News GlobalFoundries Files Patent Claims Against TSMC, Seeks to Ban Imports of Nvidia, Apple Chips

I had been wondering when in their desperation GloFlo would start suing using those IBM patents. Kind of sad to see GloFlo buyout one of the best mind shares from IBM to just litigate instead of create. If only GloFlo could have got 7nm going they would have all of AMD's business and it's going to be a hell of a lot of chips over the next 5 years.

I will bet you will see AMD pull every bit of production from GloFlo in 2020.
 
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mihen

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These patents do seem valid. If you look at them they are very specific and filed for Global Foundries. The oldest one was granted in 2014. They may be trying to strong arm TSMC into a patent agreement. Any trial of this nature would be lengthy and Global Foundries would need to prove TSMC used the specific patents. It may be possible that TSMC used these methods related to a prior partnership among Foundries.
 
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Co BIY

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Not sure you can judge the likely validity of the patents based the titles alone as the titles are always going to be generalized but the technique or device may be very unique.

This not a case of a Patent troll who was able to get some garbage patented and later sues for violation. I bet most of these are valid IP.

Proving use of these in competing devices may be difficult as well (I would guess but have no knowledge of). I would be interested in how they demonstrate that their patents were violated.

Patent lawsuits and disputes are similar to Tariffs in my mind. Generally destructive but sometimes the only recourse to rein in abusive actors. Both are much more complicated in our highly interwoven economies.
 
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bit_user

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GloFo, did not notice, that most inventors are Asians.. Such a whiner.
WTF does that have to do with anything?

And there's only a possible majority, if you count Indians as Asian and if you count each inventor once per patent on which they're listed. If your point is that it's some kind of racist move by Glo Fo, then I'm not sure if you'd lump the South Asians with the East Asians

Anyway, there's a lot of Saudi money in Glo Fo, so maybe go think about that for a while.
 

AllanGH

Estimable
This not a case of a Patent troll who was able to get some garbage patented and later sues for violation. I bet most of these are valid IP.
The IP involved is only a holding of a purchased patent, and not original effort.

Sorry. Though you might want it to be otherwise, this is the definition of a patent troll--behaviour not worthy of respect in any circle.
 

mihen

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You can look at the patents since they listed them. I only looked at the first couple. They were granted in 2014 and list a specific process in fabrication. The entity filing the patents was Global Foundry.
 
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TJ Hooker

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You can look at the patents since they listed them. I only looked at the first couple. They were granted in 2014 and list a specific process in fabrication. The entity filing the patents was Global Foundry.
I looked at a few of the other patents, there are also some from other companies such as IBM and AMD.
 

vaughn2k

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WTF does that have to do with anything?

And there's only a possible majority, if you count Indians as Asian and if you count each inventor once per patent on which they're listed. If your point is that it's some kind of racist move by Glo Fo, then I'm not sure if you'd lump the South Asians with the East Asians

Anyway, there's a lot of Saudi money in Glo Fo, so maybe go think about that for a while.
Did I say, 'South'? Or 'Southeast'?
I said 'Asians'
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
Did I say, 'South'? Or 'Southeast'?
I said 'Asians'
Okay, I'm sorry I replied.

If you're trying to suggest that this move is somehow motivated by racism, I'm not buying it. If not, then exactly what was your point?

It's pretty clear that with Global Foundries not investing in new tech, the clock is ticking on their economic viability. So, investors are obviously now looking to extract as much value from the entity as possible, before it reaches its expiration date. And, as far as I'm aware, the only other big semiconductor foundries are Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and some up-and-coming Chinese foundries (which are probably a lot harder to go after). So, yeah, they're going to be suing Asians + Intel.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
It's pretty clear that with Global Foundries not investing in new tech, the clock is ticking on their economic viability.
Bleeding-edge processes excel at bleeding-edge stuff, most older processes find niches they may be able to excel at indefinitely. You aren't going to make transistors able to switch 50A at 50V on 7nm any time soon, those are still being made on 1000+nm processes. You aren't going to see ultra-low-power micro-controllers on 7nm any time soon either because the static leakage current is too high, those are mostly made on 22+nm.

We're entering the next stage of semi-custom ASICs where a bunch of chiplets get stitched together to form a finished ASIC product using some mixture of interposers and bridges, passive and active. Someone will need to make all these extra boilerplate pieces of silicon. Those are things that 14nm should be perfectly suitable at for the foreseeable future, GloFo only needs to not alienate its potential customers. I'm sure GloFo will find ways to tweak its 14nm to suit other applications that don't require bleeding-edge density or speed too.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
GloFo only needs to not alienate its potential customers. I'm sure GloFo will find ways to tweak its 14nm to suit other applications that don't require bleeding-edge density or speed too.
Fair points, though the clock is still ticking on their existing patents.

Maybe the reason they're doing this now is that their strategic focus has changed from investing in new tech needed to remain competitive, to more focus on cost controls and other ways to extract value.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Fair points, though the clock is still ticking on their existing patents.
~15 years to go on 14nm-related patents is a long time to go for any would-be competition on 14nm to wait the patents out if they can't achieve the same or similar results by other means, such as adapting a 7-10nm process to do 14+nm stuff. I imagine emulating 14nm using more advanced tech is going to be cheaper than dealing with GloFo's patents before the patents expire.

Another way GloFo might screw itself up is Intel's foundry services: if GloFo pisses off its own customers, those customers may end up signing up for whatever 14nm fab capacity Intel can spare once its core products transition to volume production on 7nm.

I doubt GloFo will extract much "value" out of patent lawsuits. I'm guessing GloFo is mainly sore about many of its now former customers jumping ship due to GloFo falling behind, soon to include AMD once its minimum wafer purchase agreement from the spin-off arrangements expires. GloFo must be under considerable pressure to find replacement revenue, too bad it picked litigation over trying to develop markets for what it may be able to tweak its 14nm process to be best at.
 

vaughn2k

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Okay, I'm sorry I replied.

If you're trying to suggest that this move is somehow motivated by racism, I'm not buying it. If not, then exactly what was your point?

It's pretty clear that with Global Foundries not investing in new tech, the clock is ticking on their economic viability. So, investors are obviously now looking to extract as much value from the entity as possible, before it reaches its expiration date. And, as far as I'm aware, the only other big semiconductor foundries are Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and some up-and-coming Chinese foundries (which are probably a lot harder to go after). So, yeah, they're going to be suing Asians + Intel.
GloFo inventors are Asians, TSMC is in Taiwan, which is in Asia, and Asians - still you didn't get it?
This is not a racist thing. It's all about collaboration.
 

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