Taiwan Semiconductor Manufac-turing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chipmaker, has been filing patents in China for the past year amid plans to begin operating there, the company said yesterday.
The company holds around 3,000 semiconductor-related patents and believes it's time to begin making preparations for entering the Chnia market.
"We are trying to register our IP in China because the market is getting more and more important," said Guo Shan-shan (
The company denied a Chinese-language media report alleging that TSMC fears similar patents could be filed by competitors in China.
Former TSMC employees have already passed some of the company's trade secrets to upstart chipmakers in Shanghai.
Last January, the company filed an official complaint which was eventually taken up by the Hsinchu District Prosecutor's Office. Liu Yun-chien (劉芸茜), a former manager at TSMC, allegedly sent 11 e-mail messages containing protected chip information to an official at Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際集成電路) in Shanghai between November 2000 and January last year.
Liu then resigned from TSMC and was hired as a senior consultant at SMIC a month later. SMIC is the first Chinese company to compete with TSMC. The head of SMIC, Richard Chang (
SMIC denied any wrongdoing.
A number of former TSMC employees have moved to China to work in the country's fledgling chip sector.
Now that the government has cleared the way for chipmakers to invest in China, TSMC has said it hopes to make moves across the Taiwan Strait by next year.
Chip manufacturers have to ramp up production on state-of-the-art 12-inch wafer production plants before they can apply to the government for permission to set up a plant in China. TSMC believes it will pass this hurdle by the end of the year.
Local media also reported that the utilization rate at TSMC, which measures the percentage of production lines actually running, is likely to hit between 85 and 90 percent in the third quarter.
By phasing out some older equipment, the average utilization rate increased from 67 percent in the first quarter to 80 percent in the second.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle