TechInsights | Date: 2016-12-14
There is provided a method, system and computer program product to delayer a layer of a sample, the layer comprising one or more materials, in an ion beam mill by adjusting one or more operating parameters of the ion beam mill and selectively removing each of the one or more materials at their respective predetermined rates. There is also provided a method and system for obtaining rate of removal of a material from a sample in an ion beam mill.
News Article | November 7, 2016
Technology companies like to cite computer scientist Alan Kay’s famous quote that “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” These days, Google’s motto could be, “People who are really serious about AI should make their own hardware—and sell it at a premium.” That appears to be the strategy behind the Pixel, the first Google-designed smartphone, which was released on October 20. Prior to the Pixel, Google offered a series of Nexus-branded smartphones that it developed with smartphone makers and sold online, at prices that essentially covered its costs. But while the Nexus phones supported the company’s primary business of online advertising by getting more people to use Google services, the Pixel seems to be geared toward monetizing Google’s AI initiatives, specifically its efforts to build a virtual assistant that will act as a user’s “own personal Google” and provide a consistent experience across an entire line of Google-designed gadgets. The move prepares Google for a world of conversational interfaces in which consumers will acquire information by speaking to virtual assistants embedded in a range of electronic devices. As such, the Pixel is a test of Google’s technological bets on these interfaces and the AI that powers them, as well as the company’s ability to deeply integrate its services into hardware, create a family of gadgets that will form a complementary ecosystem, and make money off something other than online ads. Its outcome will show whether Google can evolve and continue its domination in search. In the hypercompetitive smartphone market, the only way to reap significant profits is to create a premium phone and sell it at a premium price. So Google selected top-of-the-line parts for the Pixel and is selling the device for $649, the same starting price as Apple’s iPhone 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy S7. (A 5.5-inch version of the Pixel, called the Pixel XL, costs $769, which is the same as the iPhone 7 Plus.) Third-party analyses indicate that Google is making a generous margin on the phone. IHS Markit, a London-based market research firm, estimates that the Pixel XL’s material and manufacturing cost is $285.75, based on an examination of its internal components. Chipworks, a division of the technical analysis firm TechInsights, gives an estimate of around $220, but it didn’t include as many components or manufacturing costs in its evaluation as IHS did, according to analyst Dick James. These figures are speculative and don’t reflect major expenses such as R&D, patent licensing, and marketing. But they are the most accurate data available in the absence of official information from Google. And they suggest that the Pixel has a gross profit margin only slightly smaller than that of the iPhone 7, which is the world’s most profitable smartphone (along with the iPhone 7 Plus). Another way to gauge how much Google is making off the Pixel is to compare the phone—and its retail price—to a phone with similar hardware. James, the Chipworks analyst, has identified at least twelve common components between the Pixel XL and the Mi 5s from the Chinese startup Xiaomi, ranging from their Qualcomm processor to their primary camera (a 12 megapixel model from Sony). Yet the international version of the Mi 5s costs $250 less than the Pixel XL. The Pixel's profit margin is a big jump up from what Google made on its Nexus phones and will help the company pursue high-end hardware seriously, which is the only sustainable business model in this tough market, says IHS Markit analyst Wayne Lam. Google is differentiating the Pixel with its virtual helper and virtual reality software, which require significant investments in AI and machine learning. Indeed, burgeoning consumer interest in virtual assistants and VR is one reason why Google is revamping its smartphone strategy. The maturation of the smartphone industry is another. Microsoft and BlackBerry’s slumping smartphone businesses have pitted Google and Apple against each other for market dominance. As a result, Google believes it needs a single Android phone that can truly take on the iPhone, and matching the Pixel’s price with the iPhone’s is the company’s way of telling consumers the devices are comparable. The other relevant change in the smartphone market is that Samsung is the only company that currently manages to make money selling premium Android phones (in spite of its Galaxy Note 7 debacle). Several years ago, Google would have hesitated to release a pricy smartphone under its own brand for fear of alienating its many Android partners. But Samsung’s control of the high-end Android phone market has concerned Google for some time and it likely hopes that the Pixel will diminish this dominance. So far, the Pixel is selling more briskly than Google expected. It’s too early to gauge whether it will be a success, but it does show how Google intends to compete in an AI-first world.
