PALO ALTO, Calif.--The Palo Alto Research Center was built here by Xerox in the early 1970s and was chartered with creating information architecture to serve as a West Coast center of research and development for the company.
Linda Jacobson, PARC's communications and marketing manager, recently showed CNET News around the now-independent facility where laser printing and Ethernet networking--among many other innovations--got their start.
Mountain View, Calif.-based SolFocus, whose photovoltaic concentrator is shown here, incubated at PARC. In addition to research and development for Xerox, PARC licenses patents and invests in early stage start-ups that it sees as commercially viable, Jacobson said.
Scientists at PARC follow their own interests and expertise in developing new technologies. The labs play host to all kinds of research work in fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, intelligent systems, ethnography, anthropology, and psychology, Jacobson said.
The labs at PARC are capable of producing almost any piece of machinery or tool right in the building. This allows PARC to keep work secret and secure, as much of the research being done has not yet been patented, Jacobson said.
Research conducted here has had a huge impact on modern computing. PARC created the world's first Ethernet cable, shown here, in addition to innovations in modern PC graphical user interface, ubiquitous computing, and very-large-scale integration.