Apple chipmaker countersues rival for infringing on patents

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Apple chipmaker racing ahead with its next next-gen nanometer process
TSMC is the company behind Apple's A-series chips.
Photo: Apple

Apple chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is counter-suing smaller chipmaking rival GlobalFoundries in the U.S., Germany, and Singapore. TSMC says that GlobalFoundries infringed on 25 of its patents.

TSMC is the world’s largest contact chipmaker. It creates the A-series chips used in Apple devices, such as the iPhone 11’s A13 processor. It is looking for “substantial monetary damages” from GlobalFoundries.

Chip-maker’s lawsuit could block iPhone imports to the US

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TSMC 7nm processor
TSMC microprocessors like these are the subject of a massive lawsuit brought by a US chipmaker.
Photo: TSMC

US-based Globalfoundries filed multiple patent-infringement lawsuits against TSMC, the Taiwanese company that manufactures the processors used in all iPhone and iPad models. It also sued Apple, Google and others that make products with TSMC chips.

The lawsuits seek the block the import into the US and Germany of all semiconductors made with what Globalfoundries claims is its intellectual property.

We’re the chips in America: Apple could build A9 processor in the U.S.

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Chips
A9 production may be coming to the U.S. Photo: Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr CC
Photo: Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr CC

GlobalFoundries, a.k.a. the largest silicon foundry in the United States, is pushing to to become a mobile device chipmaker for Apple, according to a new report.

On the back of the enormous success of the iPhone 6, the battle to build Apple’s next generation 14-nanometer A9 chips has been raging as of late — with the three leaders being Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Samsung and GlobalFoundries.

The chips in question are set to debut with Apple’s 2015 iOS devices, including the next generation iPhones and iPads.

Samsung and GlobalFoundries will produce Apple’s A9 chips in 2015

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apple_a7_chip-640x360

Samsung and GlobalFoundries have reportedly landed orders from Apple to produce the 14-nanometer A9 processor starting next year, according to DigiTimes.

These 14nm chips will be created in GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 factory in Malta, New York, which Samsung will also use to produce Apple’s A-series chips. DigiTimes’ source suggests that the two foundries plan to push their initial 14nm LPE (low power early) process — which was verified back in February — into risk production in Q4 this year, with small volume production in early 2015.