Lawyers, Insurance And Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars are drawing semiconductor companies into legal and regulatory issues for the first time, adding a new level of scrutiny on cutting-edge chip technology. It also opens up a whole new field for legal interpretation, case law, and regulation. While most liability cases in the past never crossed below the system vendor/supplier level, that could change with autonomous vehic... » read more

Unintended Patent Consequences

Section 101 of the U.S. patent law limits the types of things for which patent protection can be sought. It says: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." In 2012, the Supreme Court made what they t... » read more

When Cryptographers Disagree

Six of the world's leading cryptography experts sat down this week to explore the most pressing issues in security. They took up topics ranging from whether Apple should facilitate the FBI's access to a known terrorist's iPhone, to what will become the next important cryptography algorithm. Among them: Ronald Rivest, an Institute Professor at MIT; Adi Shamir, co-inventor of the RSA algorithm... » read more

New IP Risks

The world is being flooded with Internet-enabled devices, from smart toothbrushes to smart appliances to smart aircraft, and everything in between. Some of this is expected to be connected to the Internet, and some has been for quite some time. But devices such as smart toothbrushes and smart socks pose a whole new challenge. The issue is that even low-end chips need some sort of IP, but if ... » read more

Laws Don’t Apply Anymore

One of the nifty things about technology is that it's always new and always being refreshed. That creates problems, though. The speed with which technology is overhauled or changed out is so much faster than the social and legal infrastructure built to support and protect the people buying it, that the two worlds are now years, if not decades, out of sync. The first whiff of this came in 198... » read more

The Danger of Using Patents

As I have written about recently, [getkc id="30" kc_name="emulation"] is a hot topic for EDA and the number and length of lawsuits related to the technology is almost overwhelming. The latest phase has just concluded with a summary judgment against [getentity id="22035" e_name="Synopsys"] on Jan. 20. It all started in late 2012 when Synopsys, which had just acquired [getentity id="22738" e_nam... » read more

Legal Battlefield In Emulation

Given the rate of research and development within the EDA industry, you might expect it to be a highly litigious industry, but apart from theft claims, there have not been that many law suits brought to bear – except in the area of [getkc id="30" comment="emulation"]. Emulation has, since its early days in the early 1990s, always been a legal battlefield, and the hostilities continue to this ... » read more

Plugging Information Leaks

A former SanDisk employee was arrested on suspicion of leaking proprietary information about Toshiba’s semiconductor memory to SK Hynix. What makes this particularly interesting is SanDisk is one of Toshiba’s current business partners. The two companies have a joint venture in NAND flash, which competes with South Korea’s SK Hynix. Nihon Keizai Shimbun broke the story last month. Sugi... » read more

Where Is 2.5D?

After nearly five years of concentrated research, development, test chips and characterization, 2.5D remains a possibility for many companies but a reality for very few. So what’s taking so long and why hasn’t all of this hype turned into production runs instead of test chips? Semiconductor Engineering spent the past two months interviewing dozens of people on this subject, from chipmakers ... » read more