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.
News Article | March 2, 2017
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Easterly Government Properties, Inc. (NYSE: DEA) (the “Company” or “Easterly”), a fully integrated real estate investment trust (“REIT”) focused primarily on the acquisition, development and management of Class A commercial properties leased to the U.S. Government, today announced its results of operations for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016. “Easterly Government Properties is pleased to have completed another successful year as a public company, marked by very strong fourth quarter and full year 2016 results,” said William C. Trimble III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Easterly Government Properties, Inc. “We continue to season as a public REIT and have provided our shareholders with solid growth since our IPO through the expansion of our focused, mission-critical portfolio: In 2015 and 2016 we gave guidance that Easterly would complete $75 - $125 million in acquisitions annually and we exceeded that with $171 million in 2015 and $157 million in 2016. Our acquisitions to date have met our target acquisition metrics and have been accretive. As we conclude our second successful year as a public company, we have stated $150 - $200 million as an acquisition goal for 2017 and fully expect Easterly to continue to deliver.” Financial Results for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2016 Net income of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per share on a fully diluted basis FFO of $13.9 million, or $0.31 per share on a fully diluted basis FFO, as Adjusted of $13.3 million, or $0.30 per share on a fully diluted basis Financial Results for the Full Year Ended December 31, 2016 Net income of $4.7 million, or $0.11 per share on a fully diluted basis FFO of $51.4 million, or $1.21 per share on a fully diluted basis FFO, as Adjusted of $49.6 million, or $1.17 per share on a fully diluted basis “Easterly continues to hone its definable edge in sourcing, underwriting and servicing assets that are leased to the U.S. Federal Government,” said Darrell Crate, Chairman of Easterly Government Properties, Inc. “We believe by aligning ourselves with the highest quality properties and prudently managing our capital we are well positioned to continue to add meaningful value to shareholders over time.” As of December 31, 2016, the Company wholly owned 43 operating properties in the United States, encompassing approximately 3.1 million square feet in the aggregate, including 40 operating properties that were leased primarily to U.S. Government tenant agencies and three operating properties that were entirely leased to private tenants. As of December 31, 2016, the portfolio had an average age of 12.7 years, was 100% occupied, and had a weighted average remaining lease term of 5.9 years. With approximately 15.7% of leases based on square footage, or 16.6% based on total annualized lease income scheduled to expire before 2019, Easterly expects to continue to provide a highly visible and stable cash-flow stream. In 2016, the Company acquired 7 properties with an aggregate purchase price of $157 million. On February 17, 2016, Easterly acquired an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Albuquerque, NM. The 71,100 square foot building is a 24/7 facility and houses both the Homeland Security Investigation and the Enforcement and Removal Operations directorates. The build-to-suit facility was completed in 2011 and is fully leased to the GSA until 2027. On May 19, 2016, Easterly acquired a National Park Service (NPS) building in Omaha, NE. The 62,772 square foot property serves as the Midwest Regional Headquarters for the NPS and includes a visitor center for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The build-to-suit LEED Gold building was completed in 2004 and is fully leased to the GSA until 2024. On July 1, 2016, Easterly acquired a 96,278 square foot Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) building in Birmingham, AL. This building, which was part of a portfolio acquisition, houses one of 56 field offices of the FBI and has a geographic reach which spans 31 counties in the northern part of the state. The build-to-suit facility was constructed in 2005 and has a number of security upgrades, including security fencing and vehicle barriers. The facility is fully leased to the GSA until 2020. On July 1, 2016, Easterly acquired a 35,616 square foot Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) building in Birmingham, AL. This building, which was part of a portfolio acquisition, houses one of three DEA district offices with the New Orleans Division, which encompasses four states, and is responsible for the oversight of one satellite resident office in Alabama. The build-to-suit property includes 90 foot setbacks, holding cells, and anti-climb perimeter fencing. The building, constructed in 2005, is 100% leased to the GSA until 2020. On July 1, 2016, Easterly acquired a 71,979 square foot Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laboratory in Kansas City, KS. This building, which was part of a portfolio acquisition, serves as the Region 7 Science and Technology Center, a special purpose laboratory where EPA scientists perform chemical and biological analyses. The LEED Gold build-to-suit laboratory was completed in 2003 and is 100% leased to the GSA until 2023. On November 22, 2016, Easterly acquired a 98,184 square foot Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) building in Albany, NY. This building, which was part of a portfolio acquisition, serves as one of the 56 field offices of the FBI and has a geographic reach which spans 32 counties in upstate New York and 14 counties in Vermont. The build-to-suit property, constructed in 1998, has seen a number of security improvements, including reinforced security fencing and hydraulic vehicle barricades, blast resistant envelope and window features, and intrusion detection systems. The property is 100% leased to the GSA until 2018. On December 23, 2016, Easterly acquired the 30,119 square foot Robert K. Rodibaugh United States Bankruptcy Courthouse in South Bend, IN. The courthouse serves the Northern District of Indiana and is responsible for handling bankruptcy cases throughout 11 counties. The property was originally constructed in 1996 and underwent a renovation in 2011 featuring a number of modifications, including bullet proof-glazed windows, wood paneling, enhanced chamber ceiling heights and two passenger elevators. The building is 100% leased to the GSA until 2027. On June 18, 2016, Easterly was awarded the lease for a 65,810 square foot Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory in Alameda, CA. The FDA currently operates 13 field laboratories, located strategically throughout the country. The FDA - Alameda laboratory will become the newest laboratory in the FDA’s portfolio and, upon completion, will be leased to the GSA for a 20-year term. