The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mobility, and growing importance of technologies such as edge devices, fog nodes, edge computing software, and networking technologies. These technologies work together to enable fog computing, facilitating efficient and real-time processing of data at the network edge. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cloud: Fog computing. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 2.5 million patents to analyse innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Fog computing is a key innovation area in cloud

Fog computing is an infrastructure for computing that operates in a decentralised manner. In this setup, data, computation, storage, and applications are strategically distributed between the data source and the cloud, aiming for optimal efficiency. By facilitating data communication, collection, and processing closer to its origin and consumption, fog computing offers advantages over conventional cloud computing architectures in terms of efficiency and security.

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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of fog computing.

Key players in fog computing – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to fog computing

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Intel 508 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 151 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 121 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 118 Unlock Company Profile
Strong Force Iot Portfolio 2016 106 Unlock Company Profile
Convida Wireless 104 Unlock Company Profile
FedEx 84 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 67 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 65 Unlock Company Profile
ZTE 59 Unlock Company Profile
Veniam 43 Unlock Company Profile
Senseware 38 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 37 Unlock Company Profile
Allstate 36 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 34 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 34 Unlock Company Profile
Iotic Labs 34 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 31 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 29 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 27 Unlock Company Profile
Pebblebee 25 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 24 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 22 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 21 Unlock Company Profile
Lennox International 21 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 21 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 20 Unlock Company Profile
Equinix 19 Unlock Company Profile
Otonomo Technologies 18 Unlock Company Profile
Whelen Engineering 17 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 16 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 15 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 15 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson 14 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 14 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 13 Unlock Company Profile
CACI International 13 Unlock Company Profile
Cisco Systems 13 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 13 Unlock Company Profile
Systems Technology 13 Unlock Company Profile
Tata Sons 12 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 11 Unlock Company Profile
Rain Bird 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kip Smrt P1 11 Unlock Company Profile
Great Circle Technologies 11 Unlock Company Profile
Lumen Technologies 11 Unlock Company Profile
Dana 11 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid 10 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ciambella 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Intel is one of the leading patent filers in fog computing. The company’s patents are aimed at a method and apparatus for offloading data from a device with a duty cycle shortage to a device with an excess of duty cycle. In an example method, a packet is sent to a cloud device. A duty cycle usage remaining for transmission of data to the cloud device is calculated. If the remaining duty cycle is below a pre-set limit, data is offloaded to a sending device.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Apple and Cox Enterprises.

By geographic reach, Intel leads the pack, followed by Alphabet and Naver. In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson holds the top position, followed by Strong Force IoT Portfolio 2016 and iRobot.

Fog computing plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between the cloud and edge devices, offering several significant advantages. It reduces latency, enhances real-time decision-making capabilities, and improves overall system performance.

To further understand how cloud is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing – Thematic Intelligence.

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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.