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  • Chinese Court Rules that TSMC Engineer Passed Trade Secrets to Samsung

    According to a ruling passed on by Taiwan’s Supreme Court, an engineer who recently left TSMC for a new job at Samsung’s foundry division illegally passed trade secrets to the South Korean electronics manufacturer. As a result of the ruling, Liang Mong-song, who was overseeing an advanced research and development division at TSMC, will be barred from working at Samsung until the end of the year according to the EETimes. To clarify, Liang is currently serving as Chief Technology Officer of Samsung’s System LSI group.

    Previously, Liang worked at TSMC for roughly 20 years and was one of the key players in the company’s development of its FinFET fabrication process. He left the company in 2009 after being passed over for a promotion that would have ended up giving him oversight of all of TSMC’s entire research and development effort.

    TSMC was operating the most advanced contract fab in the market at the time of Liang’s departure. At the same time, Samsung, while still a major foundry player, was having issues with smaller and more advanced process nodes. Liang initially joined the South Korean electronics manufacturer as a professor at a company-sponsored university in Seoul. During this trial period, TSMC argued that this was a “cover-up” that was designed to protect Liang from his non-compete agreement along with an effort to keep his multi-million dollar TSMC stock options grant intact.

    After his non-compete expired, Liang formally started at Samsung’s System LSI division and ended up leading the development of the forthcoming 14-nanometer FinFET process. Many claim that the process, along with the fact that TSMC’s issues with its own 16-nanometer variant, allow Samsung to win and retain a majority of Apple’s A-series processor business, though it seems that TSMC might have recently won back some of the orders for the next-gen A9.

    Source: EETimes via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Chinese Court Rules that TSMC Engineer Passed Trade Secrets to Samsung started by Akshay Masand View original post