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had total indebtedness of $292.5 million comprised of $212.2 million on its unsecured revolving credit facility and $80.4 million of mortgage debt (excluding unamortized premiums and discounts). At December 31, 2016, Easterly had net debt to total enterprise value of 23.8% and a net debt to annualized quarterly EBITDA ratio of 4.5x. Easterly’s outstanding debt had a weighted average maturity of 4.4 years and a weighted average interest rate of 2.6%. On September 29, 2016 the Company entered into a $100 million unsecured delayed draw term loan which was undrawn as of December 31, 2016. In October, 2016 the Company entered into two forward-starting interest rate swaps to effectively fix the interest rate on future draw-downs of the term loan at 3.12% annually based on the Company’s current leverage ratio. As of December 31, 2016, on a pro forma basis, fully drawing the term loan and repaying a portion of the borrowings on the Company’s revolving credit facility, would extend the Company’s weighted average debt maturity to 6.0 years, in line with its weighted average remaining lease term, and would result in a weighted average interest rate of 2.9%. Additionally, the Company’s total debt would be 56% fixed and 44% variable, after such pro forma adjustments. On February 23, 2017 the Board of Directors of Easterly approved a cash dividend for the fourth quarter of 2016 in the amount of $0.24 per common share. The dividend will be payable March 22, 2017 to shareholders of record on March 7, 2017. On February 3, 2017 the Company acquired a 75,000 square foot Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laboratory located in Sandy, Utah. The build-to-suit facility was constructed in 2003 and is 100% leased to the GSA, under a 20-year initial lease, until 2024. The lease includes two five-year renewal options with fixed rental increases, that, if exercised, would carry the lease term to 2034. The Company’s financial guidance including the impact from all announced and completed acquisitions as well as assumptions for future acquisitions based on management’s expectations, for the 12 months ending December 31, 2017, is as follows: This guidance assumes our previously stated range of $150 - $200 million of acquisitions in 2017, including the recently announced OSHA - Sandy acquisition, and does not contemplate any dispositions. This guidance is forward-looking and reflects management's view of current and future market conditions. The Company's actual results may differ materially from this guidance. This section contains definitions of certain non-GAAP financial measures and other terms that the Company uses in this press release and, where applicable, the reasons why management believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information to investors about the Company’s financial condition and results of operations and the other purposes for which management uses the measures. These measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with GAAP. Additional detail can be found in the Company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K, as well as other documents filed with or furnished to the SEC from time to time. Cash Available for Distribution (CAD) is a non-GAAP financial measure that is not intended to represent cash flow for the period and is not indicative of cash flow provided by operating activities as determined under GAAP. CAD is calculated in accordance with the current NAREIT definition as FFO minus normalized recurring real estate-related expenditures and other non-cash items and nonrecurring expenditures. CAD is presented solely as a supplemental disclosure because the Company believes it provides useful information regarding the Company’s ability to fund its dividends. Because all companies do not calculate CAD the same way, the presentation of CAD may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. EBITDA is calculated as the sum of net income (loss) before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is not intended to represent cash flow for the period, is not presented as an alternative to operating income as an indicator of operating performance, should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP and is not indicative of operating income or cash provided by operating activities as determined under GAAP. EBITDA is presented solely as a supplemental disclosure with respect to liquidity because the Company believes it provides useful information regarding the Company's ability to service or incur debt. Because all companies do not calculate EBITDA the same way, the presentation of EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Funds From Operations (FFO) is defined by NAREIT as net income (loss), calculated in accordance with GAAP, excluding gains or losses from sales of property and impairment losses on depreciable real estate, plus real estate depreciation and amortization, and after adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures. FFO is a widely recognized measure of REIT performance. Although FFO is a non-GAAP financial measure, the Company believes that information regarding FFO is helpful to shareholders and potential investors. Funds From Operations, as Adjusted (FFO, as Adjusted) adjusts FFO to present an alternative measure of our operating performance, which, when