TSMC has responded to GlobalFoundries accusations of patents infringements. The world’s largest foundry said that it would defend itself in courts and that it considered allegations as baseless. The contract maker of semiconductors said that throughout its history it was granted 37,000 patents and naturally considers itself one of the leaders in the industry.

On Monday GlobalFoundries said that TSMC, a number of its customers, as well as makers of various products infringed 16 of its patents covering various aspects of chip manufacturing. In particular, GlobalFoundries claims that TSMC’s 7 nm, 10 nm, 12 nm, 16 nm, and 28 nm nodes illegally use its intellectual property. Among defendants, the company named Apple, Broadcom, Mediatek, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Xilinx and many others. GlobalFoundries seeks damages from TSMC and wants courts to ban shipments of products that use infringing semiconductors into the USA and Germany.

GlobalFoundries vs. TSMC et al
Fabless Chip Designers Consumer Product Manufacturers Electronic Component Distributors
Apple
Broadcom
Mediatek
NVIDIA
Qualcomm
Xilinx
Arista
ASUS
BLU
Cisco
Google
HiSense
Lenovo
Motorola
TCL
OnePlus
Avnet/EBV
Digi-key
Mouser

Quite naturally, TSMC denies any allegations and claims that it will defend itself in courts. The company stresses that it spends billions of dollars on R&D and has been granted 37,000 patents worldwide. Typically, high-tech companies counter-sue each other in patent infringement cases, so it will not be surprising if TSMC decides to sue GlobalFoundries. In the end, this is what patents are for. Meanwhile, unlike GlobalFoundries, TSMC will unlikely sue fabless designers of semiconductors that use the former’s services to a large degree because the vast majority of chip developers are it slients.

The statement by TSMC reads as follows:

TSMC is in the process of reviewing the complaints filed by GlobalFoundries on August 26, but is confident that GlobalFoundries’ allegations are baseless. As a leading innovator, TSMC invests billions of dollars each year to independently develop its world-class, leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing technologies. As a result, TSMC has established one of the largest semiconductor portfolios with more than 37,000 patents worldwide and a top 10 ranking for US patent grants for 3 consecutive years since 2016. We are disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology. TSMC is proud of its technology leadership, manufacturing excellence, and unwavering commitment to customers. We will fight vigorously, using any and all options, to protect our proprietary technologies.

GlobalFoundries vs. TSMC et al, GF's Patents in the Cases
Title Patent No. Inventors
Bit Cell With Double Patterned Metal Layer Structures US 8,823,178 Juhan Kim, Mahbub Rashed
Semiconductor device with transistor local interconnects US 8,581,348 Mahbub Rashed, Steven Soss, Jongwook Kye, Irene Y. Lin, James Benjamin Gullette, Chinh Nguyen, Jeff Kim, Marc Tarabbia, Yuansheng Ma, Yunfei Deng, Rod Augur, Seung-Hyun Rhee, Scott Johnson, Subramani KengeriSuresh Venkatesan
Semiconductor device with transistor local interconnects US 9,355,910 Mahbub Rashed, Irene Y. Lin, Steven Soss, Jeff Kim, Chinh Nguyen, Marc Tarabbia, Scott Johnson, Subramani Kengeri, Suresh Venkatesan
Introduction of metal impurity to change workfunction of conductive electrodes US 7,425,497 Michael P. Chudzik, Bruce B. Doris, Supratik Guha, Rajarao Jammy, Vijay Narayanan, Vamsi K. Paruchuri, Yun Y. Wang,Keith Kwong Hon Wong
Semiconductor device having contact layer providing electrical connections US 8,598,633 Marc Tarabbia, James B. Gullette, Mahbub RashedDavid S. Doman, Irene Y. Lin, Ingolf Lorenz, Larry Ho, Chinh Nguyen, Jeff Kim, Jongwook Kye, Yuansheng MaYunfei Deng, Rod Augur, Seung-Hyun Rhee, Jason E. Stephens, Scott Johnson, Subramani Kengeri, Suresh Venkatesan
Method of forming a metal or metal nitride interface layer between silicon nitride and copper US 6,518,167 Lu You, Matthew S. Buynoski, Paul R. Besser, Jeremias D. Romero, Pin-Chin, Connie Wang, Minh Q. Tran
Structures of and methods and tools for forming in-situ metallic/dielectric caps for interconnects US 8,039,966 Chih-Chao Yang, Chao-Kun Hu
Introduction of metal impurity to change workfunction of conductive electrodes US 7,750,418 Michael P. Chudzik, Bruce B. Doris, Supratik Guha, Rajarao Jammy, Vijay Narayanan, Vamsi K. Paruchuri, Yun Y. Wang, Keith Kwong Hon Wong
Methods of forming FinFET devices with a shared gate structure US 8,936,986 Andy C. Wei, Dae Geun Yang
Semiconductor device with stressed fin sections US 8,912,603 Scott Luning, Frank Scott Johnson
Multiple dielectric FinFET structure and method US 7,378,357 William F. Clark, Jr., Edward J. Nowak
Bit cell with double patterned metal layer structures US 9,105,643 Juhan Kim, Mahbub Rashed
Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) device having gate structures connected by a metal gate conductor US 9,082,877 Yue Liang, Dureseti Chidambarrao, Brian J. Greene, William K. Henson, Unoh Kwon, Shreesh Narasimha, and Xiaojun Yu
Hybrid contact structure with low aspect ratio contacts in a semiconductor device DE 102011002769 Kai Frohberg, Ralf Richter
Complementary transistors comprising high-k metal gate electrode structures and epitaxially formed semiconductor materials in the drain and source areas DE 102011004320 Gunda Beernink, Markus Lenski
Semiconductor device with transistor local interconnects DE 102012219375 Mahbub Rashed, Irene Y. Lin, Steven Soss, Jeff Kim, Chinh Nguyen, Marc Tarabbia, Scott Johnson, Subramani Kengeri, Suresh Venkatesan