News Article | February 21, 2017
Company is selected by Microsoft to provide its clients with help in identifying patents of value from the Azure portfolio OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - Feb 21, 2017) - TechInsights, a trusted patent and technology partner to the world's largest and most successful companies, revealed the findings of its independent evaluation of the recently launched Microsoft Azure IP Advantage portfolio. Overall, the company found that the portfolio surpasses rivals in the Cloud technology market and reflects the same strength, diversity and quality that Microsoft is known for. Microsoft announced the Azure IP Advantage program to help provide Cloud customers with comprehensive protection against intellectual property risks. "Microsoft Azure IP Advantage contains patents that are both promising for market use and that were invented early in technology segments relative to five major Cloud market competitors," said Ian MacLean, Vice President, Intellectual Property Services at TechInsights. "Our assessment shows that the portfolio will be a valuable resource to Azure customers seeking to ensure IP protection in the rapidly growing and highly competitive market of Cloud applications." TechInsights was given early access to approximately 7,500 patent publications, including over 4,100 United States grants and 100 United States applications, which were among those made available to Microsoft's customers via the Azure IP Advantage program. Using its IP analytics capabilities, the company evaluated important metrics of the portfolio and compared it to a selection of Microsoft's leading competitors to ensure the portfolio will be an effective counter-assertion resource for Microsoft Azure clients. TechInsights focused on the portfolio's composition, patent age, forward references, innovation, global coverage, and likelihood of use. The "TechInsights Evaluation: Microsoft Azure IP Advantage Executive Summary" is now available for download. For assistance with identifying patents from the Azure IP Advantage portfolio, please contact TechInsights. If you require defensive assistance, learn more about TechInsights' services. TechInsights - Patent and Technology Analysts For over 25 years TechInsights has been a trusted patent and technology partner to the world's largest and most successful companies including 37 of the top 50 U.S. patent holders. By revealing the innovation others can't inside the broadest range of advanced technology products, we prove patent value and enable business leaders to make the best, fact-based IP and technology investment decisions. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, TechInsights' Patent and Technology Analysts deliver specialized products and services from global offices.
News Article | October 28, 2016
With a majority of large Australian businesses either on the way to implementing an enterprise mobility strategy or having one already in place, a recent survey says that attention is being turned to the next phase of extracting the most from the mobile environment: Apps. The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne and sponsored by CA Technologies, surveyed 1,300 senior IT decision makers across 21 countries, and included 75 IT decision makers in Australia from organisations with revenues of AU$100 million or more. Of the Australian respondents to the survey, 65 percent have an enterprise mobility strategy in place or plan to, while 42 percent said that they believe they could do more in the mobility space. In line with such moves, spending on mobility from the IT department is slated to increase by 54 percent over the next three years, while spending from other business lines on mobility will increase even more, coming in at 60 percent. The survey found that Australian businesses are changing their focus from device deployments to app creation: 66 percent of local respondents said that mobile apps for customers and employees is their main enterprise priority; BYOD and internal device management came in at 34 percent. The biggest challenge in app development is creating apps for different platforms simultaneously, which came in at 41 percent, followed by gaining support from departmental stakeholders, ot 37 percent, and security and privacy concerns, at 33 percent. Driving the enterprise mobility push has been increased demand from customers, and a need to improve the customer experience, the survey found. The results said that organisations that successfully implemented a mobility strategy have seen 19 to 31 percent improvement in employee retention, revenue, time to market, customer experience, employee productivity, and costs. Australia has seen a 30 percent increase in employee retention, which was the highest across the Asia-Pacific region, as was the 48 percent of local businesses that changed the organisation hierarchy to cater for mobile roles and responsibilities. "Unless organisations adopt effective and integrated mobile device management technology, the mobile devices quickly become mobile paperweights," said Vic Mankotia, vice president of solution strategy, APJ, CA Technologies. "Australian organisations need to break away from their current siloed approach to mobility and choose one that addresses technology convergence and evolution and focuses on the end-user experience to deliver higher-quality business services faster than ever before." The survey, TechInsights Report: Enterprise Mobility – It's All About the Apps, was conducted between May and July this year.