applicable, excludes the impact of acquisition costs, straight-line rent, above-/below-market leases, non-cash interest expense and non-cash compensation. By excluding income and expense items such as straight-line rent, above-/below-market leases, non-cash interest expense and non-cash compensation from FFO, as Adjusted, the Company believes it provides useful information as these items have no cash impact. In addition, by excluding acquisition related costs the Company believes FFO, as Adjusted provides useful information that is comparable across periods and more accurately reflects the operating performance of the Company’s properties. Fully diluted basis assumes the exchange of all outstanding common units representing limited partnership interests in the Company’s operating partnership, or common units, the full vesting of all shares of restricted stock units, and the exchange of all earned and vested LTIP units in the Company’s operating partnership for shares of common stock on a one-for-one basis, which is not the same as the meaning of “fully diluted” under GAAP. Fully diluted basis does not include outstanding LTIP units in the Company’s operating partnership that are subject to performance criteria that have not yet been met. The Company will host a webcast and conference call at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time on March 2, 2017 to review the fourth quarter and full year 2016 performance, discuss recent events and conduct a question-and-answer session. The number to call is 1-877-705-6003 (domestic) and 1-201-493-6725 (international). A live webcast will be available in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website. A replay of the conference call will be available through March 16, 2016 by dialing 844-512-2921 (domestic) and 412-317-6671 (international) and entering the passcode 13654585. Please note that the full text of the press release and supplemental information package are available through the Company’s website at ir.easterlyreit.com. Easterly Government Properties, Inc. (NYSE:DEA) is based in Washington, D.C., and focuses primarily on the acquisition, development and management of Class A commercial properties that are leased to the U.S. Government. Easterly’s experienced management team brings specialized insight into the strategy and needs of mission-critical U.S. Government agencies for properties leased primarily through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). For further information on the company and its properties, please visit www.easterlyreit.com. We make statements in this press release that are considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which are usually identified by the use of words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “will,” and variations of such words or similar expressions and include our guidance with respect to Net income (loss) and FFO per share on a fully diluted basis. We intend these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are including this statement in this press release for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. Although we believe that our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects as reflected in or suggested by those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations or strategies will be attained or achieved. Furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a variety of risks and factors that are beyond our control including, without limitation: risks associated with our dependence on the U.S. Government and its agencies for substantially all of our revenues; risks associated with ownership and development of real estate; decreased rental rates or increased vacancy rates; loss of key personnel; general volatility of the capital and credit markets and the market price of our common stock; the risk we may lose one or more major tenants; difficulties in completing and successfully integrating acquisitions; failure of acquisitions or development projects to occur at anticipated levels or to yield anticipated results; risks associated with actual or threatened terrorist attacks; intense competition in the real estate market that may limit our ability to attract or retain tenants or re-lease space; insufficient amounts of insurance or exposure to events that are either uninsured or underinsured; uncertainties and risks related to adverse weather conditions, natural disasters and climate change; exposure to liability relating to environmental and health and safety matters; limited ability to dispose of assets because of the relative illiquidity of real estate investments and the nature of our assets; exposure to litigation or other claims; risks associated with breaches of our data security; risks associated with our indebtedness; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the “Risk Factors” section of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or about March 2, 2017. In addition, our anticipated qualification as a real estate investment trust involves the application of highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the Code, and depends on our ability to meet the various requirements imposed by the Code through actual operating results, distribution levels and diversity of stock ownership. We assume no obligation to update publicly any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Science And Technology Center | Date: 2013-09-17
A capsule for encapsulating a tablet, includes two capsule portions of equal sizes and dimensions, each containing a moisture content of 12 to 16% and having a plurality of ridges projecting inwardly from the inner circumference of the respective capsule portions and extending along the inner circumference of the respective capsule portions in radially spaced apart relationship with one another and defining fluid flow passages between the ridges. The outline defined by the tips of the ridges correspond to the outer surface of the tablet to provide an interference fit between the ridges and the tablet when the capsule portions are push fitted over the tablet from the ends of the tablet in an abutting but not overlapping relationship with each other at ambient conditions.
