The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing demand for high-resolution displays, immersive gaming experiences, and advanced visual effects and the growing importance of technologies such as advanced shader architectures, real-time ray tracing, deep learning-based image processing, and efficient memory management. These technologies continuously evolve to meet the increasing demands for realistic graphics and improved visual experiences in various applications. 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: Graphics controllers. 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

Graphics controllers is a key innovation area in technology

Graphics controllers are essential hardware components that oversee the display and processing of graphics in a computer system. Their primary function is to transform input data into visual representations displayed on computer monitors or other output devices. Graphics controllers can be found in various devices, such as laptops, desktops, and gaming consoles, ensuring smooth and accurate rendering of graphical content.

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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of graphics controllers.

Key players in graphics controllers – 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 graphics controllers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Advanced Micro Devices 135 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 123 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 122 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 97 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 68 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 55 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 55 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 54 Unlock Company Profile
NVIDIA 52 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group 43 Unlock Company Profile
LG 41 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 37 Unlock Company Profile
OTOY 33 Unlock Company Profile
Five3 Genomics 30 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 24 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 22 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 22 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 19 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 18 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 18 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 16 Unlock Company Profile
China Pacific Insurance 15 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 15 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 13 Unlock Company Profile
Tobii 13 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 13 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 12 Unlock Company Profile
Intuit 12 Unlock Company Profile
HTC 11 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 11 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 10 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 10 Unlock Company Profile
Pro Medicus 10 Unlock Company Profile
Dassault Systemes 10 Unlock Company Profile
Wistron 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 9 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 9 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems 8 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Shiyuan Electronic Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 8 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 7 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 7 Unlock Company Profile
Cbfi Investment 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Royole Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Advanced Micro Devices is a leading patent filer in graphic controllers. The company’s patents are aimed at invention describing a graphics multi-media integrated circuit (GMIC) is connected to a host processor over two serial links: a half-duplex bi-directional serial link which accords to a protocol defined for a display serial interface, and a uni-directional serial link which accords to a compatible protocol defined for a camera serial interface. The GMIC receives packets according to the protocol from the host over the half duplex bi-directional serial link and processes these packets. The GMIC sends packets according to the protocol to the host over the uni-directional serial link. A packet from the host can request a processing operation by the GMIC or can initiate a memory operation at the memory of the GMIC.

The GMIC can also send packets to the host to initiate a memory operation at the memory of the host. The GMIC may be connected to a display over a bi-directional serial link according to the display serial interface protocol and to a camera over a uni-directional serial link and a bi-directional control link according to the camera serial interface so that the host controls the display and camera indirectly through the GMIC. The other prominent patent filers in the space include Samsung Group and Intel.

By geographic reach, OTOY leads the pack, followed by Huawei Investment & Holding and Guangzhou Shiyuan Electronic Technology. In terms of application diversity, Fujifilm Holdings holds the top position, followed by Qualcomm and OTOY.

Graphics controllers are specialised hardware components that handle the rendering and display of visual content on electronic devices. They are responsible for processing and manipulating graphical data to generate images, videos, and animations with high-quality graphics and smooth performance. Graphics controllers play a crucial role in various industries, including gaming, multimedia, virtual reality, and professional graphics applications.

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.