The settlement this week between TSMC and GlobalFoundries appears to be a David vs. Goliath victory with the smaller foundry gaining access to TSMC patents for years.
TSMC may have simply “thrown a bone” to GlobalFoundries (GF), which has no ability to use the most valuable of those patents because it dropped out of the Moore’s Law race at the 7 nm mark, according to Robert Maire, president of Semiconductor Advisors.
“GF got a better deal through the cross licensing of patents with TSMC,” Maire said to EE Times. “GF is the winner, although using the term ‘winner’ may be a bit misleading. It doesn’t matter if TSMC throws them a bone. GF is out of the game.”
The settlement eliminates the risk that TSMC customers such as Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm might face injunctions against sales of their TSMC-made chips in the U.S.
The settlement is almost certainly record setting.
“This may have been the shortest legal battle in semiconductor history,” said Bill McClean, president of IC Insights. “GF filed its lawsuit against TSMC on Aug. 26, TSMC filed its lawsuit against GF one month later on Sept. 30, and the companies settled one month later on Oct. 28.”
The peace pact is also a victory for TSMC, sort of.
The settlement “removes a legal distraction and legal costs for TSMC,” Credit Suisse analyst Randy Abrams said in a published report provided to EE Times. “The end of the litigation is a sentiment positive in removing a distraction for management and an area of risk both for TSMC and the industry.”
For the rest of this article, see EPSNews sister publication EETimes.