News Article | March 14, 2016
In a breakthrough for energy-efficient computing, UC Berkeley engineers have shown for the first time that magnetic chips can actually operate at the lowest fundamental energy dissipation theoretically possible under the laws of thermodynamics. The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, mean that dramatic reductions in power consumption are possible — down to as little as one-millionth the amount of energy per operation used by transistors in modern computers. This is critical for mobile devices, which demand powerful processors that can run for a day or more on small, lightweight batteries. On a larger, industrial scale, as computing increasingly moves into “the cloud,” the electricity demands of the giant cloud data centers are multiplying, collectively taking an increasing share of the country’s — and world’s — electrical grid. “We wanted to know how small we could shrink the amount of energy needed for computing,” said senior author Jeffrey Bokor, a UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “The biggest challenge in designing computers and, in fact, all our electronics today is reducing their energy consumption.” Lowering energy use is a relatively recent shift in focus in chip manufacturing after decades of emphasis on packing greater numbers of increasingly tiny and faster transistors onto chips. “Making transistors go faster was requiring too much energy,” said Bokor, who is also the deputy director the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science, a Science and Technology Center at UC Berkeley funded by the National Science Foundation. “The chips were getting so hot, they’d just melt.” Researchers have been turning to alternatives to conventional transistors, which currently rely upon the movement of electrons to switch between 0s and 1s. Partly because of electrical resistance, it takes a fair amount of energy to ensure that the signal between the two states is clear and reliably distinguishable, and this results in excess heat. Magnetic computing emerged as a promising candidate because the magnetic bits can be differentiated by direction, and it takes just as much energy to get the magnet to point left as it does to point right. “These are two equal energy states, so we don’t throw energy away creating a high and low energy,” said Bokor. Bokor teamed up with UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Jeongmin Hong, UC Berkeley graduate student Brian Lambson and Scott Dhuey at the Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, where the nanomagnets used in the study were fabricated. They experimentally tested and confirmed the Landauer limit, named after IBM Research Lab’s Rolf Landauer, who in 1961 found that in any computer, each single bit operation must expend an absolute minimum amount of energy. Landauer’s discovery is based on the second law of thermodynamics, which states that, as any physical system is transformed, going from a state of higher concentration to lower concentration, it gets increasingly disordered. That loss of order is called entropy, and it comes off as waste heat. Landauer developed a formula to calculate this lowest limit of energy required for a computer operation. The result depends on the temperature of the computer; at room temperature, the limit amounts to about 3 zeptojoules, or one-hundredth the energy given up by a single atom when it emits one photon of light. The UC Berkeley team used an innovative technique to measure the tiny amount of energy dissipation that resulted when they flipped a nanomagnetic bit. The researchers used a laser probe to carefully follow the direction that the magnet was pointing as an external magnetic field was used to rotate the magnet from “up” to “down” or vice versa. They determined that it only took 15 millielectron volts of energy — the equivalent of 3 zeptojoules — to flip a magnetic bit at room temperature, effectively demonstrating the Landauer limit. This is the first time that a practical memory bit could be manipulated and observed under conditions that would allow the Landauer limit to be reached, the authors said. Bokor and his team published a paper in 2011 that said this could theoretically be done, but it had not been demonstrated until now. While this paper is a proof of principle, he noted that putting such chips into practical production will take more time. But the authors noted in the paper that “the significance of this result is that today’s computers are far from the fundamental limit and that future dramatic reductions in power consumption are possible.” The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy supported this research.
