Bitman Chip Supplier TSMC Faces Multiple Patent Infringement Lawsuits

TSMC’s client list includes Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and AMD.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the chip supplier of Bitmain and many other tech giants, is facing multiple lawsuits from its US-based competitor GlobalFoundries (GF).

Announced on Monday by the plaintiff, the lawsuits accused the Taiwanese manufacturer of infringing on 16 GF patents and were filled in multiple courts in the United States and Germany.

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TSMC is currently the largest chip manufacturer in the world while GF holds second place in terms of annual sales.

In the filings, GF seeks orders that will prevent semiconductors produced with the infringing technology by Taiwan-based TSMC from being imported into the US and Germany. GF is also seeking the names of TSMC chip importers that incorporate the infringing TSMC technology along with “significant damages.”

“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. This action is critical to halt Taiwan Semiconductor’s unlawful use of our vital assets and to safeguard the American and European manufacturing base,” Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of engineering and technology at GF, said.

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Apart from Bitmain, TSMC’s client list includes tech giants like Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), MediaTek, Marvell, and Broadcom.

Baseless allegations?

In a statement published on Tuesday, the Taiwanese giant mentioned that it is “in the process of reviewing the complaints,” but it is “confident” that the allegations made against it are “baseless.”

TSMC has focused on the manufacturing of Bitcoin and other crypto mining hardware since the past few years with the boom in the mining industry. It also collaborated with Bitmain, the largest ASIC-based Bitcoin miner maker, to bring the 7nm ASIC chips using its FinFET technology.

According to Chinese news outlet Sina, the allegations of patent infringement covers the manufacturing technology of 7 nm, 10nm, 16nm, and 28nm semiconductor chips, which are used for making Bitmain chips.

Last month, the Chinese mining hardware supplier urgently ordered 30,000 7nm wafers from TSMC amid high demand for its new mining hardware in the market.

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