Data, Privacy And The IoT


The keynotes at this year's Design Automation Conference concentrated on the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"] (IoT). All of the speakers came from a hardware background, and thus all saw the benefits of being close to the system that is generating the data, providing the analytics, and producing some kind of action that provides the economic benefit. The alternative view comes f... » read more

What Autonomy Level Is Your Car?


Over the past couple of months, you've probably heard semiconductor industry executives dropping numbers about the levels of autonomy for vehicles. And despite Tesla's highly touted autonomous capabilities, current models are just a Level 2. Or maybe it's a Level 3. If these numbered levels were meant to lessen the confusion, it's not clear the plan is working. Until last September, there we... » read more

Era Of 3D Printing Begins


3D printing has always been an interesting side technology. It's now about to become a mainstream technology. Until recently, the majority of applications for this technology have been limited for several reasons. First, there simply isn't enough history to bet the bank on commercial manufacturing using 3D printers. The initial patent for fused deposition modeling was issued in 1986, but ... » read more

IP Liability Changes Ahead?


Patent lawyers are keeping close tabs on a biotech patent infringement case that went before the Supreme Court this week because it could have a significant impact on IP content in other markets, including semiconductors. On Tuesday, attorneys for Life Technologies Corp. and Promega Corp., presented arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court involving an enzyme for amplifying DNA analysis. For ... » read more

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

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