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Integrated Circuits Layout and Design. Introduction Semiconductor industry heavily dependent of patents, copyrights and trade secrets Yale survey and.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrated Circuits Layout and Design. Introduction Semiconductor industry heavily dependent of patents, copyrights and trade secrets Yale survey and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrated Circuits Layout and Design

2 Introduction Semiconductor industry heavily dependent of patents, copyrights and trade secrets Yale survey and Carnegie-Mellon surveys reported R&D managers as saying: –“patents are least-effective mechanisms in appropriating R&D investments” Industry driven by –Rapid technological change –Shortening product life cycles Firms resorted to technology, lead time and manufacturing or design capabilities to compete

3 The electronic design market comprises –Systems houses –Chip and Board design houses –Design Automation (EDA) tools and solutions providers –Fabs for manufacturing The Electronic Design Market Consumer Electronic system (~$1Trillion) Printed circuit board Semiconductor (~$150B) Silicon wafer ($10B)

4 History of Microprocessor Chips Introduced : 1971 (4004) Frequency : 108 kHz Bits : 4 Transistors : 2300 T Size : 10 m Memory : 640 Bytes Introduced : 1978 (8086) Frequency : 10Mhz Bits : 16 Transistors : T Size : 5  Memory : 1M Introduced : 1997 (Pentium II) Frequency : 300M Bits : 64 Transistors : 7.5M T Size :.35  Memory : 64 Gbytes

5 Mask Layout(s) Video Controller Set Top Box Video Encoder Sony Playstation Increasing Complexity

6 Chip protection Till 1984 the protection to semiconductors was covered by Copyright Acts Semiconductor Act of 1984 in US was the starting of mask works legislation Still administered by Copyright Office –Differentiated by extension to Three-dimensional images or patterns formed on or in the layers of metallic, insulating or semiconductor material and fixed in a semiconductor chip product Called the topography of the chip

7 Chip protection…. It is not extended to any idea or concept associated with a mask work No protection is available to any –procedure, –process –system –method of operation –concept –principle OR –discovery associated with a mask work regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated or embodied in a mask work

8 Global Scenario Global IC Design-Layout protection laws –Australia Circuit Layouts Protection Act, 1989 Circuits Protection Act, 1990 –Russia On The Legal Protection Of The Topologies Of Integrated Circuits, 2002 –United States The Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 –China Regulation of Integrated Circuit Design Layout Protection, 2001

9 Indian Regulations Governed by Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000 –Passed in accordance with TRIPS Application for protection to be made at –Registry of Semiconductor IC Layout-Design –Within the territorial limits of the principal place of business in India of the registered proprietor of the layout-design –Certificate of registration will be issues by Registrar on Form OLD-2 –Under the aegis of Ministry of Electronics

10 Semiconductor IC LD Act 2000… Registration is compulsory for protection under this Act For layout to be registered it must be –Original –Which has not been commercially exploited for more than 2 years prior to date of application –It must be inherently distinctive Duration of protection is TEN YEARS –from the date of application OR –from the date of first commercialization, whichever is earlier

11 Semiconductor IC LD Act 2000… What constitutes infringement? –When the layout-design of ICs is incorporated either in entirety or in part in a product Is either sold in the market OR Imported in India

12 Semiconductor IC LD Act 2000… Defenses available on infringement –Used for scientific evaluation, analysis, research or teaching –Without actual knowledge of the layout-design being registered – ignorance –Use with consent of registered owner –Use by a person who has by his own independent intellect and effort created a layout-design, which is similar to the allegedly infringing design, prior to date of registration of the registered owner

13 Semiconductor IC LD Act 2000… Can a registered design be revoked? –Yes, in extra-ordinary cases –Showing to lack of originality Remedies available on infringement –Both Civil and Criminal remedies Infringement is an offence Punishable by imprisonment of three years and fine up to 10 lakhs On conviction infringing copies can be forfeited Can a registered owner initiate criminal proceedings for infringement in court? –Yes, under Sec 64 of the Act

14 Case Study Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 Altera vs. Clear Logic –Argued and submitted April 12, 2005 in San Francisco, California –Altera – Plaintiff –Clear Logic – Defendant Second case under SCPA 1984 First case tried under SCPA, 1984 –Brooktree Corporation v. AMD Altera and Clear Logic were competitors in semiconductor industry

15 Case Study … Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 Altera –Manufactures Programmable Logic Devices(PLDs) –Chips that can be programmed to perform any function using a MAX PLUS II software –MAX PLUS II is free proprietary software provided to customers by Altera –This software helps program the chip with the desired function –The chip is reprogrammable –Can be user programmed at site or factory –Programming can be a lengthy process

16 Case Study … Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 Clear Logic –Manufactures Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) –These chips are compatible with Altera chips –Clear Logic chips are programmed during manufacture –They cannot be reprogrammed –Cheaper option depending upon the volumes –Initial investment large bur recurring costs are less –Companies start with PLD, but migrate to ASICs –However the risk of migration is huge –Initial gestation period is high

17 Case Study … Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 Reverse Engineering of chips is legal Subject to being used for the purpose of –Teaching, analyzing or evaluation of concepts or techniques embodied in the mask work or circuitry, logic flow or organization of components –person who analyzes, has the intention of creating an original mask work which is made to be distributed Protects industry practices and encourages innovation

18 Case Study … Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 Second mask work –Must not be substantially identical to the original –Should have evidence of substantial toil and investment –Hence more than mere plagiarism –Second chip will not infringe on the original chip even if they are substantially identical The second firm will have to provide substantial paper trail as evidence

19 Case Study … Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, 1984 Copyright issues –Altera license mentioned use of software for “sole” use for programming of Altera hardware –Clear Logic argued on copyright being used to prevent competition in the market –Clear Logic used the bit stream generated from Altera software as customer input for their chip

20 Closing Not sure of the utility or relevance of this protection Since 1984 till 2005 there was only two cases decided in the US courts against the SCPA Act, 1984 Was the need felt and not realized? Will it be realized now as emerging market economies catch up? How will the courts handle the lack of technical expertise in deciding these type of cases There are a lot of open questions

21 References The Patents Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the US Semiconductor Industry, , Bronwyn H. Hall and Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis, 2000 The Need to Abolish Registration for Integrated Circuits Topographies under TRIPS, Carl A Kukkonen, III, IDEA: The Journal of Law and Technology, 1997 Judicial Case Publication of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – Altera Corporation v Clear Logic, Incorporated, San Fransisco, California, US Circuit Layouts Act, 1989, Attorney General’s Department, Australian Government website Circular on Federal Statutory Protection for Mask Works, United States Copyright Office Law on Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits, WIPO The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000, The Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II-section 3, Sub-Section (i), Published by Authority, Ministry of Information Technology Notification

22 Thank You


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