News Article | April 6, 2016
CAMBRIDGE, MA — Intel and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced at the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo that they are co-developing new tools, and advancing fundamental capabilities, so large genomic workflows can run at cloud scale. Broad Institute also announced collaborations with cloud providers to enable cloud-based access to its Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) software package. This is expected to expand access to the GATK Best Practices pipeline. The new tools Broad is developing with Intel aim to simplify the execution of large genomic workflows such as GATK, and to improve the storage, scalability, and processing of genomic data. This has the potential to not only speed variant detection and biomarker discovery, but enable discoveries that would not have been detected with smaller cohorts. Broad’s workflow execution engine, called “Cromwell,” is designed to launch genomic pipelines on private or public clouds in a portable and reproducible manner. Broad is working with Intel to extend Cromwell’s capabilities to support multiple input languages and execute on multiple back ends simultaneously, enabling researchers to run jobs anywhere. This integrated workflow engine has built-in intelligence capable of finding the optimal way to execute tasks, the most appropriate hardware resources to run those tasks on, and methods to avoid redundant steps. “Orchestrating genomic workflows at cloud scale is complex,” said Dr. Eric Banks, Senior Director of Data Sciences and Data Engineering at Broad and a creator of the GATK software package. “We wanted to simplify the execution of common genomic data types like reads and variants and to create an environment that allows any researcher to do this at scale in an easy-to-use way.” Another area of joint innovation is in the processing and storing of genomic variant datasets, which often consist of large, sparse data matrices. Gene sequence variation data is commonly stored as text files for bioinformatics. The declining cost of DNA sequencing has driven an increase in the volume of genomic data sets that researchers want to incorporate, making it increasingly difficult to jointly analyze large volumes of data from text files. Large scale reads and writes of variant call data, joint genotyping, or variant recalibration require next-generation databases that are built and optimized for genomic data. Broad and Intel are collaborating on a faster, more flexible, and scalable solution. ‘GenomicsDB’ is a novel way to store vast amounts of patient variant data and to perform fast processing with unprecedented scalability. Built and optimized for the management of genomic variant data, GenomicsDB runs on top of an array database system optimized for sparse data called ‘TileDB.’ TileDB was developed by MIT and Intel researchers working at the Intel Science and Technology Center for Big Data, which is based at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. GenomicsDB is now used in the Broad’s production pipeline running on an Intel Xeon processor based cloud environment to perform joint genotyping. “The time it now takes to perform the variant discovery process went from eight days to 18 hours,” Banks said. “However, that’s with 100 whole genomes. We routinely process projects with thousands of samples, so that speedup itself is truly transformative. We recently needed to abandon our attempt to run variant discovery on an eight thousand sample project, because we estimated it would take 90 days without GenomicsDB. With GenomicsDB, however, it should take under a week. This means we can say ‘yes’ to our researchers far more often, on far more ambitious projects.” “With the integration of these two tools into the genomic pipeline that we are running on a cloud environment, the orchestration and execution of the workflow is not only simplified but significantly accelerated,” said Ben Neale, an institute member at the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and the Broad’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics. “We are excited that the research community will be able to start testing GenomicsDB and Cromwell.” Intel is releasing TileDB and GenomicsDB as open source tools. Engineers building the ‘Collaborative Cancer Cloud,’ a precision medicine network including Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) are already using these tools across their collective data sets. Long-term goals are to expand upon these tools to enable joint genotyping with other large genomic research centers in a federated and secure model, regardless of the location of data. Broad will continue to work with Intel on next-generation computing technologies that address the size, speed, security and scalability challenges associated with large scale genomic sequencing data and analytics. “The progress that we’re seeing in our development work with Broad represents another step in the moonshot goal of taming cancer and other maladies,” said Eric Dishman, Intel Vice President, Health and Life Sciences. “Harnessing and analyzing massive amounts of genomic data may eventually be a key factor in enabling people around the world to live longer, healthier lives.”