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News TSMC and GlobalFoundries Dismiss All Litigation, Announce Patent Cross-License

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Titan
Moderator
That was the most sensible and logical conclusion. Everybody apart from overpaid lawyers win and both companies get to do more of what they're supposed to be doing with fewer potential hindrances, and all of their respective clients have that many fewer reasons to fear litigation-induced production delays.
 
Reactions: Nick_C

MasterMadBones

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This all happened so quickly that I get the feeling this was what GlobalFoundries was after all along. As they are falling behind in the node race, this may help them hold on a couple of years longer, especially considering how much demand for 7nm and future nodes there is. TSMC may benefit from GF's packaging technologies.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
this may help them hold on a couple of years longer
Couple of years? With things like FOVEROS coming along, I can easily foresee 10-16nm active interposers and other similar building blocks sticking around for the next 10+ years. May not be as glamorous as bleeding-edge CPUs, GPUs and SoCs but enough to remain relevant for a very long time to come.

This isn't much different from how many companies still have 1300+nm fabs to make high voltage and/or current chips such as analog parts, power management ICs, FET drivers, etc.

Sometimes, newer isn't better.
 

MasterMadBones

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Couple of years? With things like FOVEROS coming along, I can easily foresee 10-16nm active interposers and other similar building blocks sticking around for the next 10+ years. May not be as glamorous as bleeding-edge CPUs, GPUs and SoCs but enough to remain relevant for a very long time to come.

This isn't much different from how many companies still have 1300+nm fabs to make high voltage and/or current chips such as analog parts, power management ICs, FET drivers, etc.

Sometimes, newer isn't better.
I was talking about the node race specifically. I am aware that there are hundreds of companies that produce ICs on larger nodes. Besides, GF's position in packaging technology is very good.

It's pretty important for the CPU and GPU market that GF stays competitive with node shrinks because there are currently just two independent manufacturers of bleeding-edge process technology.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
It's pretty important for the CPU and GPU market that GF stays competitive with node shrinks because there are currently just two independent manufacturers of bleeding-edge process technology.
Between the exorbitant costs of fabs making it impossible for most IC designers to justify owning their own and the significant costs of re-taping-out and re-qualifying a design on different manufacturers' processes, the market has a finite capability and willingness to support more than one manufacturer, so having fewer companies to deal with is better so long as they don't start price-gouging for their services or discriminating for questionable reasons.

The biggest problem is that fundamental research is getting too expensive for any single company to afford, so everyone is pitching into the ASML pot. Since just about everyone depends on the same ASML equipment, having more different fabs compete for equipment would only slow down capacity scaling, which would be particularly bad for small fabs that don't have enough NXE:3400 to spare their customers the trouble of re-designing their chips to accommodate multiple fabs.

The more expensive research and equipment gets, the more the semiconductor business is going to become a practical monopoly.
 

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