LSI, Agere spur ITC probe on tungsten ICs

May 16, 2008 – The US International Trade Commission is launching a wide-ranging probe on behalf of LSI and Agere Systems, to investigate certain semiconductor ICs and products containing tungsten metallization that might be infringing patents.

Companies being targeted include a lot of big names in global chipmaking, including Taiwan’s UMC, Nanya, Powerchip, and ProMOS; STMicroelectronics and NXP in Europe; China’s Grace Semiconductor; and a number of US firms, including IDT, Cypress, Freescale, Microchip Technology, National Semi, On Semi, and Spansion.

LSI and Agere filed their complaint on April 18, requesting an exclusion order and cease-and-desist order. The ITC’s probe does not represent a decision on the merits of the case; a judge will make an initial determination if there is a violation, with the ITC making a final determination “at the earliest practicable time.” A target date for completion of the probe is due within 45 days.


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