Chinese foundry violated Taiwanese secrets

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A jury in Oakland found yesterday that Chinese foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) failed to abide by a 2005 agreement and breached a four year settlement with Taiwanese firm TSMC.

The jury found that the $175 million settlement was breached, and that SMIC infringed many of the 65 trade secrets TSMC had accused it of filching.

TSMC wants over $1 billion in damages, according to the Taipei Times. The jury will begin deliberating how much of that should be awarded to TSMC.

TSMC is the largest pure play foundry in the world, while SMIC, based in mainland China, is a relatively recent player and has nothing like the market share the Taiwanese player commands.

SMIC may well appeal the decision. The Taipei Times story is here.

* Meanwhile, the same newspaper said that Chartered Semiconductor, which is to merge with AMD foundry spin off Global Foundries, will become the second biggest foundry in the world, and plans to expand its production in its fabs in Singapore and in Dresden. It has already broken ground to build a new fab in New York State.