The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the escalating complexity of electronic devices and the demand for more efficient and compact designs, coupled with the increasing availability of powerful computational resources and the integration of machine learning algorithms, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as evolutionary algorithms, reinforcement learning, and neural architecture search. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in technology: circuit designing AI. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, deep reinforcement learning, finite element simulation, and GenAI for design are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. AI in EHR, intelligent predictive maintenance, and forward inferencing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the technology industry

Circuit designing AI is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Circuit designing AI involves employing artificial intelligence (AI) methods to automate and enhance the circuit design process. This encompasses the utilization of machine learning algorithms and other AI techniques to increase the precision and efficiency of circuit design.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of circuit designing AI.

Key players in circuit designing AI – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to circuit designing AI

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
GlobalFoundries Singapore 10 Unlock Company Profile
IMEC, VZW 8 Unlock Company Profile
Photronics 7 Unlock Company Profile
Toppan 4 Unlock Company Profile
Lam Research 32 Unlock Company Profile
KLA 45 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 11 Unlock Company Profile
Synopsys 106 Unlock Company Profile
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing 635 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Manufacturing International 25 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nanya Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
Renesas Electronics 10 Unlock Company Profile
Tokyo Ohka Kogyo 7 Unlock Company Profile
United Microelectronics 42 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 11 Unlock Company Profile
ASML 325 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 71 Unlock Company Profile
Tokyo Electron 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 34 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nikon 43 Unlock Company Profile
Global Foundries 88 Unlock Company Profile
D2S 94 Unlock Company Profile
MicroUnity Systems Engineering 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit 7 Unlock Company Profile
GLOBALFOUNDRIES U.S. 19 Unlock Company Profile
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission 4 Unlock Company Profile
GenISys 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in circuit designing AI, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at developing a process of creating a netlist for an IC device that involves several steps. Initially, the dimensions of a gate region, encompassing the width from one edge to another of the active region, are extracted. Additionally, the distance from the width's initial point to a gate via positioned along it is determined. Following this, a first gate resistance value for the gate region is obtained. Subsequently, a second gate resistance value is calculated using the derived distance and width. Finally, the netlist is modified based on both the initial and calculated gate resistance values. The other prominent patent filers in the space include ASML and Synopsys.

In terms of application diversity, GlobalFoundries Singapore leads the pack, while Photronics and Tokyo Electron stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographical reach, Nikon held the top position, followed by MicroUnity Systems Engineering and KLA.

Circuit designing AI significantly accelerates the design process by automating tasks that would otherwise be time-consuming and labour-intensive. It leads to faster development cycles and allows engineers to focus on higher-level design considerations. Additionally, circuit designing AI has the capability to optimize circuits for performance, power consumption, and other key metrics, resulting in more efficient and reliable electronic devices.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.