Problems with patents are nothing new in the high-tech industry. In addition to the public problems—infringement suits, patent challenges, and so on—there is a long history of companies using patents to get their way at the negotiating table.
All of this would be fine except that the US patent system is broken. Among other problems, it's far too easy to get a rotten patent, and far too hard to challenge an existing one. As a result, the patent system gives a strong advantage to big corporations who can afford to fight over a patent.
Most patents are issued in the US, but the rest of the world is hardly free from patent problems. China, for example, has a well-deserved reputation for being weak on intellectual property issues. It's the reverse of the situation in the US: the Chinese system actually puts big multinationals at a disadvantage.
In my opinion, none of this will be solved until major technology companies start taking a stand. Yes, many companies gripe about IP problems in China. And yes, there are groups fighting against bogus patents. But I don't know of any leaders who are attacking both problems. Have I overlooked them? If so, go to the forum to let me know who they are.
Blog Make a Frequency Plan Tom Burke 17 comments When designing a printed circuit board, you should develop a frequency plan, something that can be easily overlooked. A frequency plan should be one of your first steps ...
The world of DSP has undergone a massive shift, from the use of well-defined, math-oriented architectures to a more holistic approach that looks at the problem and selects any combination of available architectures, DSP, RISC or FPGA, to solve it. We've changed our approach too, to help you navigate these new waters more effectively.
While the new multicore system on chip (SoC) signal-processing architecture announced by Texas Instruments this week at Mobile World Congress hits all the right notes with respect to what's needed in next-generation basestation designs, it rings a bit hollow given how sketchy the architectural details remain when contrasted with more 'real' announcements from the likes of Freescale.
In this fourth installment of TI's 2020 Vision series, Senior Fellow Bill Witowsky (retired) explains why the inherent functionality of future high-performance SoCs will be defined by software in order to facilitate the repurposing required to offset their development costs.
To get around the dynamic range issues of current microphone pickups, Schwartz Engineering and Design has devised a laser-based pickup that detects voice-induced 'distortions' in a flowing stream of smoke and that then relies on proprietary digital signal processing to translate those distortions into audio. And it works!