Samsung ordered to pay a $400 million fine over FinFet patent dispute

GlobalFoundries was also found to have infringed the patent

Samsung ordered to pay $400 million over FinFet patent dispute

Samsung ordered to pay a $400 million fine over FinFet patent dispute

A federal jury in Texas has fined Samsung over their use of FinFet technology, infringing a patent from the licensing arm of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Samsung has been told to pay damaged of $400 million, though the company has pledged to appeal this decision. 

FinFet technology is designed to increase the efficiency and performance of small low power silicon transistors, being used in all modern processors from modern phone SoC to desktop and server-class CPUs from both Intel and AMD. Intel, who first commercialised FinFet on their 22nm process node with so-called "Tri-Gate" transistors. 

Samsung refused to pay licensing fees to the KAIST when they first implemented FinFET technology, with Samsung reportedly dismissing the technology as a fad before Intel licensed and utilised the tech. GlobalFoundries was also found to have infringed on KAIST's patent, though they were not told to pay any damages. This is likely because GlobalFoundries licensed their 14nm technology from Samsung. 

In court Samsung told the jury that the company worked with the university to develop the technology, denying that they infringed on their patent. The company also called into question the legitimacy of the patent. Samsung's $400 million fine is smaller than what the KAIST requested, though the judge can triple the value of this fine upon sentencing. 

Samsung ordered to pay $400 million over FinFet patent dispute

FinFet technology is vital to all modern processors, with Intel, AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm all using the technology in their latest processors. It is also possible that KAIST's IP arm may also target TSMC for patent violation, assuming that they can find enough evidence to start another court case. 

You can join the discussion on Samsung being ordered to pay $400 million over a FinFet patent dispute on the OC3D Forums

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