Bitmain Chip Supplier Faces Infringement Lawsuits From Competitor

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TSMC, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry and chip supplier for Bitmain, is facing multiple lawsuits from its competitor GlobalFoundries (GF).

Alleged patent infringement 

GF, the second biggest semiconductor foundry by sales after TSMC, filed several lawsuits in the United States and Germany, accusing Taiwanese TSMC of infringing on 16 GF patents, according to an official GF statement on Aug. 26.

In the lawsuits, the California-based company seeks orders to ban TSMC from importing semiconductors produced with its technology to the United States and Germany, with GF claiming that importation of infringing Taiwanese semiconductors is unlawful. 

Additionally, GF is seeking damages from TSMC based on TSMC’s unlawful use of GF’s proprietary technology in its “tens of billions of dollars of sales,” as announced by GF.

Multiple lawsuits were filed on Aug. 26 in the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Federal District Courts in Delaware and Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germany.

TSMC will defend its tech

TSMC published an official statement regarding the issue on Aug. 27, claiming that the company is in the process of reviewing the complaints. However, TSMC stressed that they are confident that GF’s allegations are baseless. TSMC added that the firm is “disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology.”

Apple, Google and Nvidia also on the list of defendants

According to a report by Chinese finance news outlet Sina, GF’s allegations included infringement of technology that covers 7 nanometer (nm), 10nm, 16nm and 28nm semiconductor processes. Citing a report by China-based tech blog DeepTech Deep Technology, Sina reports that apart from TSMC, Apple and Nvidia, as well as six chip design manufacturers and ten consumer product suppliers such as Google, ASUS and Lenovo have joined the list of defendants. 

In July, Bitmain reportedly confirmed its urgent order for wafers from TSMC, claiming that it will receive 30,000 7nm wafers from the company.

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