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Intel Fined 2 Billion USD In Damages For Patent Infringement

A federal jury in Texas has ruled that Intel Corporation violated two patents of VLSI Technology and must pay 2.18 billion USD in damages. The damages include 1.5 billion for one patent and 675 million for the other. The patents are related to clock frequency control and minimum memory operating voltage technique and were awarded to Freescale Semiconductor Inc in 2012 and SigmaTel in 2010. Freescale bought SigmaTel gaining control of the two patents before being passed to NXP after the company acquired Freescale in 2015, these patents were then transferred to the newly resurrected VLSI Technology in 2019 with the sole purpose of launching a legal battle against Intel. In a comment to Tom's Hardware the company said "Intel strongly disagrees with today's jury verdict. We intend to appeal and are confident that we will prevail.". This legal battle will likely drag-out for several years as Intel plans to appeal the recent ruling. Intel recorded a net income of 5.9 billion USD in Q4 2020 so this fine is by no means insignificant.

Manufacturing: Samsung Semiconductor Fabs in Texas Shut Down Following State-wide Power Shortages

News just keep flowing that are bound to have impact on pricing for components users of this website know and love. The Austin-American Statesman reports that Samsung has been ordered to shutter its Texas factories in wake of recent power shortages that have impacted the state. The order, which came from Austin Energy, doesn't just affect Samsung: all industrial and semiconductor manufacturers in the state were ordered to idle or shut down their facilities, meaning that NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Semiconductors have also been affected. According to Austin Energy, all companies have complied with the order. A date for the lifting of these restrictions still hasn't been given.

As we know, semiconductor manufacturing is a drawn-out process, with some particular wafers taking several months in their journey from initial fabrication until they reach completion. This meas that it's a particularly sensitive business in regards to power outages or general service interruptions. The entire semiconductor manufacturing lines - and products therein, in various stages of production - can be rendered unusable due to these events, which will have a sizable impact in the final manufacturing output of a given factory. It remains to be seen the scale of this production impact, but a few percentage points difference in the overall global semiconductor manufacturing could have dire implications for availability and pricing, considering the already insufficient operational capacity in regards to demand. Considering the impact adverse temperatures are having on Texas residents, here's hoping for the quick resolution of these problems, which affect much more than just semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.

NXP Advances 5G with New Gallium Nitride Fab in Arizona

NXP Semiconductors N.V. today announced the grand opening of its 150 mm (6-inch) RF Gallium Nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler, Arizona, the most advanced fab dedicated to 5G RF power amplifiers in the United States. The new internal factory combines NXP's expertise as the industry leader in RF power and its high-volume manufacturing know-how, resulting in streamlined innovation that supports the expansion of 5G base stations and advanced communication infrastructure in the industrial, aerospace and defense markets.
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