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Samsung stole processor secrets from TSMC with insider help

by Jacob Kleinman | August 26, 2015August 26, 2015 4:00 pm PST

Apple’s A9 chip, which is expected to power the upcoming iPhone 6s, is allegedly being produced by both Samsung and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). However, it turns out TSMC might have had the entire contract to itself if it wasn’t for some foul play by Samsung.

DigiTimes reports that former TSMC executive Liang Mong-song was recently found guilty of revealing trade secrets and patents to Samsung by Taiwan’s Supreme Court. The leaked information apparently helped the South Korean giant beat its rival in the race to produce a 14/16nm FinFET processor. An earlier report even noted that new chips from the two companies were almost indistinguishable.

After leaking the information, Liang apparently left TSMC and took a job at a South Korean university that also happens to be sponsored by Samsung. He also allegedly spent some time working in the Galaxy-maker’s semiconductor design division.

The new court ruling will block Liang from working with Samsung in any way until December 31, 2015. It’s unclear if the company will suffer any other fallout from the decision, though it doesn’t look like its deal to supply Apple’s A9 chips will be affected.

DigiTimes 9to5Mac

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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