Globalfoundries, though it has been setting up manufacturing facilities of its own in China, said in its trade commission complaint that TSMC recently completed construction on an advanced chip plant in that country that rides “the shift in global supply chains out of the U.S. and Europe into Greater China”.
The lawsuits include a suit at the US International Trade Commission requesting a ban on imports of infringing TSMC products in the US.
GlobalFoundries is suing a Taiwan semiconductor manufacturer for patent infringement- a move that could impact smartphone sales in the United States. Samsung and Globalfoundries had a chipmaking technology partnership.
GlobalFoundries has not been having a good run of late: After predicting it would be producing 7nm parts by 2018, the company switched chief executives before putting its 7nm plans on indefinite hold – forcing former owner AMD to switch to TSMC for its 7nm CPU and GPU production.
Globalfoundries (GF) has filed lawsuits in Germany and the USA against TSMC and 19 companies that rely on ICs being manufactured there, among which tech giants such as Apple, Google, Qualcomm and Samsung. TSMC does most of its manufacturing in Taiwan, though it has some plants in mainland China.
In a statement, GF highlighted how the suits are created to support investments in the U.S. and Europe. Given these processes are used to make more than half of TSMC’s chips, the firm is seeking “significant damages” which reports claim could reach billions of dollars. “TSMC has always respected intellectual property and we have developed all our technologies by ourselves”, she said. If the courts do issue the injunction requested by GlobalFoundries, products like the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, and Android devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets could be banned from entering the U.S. As of past year, TSMC said that it is “manufacturing 10,436 different products using 261 distinct technologies for 481 different customers”. ‘For years, while we have been devoting billions of dollars to domestic research and development, TSMC has been unlawfully reaping the benefits of our investments.
In a move to focus on its funding in America amid an intensifying USA trade war with China over Beijing’s alleged unfair practices involving technology transfers and intellectual property, GlobalFoundries additionally mentioned the lawsuits are aimed at defending its US investment.
TSMC shares gained 0.60 percent to close at NT$250.00 (US$7.96) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), with 50.21 million shares changing hands on the local main board, where the benchmark weighted index ended up 0.32 percent at 10,387.23 points. The ITC in Washington, which protects USA markets from unfair trade practices, also has a reputation for speed, with investigations completed in 15 to 18 months. That means there will be an adequate supply of smartphones and other consumer electronics, it said in the court filings.
The Fab 8 plant in Malta, where GlobalFoundries has invested an estimated $12 billion since ground was broken in the Luther Forest Technology Campus a decade ago, employs about 3,000 people, in a facility GlobalFoundries says is making state-of-the-art chips.