TechInsights | Date: 2016-06-06
Methods and systems for tracing circuitry on integrated circuits using focused ion beam based imaging techniques. A first component or node on an integrated circuit is coupled to a second component or node on the same integrated circuit. After an external bias is applied to the first component or node, a focused ion beam is applied to the integrated circuit and an image is taken using an electron detector. The features or components on the integrated circuit which are coupled to the second component or node will show up in high contrast on the resulting image. The method may also involve applying a bias to a node or component and then using focused ion beam imaging techniques (through an electron detector) to arrive at an image of the integrated circuit. Components coupled to the node will appear in high contrast in the resulting image.
TechInsights | Date: 2015-07-28
Described are various embodiments of methods and systems for tracing circuitry on integrated circuits using focused ion beam based imaging techniques. In one such embodiment, a method is provide for identifying functional componentry associated with a switchable power interface on an integrated circuit, wherein the switchable power interface comprises a source and a drain with a control switch therebetween, said control switch being controllable by a control signal during operation of the integrated circuit. The method comprises connecting, with deposited conductive material, the source and the drain; applying an external voltage bias to a power input of the switchable power interface via one of the source and the drain; exposing the integrated circuit to a focused ion beam; and gathering an image of the integrated circuit during exposure to determine areas of high contrast indicating functional componentry in operative connection with the switchable power interface.
News Article | September 28, 2015
The parts to make a midrange Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6S smartphone cost $245, according to a teardown analysis by Teardown.com, a unit of TechInsights. By comparison, the bill of materials for last year's model, the iPhone 6, cost $228.50, the company said in a blog post Monday. The most expensive components of the 64-gigabyte iPhone 6S are the applications and baseband processors ($58.50) and display technology ($42.50), Teardown.com said. Apple's move to 2 gigabytes of memory for the iPhone 6S, from 1 GB for the iPhone 6, is one example of higher component costs. The addition of a pressure-sensitive touchscreen, branded 3D Touch; better cameras; and a redesigned 7000 series aluminum case also boosted the cost of the device, Teardown.com said. Companies with components in the iPhone 6S include Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) with the baseband processor, radio-frequency and power-management chips; Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS) with the audio codec; and InvenSense (NYSE:INVN) with the gyroscope and accelerometer. The 64GB iPhone 6S costs $749 when paid in full. Teardown costs do not include manufacturing, shipping, marketing, research and development, and other costs. In a report ahead of the iPhone 6S release last Friday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated that the costs of the parts in a 64GB iPhone 6S would be $234. On Monday, Apple said it had sold a record 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets over the weekend.
News Article | May 16, 2014
Google Glass has a new leader to oversee the search giant's big push into wearable tech with high-profile eyewear that can do everything from snapping photos to serving up directions. Ivy Ross has been appointed head of Google Glass, the search company announced Friday. Ross, who will start in her new position on Monday, previously served as chief marketing officer at Art.com, the Web's largest retailer of wall art. Ross issued an open letter Friday morning, announcing her plans to join Google at the start of next week. In it, she posed a question that she thinks Glass can answer: "Can technology be something that frees us up and keeps us in the moment, rather than taking us out of it?" Earlier this week, Google announced that its $1,500 Glass headsets are going on sale to the public at large in the US. Over the last year or so, Google Glass Explorer Edition had been available primarily to a more limited number of developers and other select groups. A recent examination of Google Glass by TechInsights' Teardown.com suggests that the cost of the headset's components may amount to a mere $80. Ross has worked at fashion giants over the years, including executive positions at Calvin Klein, Coach, and Gap. She said her work has always stood "at the intersection of design and marketing." In her letter, Ross didn't say what she has planned for Glass. But given her pedigree, one can easily expect to see Google position the device as a fashionable product with cutting-edge technology built in. CNET has contacted Google for more about Ross' appointment. We will update this story when we have additional information.
