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Home / Business / GlobalFoundries sues TSMC for patent infringement; Apple, Qualcomm, other Names Defendants

GlobalFoundries sues TSMC for patent infringement; Apple, Qualcomm, other Names Defendants



GlobalFoundries has sued TSMC and its customers in the United States and Germany, claiming the world's largest semiconductor contract manufacturer to infringe 16 of its patents. Among defendants, GlobalFoundries named numerous fabulous chip developers, including Apple, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and many others. Plaintiff seeks compensation from TSMC and wants courts to ban shipments of products using semiconductors that allegedly infringe their patents in the United States and Germany.

GlobalFoundries states that TSMC infringed 16 of its patents covering various aspects of chip manufacturing (for details, please see the table below), including the chips using FinFET transistors. In particular, the company claims that TSMC's 7 nm, 1

0 nm, 12 nm, 16 nm and 28 nm nodes use their intellectual property. Considering the fact that the aforementioned production processes are used to make more than half of TSMC's chips (based on revenue share), potential damages that GlobalFoundries is demanding can count billions of dollars.

GlobalFoundries filed complaints with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. District Court in the Delaware and Western Districts of Texas, and the regional courts in Dusseldorf, and Mannheim in Germany. In their lawsuits, GlobalFoundries demands compensation from TSMC and wants courts to prevent products that allegedly infringe their rights from being imported into the United States and Germany.

Among the defendants, GlobalFoundries names several designers of SoCs, semiconductor dealers, as well as actual device suppliers. Among the big names accused of using GlobalFoundries IP are Apple, ASUS, Broadcom, Cisco, Google, NVIDIA, Lenovo, Motorola and Motorola. Provided that courts take GlobalFoundries' side, they may prohibit the sale of Apple's iPhones, NVIDIA GeForce-based graphics cards, smartphones running Qualcomm's TSMC chips, various routers, as well as devices (e.g., PCs, smartphones) by ASUS and Lenovo containing chips made by TSMC.

GlobalFoundries vs. TSMC et al
Fabless Chip Designers Manufacturers of Consumer Products Distributors of Electronic Components
Apple
Broadcom
Mediatek
NVIDIA
Qualcomm
Xilinx
Arista
ASUS
BLU
Cisco
Google
Hisense
Lenovo
Motorola
TCL
OnePlus
Avnet / EBV
Digi Key
Mouser

GlobalFoundries says they want to protect their IP investments in the US and Europe. This is what Gregg Bartlett, SVP of Engineering and Technology at GlobalFoundries, had to say:

“While the semiconductor industry continues to shift to Asia, GF has bucked the trend by investing heavily in the US and European semiconductor industry and spending more money over the USD $ 15 billion over the last decade in the United States and more than $ 6 billion in Europe's largest semiconductor manufacturing plant. These lawsuits are aimed at protecting investment and the US and European-based innovation that strengthens them. While we have spent many billions of dollars on domestic research and development for several years, TSMC has illegally reaped the benefits of our investments. This action is crucial to stop Taiwan Semiconductor's illegal use of our vital assets and to secure the US and European manufacturing base. "

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Source: GlobalFoundries


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