UMC settles Micron memory battle

November 26, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
UMC pays to reach Micron memory settlement
Micron Technology and Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics have settled their long-running legal battle over memory technologies.

The companies will each globally withdraw their complaints against the other party, and UMC will make a one-time payment of an undisclosed amount to Micron. "UMC and Micron look forward to engaging in mutual business cooperation opportunities," said the statement issued by both companies.

In June 2020 UMC was found guilty of theft of trade secrets from Micron in the US by a court in Taichung City, Taiwan (see UMC found guilty of stealing Micron DRAM secrets ). UMC was ordered to pay a fine of NT$100 million (about US$3.37 million). The foundry was set to appeal the ruling.

The law suit referenced events back in 2015 through 2017 when UMC was working with Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. Ltd. to develop and introduce DRAM components to the market. It was alleged that two engineers who had previously worked for Micron Taiwan, before joining UMC in November 2015 and March 2016 had proprietary Micron information to UMC, although UMC always claimed that the Fujian Jinhua project was based on its own proprietary DRAM technology (see UMC sues Micron in China ).

The lawsuit had a sufficiently chilling effect that UMC suspended the project with Jinhua (see Report: UMC backs away from China DRAM venture ) but UMC also successfully sued Micron in China of patent infringement (see Micron hit with Chinese DRAM ban ).

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