News Intel Accused of Infringing FinFET Patent, Loses 6th Challenge Against Chinese Academy of Sciences

Howardohyea

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"...the lawsuit also seeks a ban on the sale of Intel's 'Core' family of chips that it uses for its client products..."

that's not possible, the Chinese government can't ban Intel Core processors. China doesn't have their own CPUs in mass production (the Zhaoxin CPUs can't compete, but more importantly it's made at TSMC, not in China mainland) and AMD doesn't have that much of a presence. Unless the government want to risk a technology blackout in China they won't (can't) ban Intel
 
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InvalidError

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Unless the government want to risk a technology blackout in China they won't (can't) ban Intel
China has plenty of non-x86 CPUs and SoCs. While they may not be as fast, they are certainly fast enough to keep the country together as it works its way up the performance ladder.

Also keep in mind that 'core' is the consumer brand. Banning sales of consumer CPUs isn't going to hurt Chinese research, manufacturing and infrastructure much, they can still use AMD CPUs and (probably) Intel's Xeons where they absolutely need high-performance x86.

China has been working on severing its dependence on foreign tech for 15+ years. This is just another step in that direction the CCP was going to take sooner or later.
 

thisisaname

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China has plenty of non-x86 CPUs and SoCs. While they may not be as fast, they are certainly fast enough to keep the country together as it works its way up the performance ladder.

Also keep in mind that 'core' is the consumer brand. Banning sales of consumer CPUs isn't going to hurt Chinese research, manufacturing and infrastructure much, they can still use AMD CPUs and (probably) Intel's Xeons where they absolutely need high-performance x86.

China has been working on severing its dependence on foreign tech for 15+ years. This is just another step in that direction the CCP was going to take sooner or later.
A case where they can not compete with Intel so they are trying to sue them out of the market?
 

InvalidError

Titan
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A case where they can not compete with Intel so they are trying to sue them out of the market?
China going after foreign companies likely has a lot more to do with retaliation against foreign countries going after Chinese companies for stuff that China isn't self-sufficient on yet, such as the chip sales bans to major Chinese companies like Huawei.

Also, one key reason China is behind on chip tech is the manufacturing equipment sales ban. Can't make 7nm chips in China if you can't import the necessary equipment there. That would be another reason for Chinese companies to go against foreign companies for everything they can find.
 

hotaru251

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funny that a chinese place is sueing intel for patent infringement....when Chinese guy literally stole an entire ARM company w/o any repercussions.


Also this lawsuit (31M) seems pretty low and with intel moving away from finfet the sales of "core" series seems pointless as future cpus wont even use that deisgn?
 

PapaCrazy

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The Chinese patent is dated 2011, the same year Intel began using finfet design, and decades after finfet research began, with American patents going back to the 80s. Why aren't tech journalists willing to come straight out and call this what it is... the biggest, most politically manipulative example of patent trolling the world has ever seen?

They've been keeping this one in their pocket. The question is, why only use it now?
 

deesider

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Yeah, Intel was using this tech well before the company in question even applied for a patent. This would immediately have been dismissed as frivolous in any normal court.
So I had a quick look on Wikipedia, and Intel didn't start shipping products with FinFet until 2012 - but they demonstrated the tech in 2011.

Funnily enough, this public Intel presentation from April 2011 that explains FinFet has an electron microscope picture on page 8 that is identical to the picture used in the Chinese patent filed in August 2011:

https://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/22nm/pdfs/22nm-Details_Presentation.pdf

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/search/family/047745866/publication/CN102956457A?q=CN102956457

Maybe Intel should countersue for copyright infringement ;)
 

watzupken

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So I had a quick look on Wikipedia, and Intel didn't start shipping products with FinFet until 2012 - but they demonstrated the tech in 2011.

Funnily enough, this public Intel presentation from April 2011 that explains FinFet has an electron microscope picture on page 8 that is identical to the picture used in the Chinese patent filed in August 2011:

https://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/22nm/pdfs/22nm-Details_Presentation.pdf

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/search/family/047745866/publication/CN102956457A?q=CN102956457

Maybe Intel should countersue for copyright infringement ;)
The problem is this is already a sure lost for Intel, especially when they are fighting on unfriendly soil. Chances of Intel winning this case is near to 0, no matter how hard and long they try. They are just wasting money and time, unless they can get off FinFet anytime soon, then perhaps it is worth delaying the inevitable.
 

Co BIY

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Any article about a lawsuit in China that does clearly spell out that there is no "Rule of Law" in China is misleading.

This lawsuit is just "War by other means". Intel is stuck in the middle of it here and has to play the game pretending that this is about patents, technology and law. Even though it is not about any of those things and everyone in the game knows that.

There is no "Free Trade" with China because China is not a "Free" nation.
 

Howardohyea

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May 13, 2021
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Also keep in mind that 'core' is the consumer brand. Banning sales of consumer CPUs isn't going to hurt Chinese research, manufacturing and infrastructure much, they can still use AMD CPUs and (probably) Intel's Xeons where they absolutely need high-performance x86.
they sure would annoy the heck out of the general public and OEM makers, since a large chunk of all manufacturer's profit/revenue comes from China, would be interesting to see how the government react to that if they banned Intel's CPU.