Related Reading:

Source: TSMC

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  • levizx - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link

    No high horse yet you think China is the only one mastered this, just because your "first hand" story. History tells a very different story. Not even a century ago USA steals "on an individual scale", not even half a century ago Japan steals "on an individual scale", merely a couple of decades ago Korea steals "on an individual scale". Just because you are too dumb to understand you don't know everything, doesn't mean none of those happened. Reply
  • lejeczek - Friday, August 30, 2019 - link

    @levizx - An angry man you are and after you called people names whatever you say can be ignored while being flushed down the toilet. Reply
  • Vitor - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    The tendency of knowledge is too spread. Should the western nations pay IP royalties for "stealing" powder from China centuries ago?

    Humans are a successfuk species because we are really good at learn from each other and adopting new methods and skills. No dumb law of granting a temporal monopoly over some concept can change that.
    Reply
  • ghdsports app - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    TSMC Responds to Lawsuit by GlobalFoundries: Allegations Are Baseless. TSMC has responded to GlobalFoundries accusations of patents infringements. ... The company stresses that it spends billions of dollars on R&D and has been granted 37,000 patents worldwide. Reply
  • Sivar - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    Defendant responds to lawsuit by saying the allegations are baseless. News at 11:00. :) Reply
  • mikato - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link

    Shocking Reply
  • Cashmoney995 - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link

    Oh GlobalFoundries, every single member of this site that has followed AMD knows that you were the true culprit in AMD's downfall....and magically when you left...things became amazing. Pathetic attempt of greed when history shows you ain't nothing but a Rambus. Reply
  • Techie2 - Friday, August 30, 2019 - link

    Hopefully in court it will all get resolved. GloFo isn't dumb enough to waste millions on litigation if they don't believe they can prove their claims in court. These cases can go back and forth in court for years. The bottom line is in the end the courts will rule based on evidence not emotion. If GloFo prevails then TSMC will be paying tens or hundreds of millions and they could be forced to terminate sales of certain products. If TSMC wins then GloFo is likely to have to cough up tens of millions so there is no point in filing frivolous lawsuits. Reply
  • Yongzhi - Saturday, August 31, 2019 - link

    GF is too poor to pay for the daily payment. They had a good idea. To court TSMC patents infringements. Reply
  • nt300 - Sunday, September 01, 2019 - link

    Something weird about this, it seems as though GlobF is in desperation or something. Reply

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