Can’t find a socket to charge your phone? IDT’s got a solution.

IDT’s wireless recharging chips, on right, versus a rival product.

(Updates with cost details)

Ted Tewksbury wants to get rid your iPhone cable.

The chief executive of San Jose, California-based Integrated Device Technology is pushing a set of microchips he hopes will eventually render “contactless charging” — charging your smartphone by simply placing it on a specific spot — commonplace and eventually make phone-charging cables a thing of the past.

On a recent visit to IDT’s offices, Tewksbury showed me the chips he’s just started selling. They’re IDT”s twist on existing technology, using inductive coupling, which has yet to reach critical mass.

The idea is, instead of plugging your smartphone into the wall when its battery runs low, you toss it onto a wireless charging surface that could be built into your desk, a cup holder in your car, or even the armrest of an airplane seat. And there it would juice up.

If Tewksbury has his way, that sort of inbuilt design will become de rigeur in cars, homes, airports and elsewhere, so people may not even notice when their devices are charging. Competing ”wireless” charging products on the market now require the user to tote around a charging pad that itself must be plugged into a socket, making them less-than-truly mobile and defeating the purpose of going “wireless”.

Chipmakers most creative, drugmakers least?

Chipmakers including Intel and Qualcomm make up the world’s most innovative industry, according to a new analysis of patents by Thomson Reuters that is equally notable for some of the companies it does not include.

Thomson Reuters has just released its “Top 100 Global Innovators” list, which it compiled by scrutinizing patent data around the world using a peer-review methodology it developed.

“We tried to take an objective look at technology innovation and apply a composite measure not just of volumes, but also of influence in terms of citations of later published patents, in terms of globalization of patenting,” says Bob Stembridge, the lead analyst behind the study.

Chip icon TJ Rodgers turns his tech to winemaking

Silicon Valley icon TJ Rodgers is applying his knack for engineering to create “the New World’s” best Pinot Noir. This week he gave a handful of reporters a tour of his Clos de la Tech winery in the Santa Cruz mountains — and a taste of his wares.

Rodgers fell in love with wine after buying a mixed crate of bottles during graduate school at Stanford. Soon after, he traveled to Burgundy, France to briefly learn from the masters before returning to the United States to found chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor.

The best of Rodgers’ three vineyards produces only 100 cases a year — about four bottles for each member of his club. All of Clos de la Tech’s bottles are fittingly decorated with a microchip sealed in wax.

Tech wrap: Broadcom buys NetLogic

Chipmaker Broadcom Corp plans to buy NetLogic Microsystems Inc for about $3.7 billion to expand its lineup of chips used in wireless network equipment to take advantage of growing demand for mobile data services.

Google Inc’s effort to break into the daily deal industry and challenge industry leaders Groupon and LivingSocial is not going well, according to data released on Monday.

Analysts are predicting that Nintendo will sell fewer 3D handheld players according to Bloomberg.  3DS sales are expected to be 16 percent less than Nintendo’s annual goal of 16 million units.