Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
IP Tech Bits – Bold Fiction, Wireless Power, Games, Unpatentable Processes and FPGA in Broadcast
Here’s a short list of recent news stories that show the reach of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) across many industries.
1. Why We Need Big, Bold Science Fiction
Are you looking for a way to inspire the next generation of science and engineering students? This Popular Mechanics story reminds us why we need inspiring science fiction, not just tales of dystopias like the Hunger Games. Unfortunately, the author sees space as the primary background for this big, bold tales while neglecting the realms of nano- and quantum-technologies. Still, it is a good read.
2. Wireless power system for mobile electronics
Scientists at Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Hermsdorf have succeeded in the wireless transmission of power to electronics around the body. Several months ago, I reported on Intel’s and TI’s wireless power charging subsystems. Any such technology will require additional analog and power IP in the support chips.
3. Should Smart People Care About Video Games?
At first glance, there seems to be no direct correlation between this article and semiconductor IP technology until you think about the future trend in games for 3D graphics, augmented reality and more sensory experiences. To realize these trends, designers will need to add much more analog and graphic IP from vendors like Imagination Technology, ARM, AMD, nVidia and others.
4. Natural Processes are Unpatentable – Finally
The Supreme Court ruled that natural processes are not patentable. This decision was aimed at drug manufactures, but might have implications to new smart sensor algorithms that are flourishing in the mobile chip (e.g., gaming) and embedded systems industries.
5. FPGA IP Helps Kill Cable
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has designed a prototype camera-back device that enables very high-speed, broadcast grade video transmissions over internet-protocol based networks. The prototype replaces a mess of other cable interfaces with a single network cable (fiber or Cat6) by using a Xilinx FPGA – and undoubtedly a lot of interface IP. Check out the number of connections on this box!
Who would have known that the BBC has an R&D branch that – among many other things – helps technology transfer of patents and intellectual property to other industries.