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Giant foundries’ patent battles embroil Apple, Google and many others

Two giant foundries, TSMC and GlobalFoundries (GF), have engaged in a legal battle in the USA and Germany which threatens to embroil key mobile players such as Apple, Qualcomm and Cisco. The lawsuits center on GF’s claims that its Taiwanese rival, the world’s biggest semiconductor foundry, has infringed GF patents in 16 of its chip device and manufacturing technologies, in its 7nm, 10nm, 12nm, 16nm and 28nm processes. GF wants any chips produced with these technologies to be barred from being imported into the USA or Germany. It has filed lawsuits against 20 companies in total – TSMC itself plus fabless chip designers, component distributors and device makers which use semiconductors made with the allegedly infringing technologies.  The defendants include…

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