Archive for November, 2012

Nov 18 2012

The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire – Again

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Over the centuries, the little island that is the United Kingdom has exerted a strong hold of influence over the rest of the world. This influence was cultural, economic, religious, and technological. Just as this influence gained over long periods of time, it also has receded to being a minor participant in world events at times. Once again the British rise to the forefront and have dominated an influence that is changing and influencing cultural shifts in the world.

Unlike thier attempt to get the whole world to adopt the concept of warm beer, they have been successful as the driver and core technology behind the mobile and embedded computing revolution. Rather than dominate through manufacturing excellence, they utilized thier prime resource – innovation and excellence in engineering. This engineering was used to create an IP licensing model for core processors and graphics processors along with RF technology.

This market place is dominated by only a few major players – two of which – ARM and Imagination Technology. They are respectively the #1 and #3 in players in the IP licensing market. Their cores have long been used in automotive, communication and industrial embedded applications in the western world. The rapid rise of the mobile phone and mobile devices worldwide is the new driver for their applications. With shipping levels from their licensees in the billions of units and targeting the billions/year level – the marketplace for the IP is now truly global.

With the advent of these products and the soon to be omnipresent Internet of Things (IoT) with sensors and M2M communication, the world will be forever changed to being the touch of the hand of England in every corner of the earth. Wireless and IoT are bringing British technology, as manufactured by local and foreign groups, to all countries and locations – independent of religious, political and sociological structure. This time the worldwide British invasion is actually being embraced around the world as it is offering the ubiquity of a communication and information technology that is compatible with their cultural and societal models. Historically, the British control was not always so palatable. This is also not to say that is it being universally praised, as some groups and societies are not open to the speed of change that is enabled by instant point to point communication.

The RF world has long been dominated by the UK. With ARM as a core processor and peripherals, and Imagination Tech as a dominant graphics & communications processors, they are well positioned to not only expand this dominance for England, but for the first time, hold the position as the marketplace has a long life cycle for legacy technology. These two areas – IP and RF – show the ability that a small geographic area can have on the world when they properly use their primary resource – the people.

So in the long history of the world, we once again have a period of British domination that is influencing the live of the majority of the world. The spread of their technology has been adopted by the globe and is driving advancement and job growth worldwide, and it appears to be a mostly beneficial. As long as we can keep their spread of influence focused on their technology and contain the proliferation of the influence of their cuisine, we will continue to benefit.

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