Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
Internet and Intellectual Property Clash at CES
Recent events at the Consumer Electronics Show highlight the divide between intellectual property creators and the Internet giants that need them.
If you mention the term “intellectual property” (IP) in connection with the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), most folks will assume you’re referring to Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). As most users of the Internet know, the technology community has made considerable efforts to stop Hollywood-backed proposed copyright bills SOPA and Protect IP. As a result, passage of these bills in their present form looks dim.
As a writer – a content creator – in the business of reporting on technology, I have mixed feelings about these bills. But I strongly disagree with Silicon Valley opponents like John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation that “intellectual property is theft.” (see, “Halt the Silicon Valley Histrionics”)
How does the world of semiconductor IP fit into the current Internet piracy concerns? In the world of semiconductor IP – as opposed to content copyright IP – the dangers come from both outright theft by emerging countries to the communization “ghetto” mindset caused by consumers.
Yet amidst these challenges, semiconductor IP creators continue to push forward. They have little choice, as the ever increasing complexity of today’s system-on-chip (SoC) development mandates the technical, cost and time benefits of design reuse.
In a recent blog, Pallab Chatterjee revealed the strategic direction of many semiconductor IP providers at CES. While peripheral and interface IP continued to be major trends, growing evidence confirmed the rise of subsystem blocks.
“A change this year was the large number of IP blocks that were incorporated in ASSPs. Companies such as Nvidia, Broadcom, Samsung, Qualcomm and Marvell were showing their own versions of these IP blocks, now configured as systems under the larger scope of an architectural license for these core processors.”
Content copyright and semiconductor IP creators may make strange bedfellows, but both feel the financial and technical pain caused by the theft of their hard work. I wonder if Internet giants like Google and Wikipedia – groups that exist on the content and electronic creations of others – feel this pain as well.