News Article | July 13, 2015
Receive press releases from The Knowledge Group: By Email New York, NY, July 13, 2015 --( For more information, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/event_name/effective-patent-portfolio-management-live-webcast/ About Mike McLean Mike McLean, SVP, Intellectual Property Service at TechInsights, leads a group of patent professionals who help technology organizations make effective decisions about IP investments and to maximize the returns on those investments. TechInsights’ approach to the patent portfolio services leverages an interdisciplinary, in-house engineering team, experienced in mapping technology to patent claims and understanding cross-market applicability, to uncover and support patent value. Mr. McLean has established a center of excellence around patent portfolio management and patent assessment at TechInsights. This practice enables data-driven decision making and effective identification of patent assets for enforcement or sale, provides guidance on invention selection and patent acquisition programs, and ensures the alignment of patent portfolios with business strategy. In 2015, Mr. McLean was again named to the IAM Strategy 300 list of the world’s leading IP strategists. About TechInsights TechInsights is an intellectual property services business that works with clients to maximize the value of their patent assets. We are the global leader in technical analysis, patent portfolio services and patent brokerage. Many of the world’s leading technology companies rely on our analyses to manage their patent portfolios effectively. TechInsights has been studying technology and helping patent owners worldwide for over 25 years. An experienced team of technology analysts and patent specialists leverage TechInsights’ capabilities and research library to provide an unparalleled level of value to clients. Learn more at www.techinsights.com Event Synopsis: A strongly managed patent portfolio can make a significant improvement to a company’s performance. However, in most companies only 3-5% of any portfolio is actually used. Having a good plan for the management, development and use of your portfolio can help realise more of the portfolio’s value. However this requires coherent business thinking between technology, legal and business functions. In this two-hour live webcast, a panel of distinguished IP strategists assembled by The Knowledge Group will offer the audience with an in-depth discussion of how to improve a company’s bottom line through effective portfolio management. The panel will review portfolio management fundamentals as well as discuss the impact of current patent issues on portfolio strategy. The speakers will also provide the audience with best practices and practicalities in effective and efficient patent portfolio management. Key topics include: − Aligning a patent portfolio with business objectives − How to evaluate a portfolio’s strengths and weaknesses − Organising and structuring a portfolio − Portfolio metrics − Addressing portfolio deficiencies − Managing portfolio expenses − Recent regulatory developments and their impact on portfolio management About The Knowledge Group, LLC/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series The Knowledge Group, LLC was established with the mission to produce unbiased, objective, and educational live webinars that examine industry trends and regulatory changes from a variety of different perspectives. The goal is to deliver a unique multilevel analysis of an important issue affecting business in a highly focused format. To contact or register for an event, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/ New York, NY, July 13, 2015 --( PR.com )-- The Knowledge Group, the leading producer of regulatory focused webcasts, has announced today that Mike Mclean, SVP, Intellectual Property Service, TechInsights will speak at the Knowledge Group’s webcast entitled: “Effective Patent Portfolio Management.” This webinar is scheduled for October 20, 2015 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm (ET).For more information, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/event_name/effective-patent-portfolio-management-live-webcast/About Mike McLeanMike McLean, SVP, Intellectual Property Service at TechInsights, leads a group of patent professionals who help technology organizations make effective decisions about IP investments and to maximize the returns on those investments. TechInsights’ approach to the patent portfolio services leverages an interdisciplinary, in-house engineering team, experienced in mapping technology to patent claims and understanding cross-market applicability, to uncover and support patent value.Mr. McLean has established a center of excellence around patent portfolio management and patent assessment at TechInsights. This practice enables data-driven decision making and effective identification of patent assets for enforcement or sale, provides guidance on invention selection and patent acquisition programs, and ensures the alignment of patent portfolios with business strategy. In 2015, Mr. McLean was again named to the IAM Strategy 300 list of the world’s leading IP strategists.About TechInsightsTechInsights is an intellectual property services business that works with clients to maximize the value of their patent assets. We are the global leader in technical analysis, patent portfolio services and patent brokerage. Many of the world’s leading technology companies rely on our analyses to manage their patent portfolios effectively.TechInsights has been studying technology and helping patent owners worldwide for over 25 years. An experienced team of technology analysts and patent specialists leverage TechInsights’ capabilities and research library to provide an unparalleled level of value to clients. Learn more at www.techinsights.comEvent Synopsis:A strongly managed patent portfolio can make a significant improvement to a company’s performance. However, in most companies only 3-5% of any portfolio is actually used. Having a good plan for the management, development and use of your portfolio can help realise more of