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Innovation—The Heart of Marvell

By Zining Wu, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Marvell

Marvell Named a 2015 Top 100 Global Innovative Company by Thomson Reuters

Marvell was recently recognized as one of Thompson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovative Companies.  Thomson Reuters is a leading source of news throughout the world and annually honors the top 100 corporations and institutions globally that are at the heart of innovation as measured by a series of proprietary patent-related metrics.  According to Basil Moftah, president of Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property and Science, Thomson Reuters does not just want to recognize companies with ideas, but individuals and organizations “that harness the power and insight to bring ideas to life . . . businesses that make discoveries a reality.”  Marvell has made the list for the fourth consecutive year and here’s why:

Innovation at Marvell Starts at the Top

With nearly 6,000 patents, Marvell prides itself on a culture of innovation—which, starts at the top.  Marvell Chairman, CEO and Co-founder, Sehat Sutardja, Ph.D., himself has been awarded more than 360 patents.  His passion for innovation permeates throughout the company.  He fosters a climate for building, inventing and designing ICs and systems that push technology boundaries and help move the industry forward. This allows us to bring new electronic systems and devices to market that ultimately improve the lives of consumers around the world.

A very recent example is the patent awarded on Nov. 10 to Marvell for the Final-Level Cache (FLC™) technology developed by Sehat.  In general, the FLC architecture replaces a conventional DRAM main memory in a system with a high-speed DRAM cache and a solid-state drive (SSD) main memory. The high speed DRAM cache within the FLC architecture generally has a storage capacity that is much larger than the storage capacity of caches typically associated with a processor.  For example, the high-speed DRAM cache can have 1GB to 4GB of storage capacity for mobile phone applications, 4GB to 32GB of storage capacity for personal computer applications, and 32GB to 1 TB of storage capacity for server applications.  Various other aspects of the FLC architecture combine to reduce the required storage capability of DRAM within a system, while maximizing memory access rates and minimizing power consumption.  FLC technology can be incorporated into almost all computing devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, servers, wearables, Internet of Things and storage devices.

As the industry faces critical crossroads in design due to ever-changing market demands and a world in desperate need of methods that reduce energy consumption, Marvell’s FLC and MOdular CHip (MoChi™) architectures are poised to change the way next-generation electronic devices and semiconductors are designed and built.  Both architectures represent radical departures from the current convention and offer a means to drastically reduce system cost and power consumption of devices to enable affordable devices for the masses.


 Ideas Are Encouraged at All Levels

While it starts at the top, innovation is a core value at Marvell – and the heart of innovation at Marvell lies with its people.  While we pride ourselves on bringing together world-class engineering with extensive expertise in the areas of mixed-signal circuit design, digital signal processing, embedded microprocessors, CMOS technology and system-level architecture, we encourage ideas at all levels of the organization.  Our Marvell program includes a process and support for the filing of patents; and we have education and training throughout the year to raise awareness and encourage contributions from all our employees as well as patent awards to honor our employees’ successes.

 Formula for Success

The Thomson Reuters formula identifies companies around the world that are discovering new inventions and is based on four principle criteria: overall patent volume, patent application-to-grant success rate, global reach of the portfolio and patent influence as evidenced by citations.

Every patent starts with an idea. By keeping innovation at the heart of the company and making significant investments in R&D, Marvell has made this prestigious list four years in a row.  Everyone at Marvell contributes to innovation. Whether it’s those that support the design teams, those that interface and get input from the customers or the legal teams that protect our patents—everyone at Marvell has a hand in this award, which makes us extremely proud at all levels of the organization.