The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the proliferation of wireless devices, increasing demand for spectrum efficiency, the need for reliable and efficient communication in dynamic environments, the potential for mitigating spectrum scarcity and improving spectrum utilisation through intelligent spectrum management techniques, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, software-defined radio, spectrum sensing, and dynamic spectrum access (DSA). 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 Technology Innovation: Cognitive radio. 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 stabilising 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.

300+ 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 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, smart contracts, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vehicle platooning and PCI power management, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Cognitive radio is a key innovation area in technology

Cognitive radio, a wireless communication technology, utilises artificial intelligence to optimise radio frequency spectrum utilisation. By learning from the environment, cognitive radio systems adapt their behaviour accordingly, enabling dynamic spectrum access for enhanced efficiency and user experience. This technology facilitates intelligent spectrum management, allowing for more effective utilisation of available spectrum resources.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cognitive radio.

Key players in cognitive radio – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to cognitive radio

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Qualcomm 374 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 70 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 52 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 47 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 46 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 43 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 39 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 37 Unlock Company Profile
LG 36 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 31 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 25 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 23 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 21 Unlock Company Profile
ZTE 20 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 19 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 17 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 14 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 10 Unlock Company Profile
GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications 8 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 7 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 7 Unlock Company Profile
Datang Telecom Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Xijia Spruce 6 Unlock Company Profile
Baicells Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing 5 Unlock Company Profile
Rivada Networks 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Qualcomm is a leading patent filer in cognitive radio. The company’s patents are aimed at invention describing downlink procedures for long term evolution (LTE) and long term evolution advanced (LTE-A) communication systems with unlicensed spectrum. LTE/LTE-A deployments with unlicensed spectrum leverage more efficient LTE communication aspects over unlicensed spectrum, such as over WIFI radio access technology.

To accommodate such communications, various downlink procedures may be modified to handle communications between licensed and unlicensed spectrum with LTE/LTE-A deployments with unlicensed spectrum.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Sony Group and Intel.

By geographic reach, Intel leads the pack, followed by NEC and Datang Telecom Technology. In terms of application diversity, Sharp holds the top position, followed by Panasonic and GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications.

Cognitive radio enables efficient utilisation of the limited radio frequency spectrum, addressing the increasing demand for wireless services. By intelligently adapting to changing environmental conditions, cognitive radio maximises spectrum availability, mitigates interference, and improves overall system performance.

The technology has the potential to revolutionise wireless networks by enhancing spectrum efficiency, enabling dynamic spectrum sharing, and accommodating the diverse needs of various applications and users.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.

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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.