Then again, from the article: "...at least until the two parties can come to a licensing agreement." So most likely Intel will pay a fine or settle it somehow
 

Bazzy 505

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Intel has lost its sixth challenge as it looks to avoid a patent infringement lawsuit from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Intel Accused of Infringing FinFET Patent, Loses 6th Challenge Against Chinese Academy of Sciences : Read more
As Anyone involved who has operated in chinese market will learn sooner or later, Chinese will either strongarm into IP transfer or outright steal any technology they deem essential to their domestic ecosystem. No western company wants to openly talk about it for fears of burning whatever chance
there is to operate in CN. For that reason alone, lion's share of those patents granted in China are barely worth the paper they've been filed on at the patent office.

I think the long game in this "litigation" is to force Intel into a cross licensing deal. Chinese Academy of Sciencies, after all is a stakeholder in more than few countries' top tech companies. This kind of scheme is nothing new. What's new is actually taking a swipe at company of the size of Intel. Pretty ballsy move even for chinese.

But than again it may be an attempt to vacate a market segment to make room for the domestically brewed cpu's
 
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InvalidError

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Then again, from the article: "...at least until the two parties can come to a licensing agreement." So most likely Intel will pay a fine or settle it somehow
IIRC, China's DRAM price-fixing lawsuits ended with an agreement to build a DRAM fab in China to supply the Chinese market.

Definitely wouldn't be the first time that China sues on questionable grounds to twist companies' arms into investing in or IP-sharing with Chinese companies if they want to continue doing business in China.
 

helper800

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I have a hypothetical. Lets say all major non-Chinese tech companies move out of China resulting from decades of IP stealing and frivolous lawsuits with ulterior motives. What would China do then? Would these companies all go under because they are no longer in the Chinese market? Is this something feasible for Intel for example? The opportunity cost of operation in China may begin to exceed actual profit eventually. Imagine a world where 3 months to 1 year after Intel comes out with a new line of CPU's and then a Chinese CPU maker come out with the same exact product with a different label on it.
 

Drazen

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I'm not Chinese but do you really think US Patent Office is an example of a honest office?
Yeah, it's really funny reading how China who stole lot of tech is suing someone!
But Chinese have patents too. And every ban is making them faster. West banning China is nothing compared to China stopping all exports to the West. Just visit local store and check origin. Not many from West
 
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There are also the pesky lawsuits associated with the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities and the company's 7nm delay.
Does anyone know if that's the old 10nm rebranded as 7nm, or the old 7nm that's "actually" 5nm? Basically, is that lawsuit about Tick-Tock-Sproing-Thunk-Stomp-Argh or is Intel struggling to get their post 10nm fabs up and running? I don't remember when that process rebrand happened and I don't know if old 10nm is getting out the door in force yet.

Edit: It does seem to be the upcoming 7nm/5nm node. Can't say I'm too surprised at this point, but it's really not great in a national security context what with TSMC running most of the cutting edge production these days.
 

Bazzy 505

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I have a hypothetical. Lets say all major non-Chinese tech companies move out of China resulting from decades of IP stealing and frivolous lawsuits with ulterior motives. What would China do then? Would these companies all go under because they are no longer in the Chinese market? Is this something feasible for Intel for example? The opportunity cost of operation in China may begin to exceed actual profit eventually. Imagine a world where 3 months to 1 year after Intel comes out with a new line of CPU's and then a Chinese CPU maker come out with the same exact product with a different label on it.
That's not happening, at least not in mid-term. In past 3 decades China has worked, to much damage to its environment, to a position where it's effectivelly the only major supplier of rare earth elements left. These are the key group of elements essential in manufacturing any modern IC. Any manufactuer that does not have at least part of its production stack located in China is a subject to severe quotas on export of said elements ( both formal and informal).
While it is teoretically possible to reopen those surface mines in US, Canada and Germany, it would take years to rebuild all infrastructure around them and get them to capacity. And that's not even considering the pushback from eniromental groups that would have followed due to huge enviromental damage these surface mines and their processing facilities come attached with.

This is also reason why Intel ships a lot of finished wafers made in US to China to be cut, tested, packaged and slapped with "made in china" only to shipped back to US right after.
 
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helper800

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That's not happening, at least not in mid-term. In past 3 decades China has worked, to much damage to its environment, to a position where it's effectivelly the only major supplier of rare earth elements left. These are the key group of elements essential in manufacturing any modern IC. Any manufactuer that does not have at least part of its production stack located in China is a subject to severe quotas on export of said elements ( both formal and informal).
While it is teoretically possible to reopen those surface mines in US, Canada and Germany, it would take years to rebuild all infrastructure around them and get them to capacity. And that's not even considering the pushback from eniromental groups that would have followed due to huge enviromental damage these surface mines and their processing facilities come attached with.

This is also reason why Intel ships a lot of finished wafers made in US to China to be cut, tested, packaged and slapped with "made in china" only to shipped back to US right after.
Thanks for answering. I do not have as nuanced of a rundown on the geopolitical nature of why China holds as much power as it does when it comes to the specific natural resources available to it.
 

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