the portfolio’s value. However this requires coherent business thinking between technology, legal and business functions.In this two-hour live webcast, a panel of distinguished IP strategists assembled by The Knowledge Group will offer the audience with an in-depth discussion of how to improve a company’s bottom line through effective portfolio management. The panel will review portfolio management fundamentals as well as discuss the impact of current patent issues on portfolio strategy. The speakers will also provide the audience with best practices and practicalities in effective and efficient patent portfolio management.Key topics include:− Aligning a patent portfolio with business objectives− How to evaluate a portfolio’s strengths and weaknesses− Organising and structuring a portfolio− Portfolio metrics− Addressing portfolio deficiencies− Managing portfolio expenses− Recent regulatory developments and their impact on portfolio managementAbout The Knowledge Group, LLC/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast SeriesThe Knowledge Group, LLC was established with the mission to produce unbiased, objective, and educational live webinars that examine industry trends and regulatory changes from a variety of different perspectives. The goal is to deliver a unique multilevel analysis of an important issue affecting business in a highly focused format. To contact or register for an event, please visit: http://theknowledgegroup.org/ Click here to view the company profile of The Knowledge Group Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from The Knowledge Group
News Article | June 17, 2015
For a while it seemed the mobile industry was deteriorating into a battle over who had the best patents — and the best patent lawyers. Apple was suing Samsung, Motorola was suing Microsoft and Google was in everyone’s cross hairs. And there were a lot more cases that weren’t making headlines. However, a lot of that patent talk has died down in recent months. As the result of a key Supreme Court ruling and other shifts, the issue is starting to recede and the once sky-high valuations of patents have inched lower. “I don’t think anybody is arguing values aren’t lower than they were before,” said John Veschi, CEO of Marquis technologies, speaking this week at a patent conference in San Francisco. “I think we can look back now and say, ‘Yeah, that was a bubble.’” And Veschi is in a position to know, having been the man who helped spearhead the $4.5 billion sale of Nortel’s patent portfolio — an event some would say hit the high-water mark of patent valuations. The value for a certain type of patents, known as standards-essential patents, has definitely declined, says Art Monk, a vice president for consulting firm TechInsights. These are the kinds of patents that contribute to a technology standard, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or LTE. Companies with such patents stand to see their inventions widely used, but also have a commitment to license them on fair and reasonable terms. “They used to be the highest value,” Monk said. “They’ve definitely gone down in value.” Over the past couple of years, more patents are being overturned as part of a more extensive post-grant review process at the patent office. Various court rulings have also made it harder to get injunctions on standards-essential patents. Finally, the Supreme Court set new limits in a key case over software patents, known as the Alice decision. The relative value of patents and the shifting landscape for intellectual property was a central point of discussion as lawyers from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Ericsson and Qualcomm joined peers from around the globe at the IPBCGlobal conference in San Francisco. The view that the value of individual patents has dropped was widely held, though not universal. “We don’t see that,” Ericsson Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi said in an interview. Ericsson is still involved in a couple of high-profile suits including actions against Apple and Xiaomi. Google’s Allen Lo, who spoke on one of the panels, told Re/code that it’s more complicated than simply saying patent values have gone up or down. “I think we’ve gotten smarter about what patents are worth,” Lo said on the sidelines of the conference. “I think good patents are still worth a lot. I think bad patents are worth less.” Nor has the issue of mobile patents entirely faded from the scene. Just yesterday, Nokia said that Korea’s LG has agreed to license its cellular patents — the first major phone company to take a Nokia license since the company sold its handset business to Microsoft. Google has been running its own experiment on determining patent values. Under its patent purchase promotion, started last month, inventors can offer to sell their patents to Google for a set price with the company pledging to give them an answer within 30 days. “We haven’t sorted through the information yet, but we’ve learned a lot,” said Lo, who added that Google hopes to publish some of its conclusions over the next several months. At the conference, a big debate was whether the dip in the patent business was a blip, a cyclical move or a permanent change. Predicting where things go is tough in any industry, but one panel nonetheless tried to venture a guess as to how the landscape will have shifted again by 2020. Boris Teksler, a former Apple patent licensing executive who testified in the Samsung trial, predicted that other industries will struggle the way mobile has — especially in the Internet of Things, payments and automotive markets. “Those markets will undergo a drastic change,” he said. “There will be no litigation,” Alfalahi said, drawing huge laughter from the crowd of patent lawyers. One audience member suggested that patent holders could be compensated not through licensing agreements but by new technology that actually tracked when the patented invention itself was used in a product. Top Microsoft IP counsel Erich Andersen said it was an intriguing notion, but one he had never heard before. Maybe the person who suggested it should have tried to patent it first.