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NOV.-DEC. 2019         TAP TIMES          -15-



             GLOBALFOUNDRIES, TSMC

                 settle patent disputes


        SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Two of the
        world’s leading silicon wafer found-
        ries—Taiwan’s TSMC and New York’s
        GLOBALFOUNDRIES—have settled
        their recent patent disputes with
        a broad cross-licensing agrement.                                 One of TSMC’s 12-inch fabs (TSMC)


        In addition to courts in the U.S., Germany              In its September 30 response, TSMC, the
        and Singapore, litigation was brought                   world’s largest silicon wafer foundry, filed
        before the U.S. International Trade Com-                multiple lawsuits against GLOBALFOUN-
        mission.  The new pact applies to exist-                DRIES in the U.S., Germany and Singa-
        ing patents and those filed for the next 10             pore for what TSMC termed “its ongoing
        years.                                                  infringement of 25 TSMC patents by of its
                                                                40-, 28-, 22-, 14- and 12nm node pro-
                                                                cesses.”
        August beginning
        Litigation between the competitors began
        in August, when GLOBALFOUNDRIES, with                   Variety of technology
        fabs in several locations including Malta,              TSMC claims the alleged violations “relate
        N.Y., filed infringement suits against TSMC             to a diverse set of technologies.”  These
        in the U.S. and Germany.                                include FinFET designs, shallow trench
                                                                isolation techniques, double patterning
        GF’s multiple lawsuits allege the technol-              methods, advanced seal rings and gate
        ogy employed by TSMC infringed 16 of                    strcutures and innovative contact etch
        GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ patents.  In addition                  stop layer design.
        to filings in Federal District Courts in Dela-
        ware and Texas, lawsuits were also filed in             The 25 alleged patent infringements cover
        Dusseldorf and Mannheim, Germany.                       “just a small portion of TSMC’s extensive
                                                                portfolio” that covers more than 37,000
        Among other actions, GLOBALFOUNDRIES                    granted patents worldwide. TSMC was
        sought orders to prevent TSMC-produced                  ranked into top 10 companies for U.S. pat-
        semiconductors from being imported into                 ent grants last year.
        the U.S. and Germany.
                                                                Since its founding in 1987, TSMC has be-
        Shifting to Asia                                        come the world’s largest dedicated semi-
        “While semiconductor manufacturing has                  conducter foundry.
        continued to shift to Asia, GF has bucked
        the trend byinvesting heavily in theAm
        erican an d European semiconductor in-                                    For a 2020
        dustries, spending more than $15 billion in                         Editorial Calendar
        the last decade in the U.S. and European-                              and Rate Card,
        based innovation that powers them,” said                     e-mail roniscoff@gmail.com
        Gregg Bartlett, a GF senior vice president.
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