If anyone still regards Spansion as a once-bankrupt flash-memory company, perhaps it's time to reconsider. Pourkeramati described his company today as a "memory solution company" in the embedded market business -- with focus on automotive, industrial, medical, consumer, and networking.
Armed with 5,000 patents -- including 1,400 to 1,500 from recently acquired Fujitsu Semiconductor's MCU and analog businesses -- Spansion's licensing portfolio now includes IP related to, not just flash memory and memory subsystems, but also MCU, SoC, power management, and analog. Spansion's new IP also includes Charge Trap 3D NAND technology, he notes.
Would not settle
As for what appears to be an escalating legal battle with Macronix, Pourkeramati made it clear: "We would not settle."
In August this year, Spansion announced its complaint against Macronix, alleging that Macronix NOR Flash and XtraROM products infringe six patents that relate to the security of memory cells and to the manufacturing and structure of flash memory chips used in gaming devices, digital cameras, networking equipment, laptop and tablet computers, and other consumer electronics.
Spansion has asked the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to bar importation to the US market of infringing Macronix Flash memory devices and all downstream products that include infringing Macronix Flash memory devices. In September, the ITC voted to institute an investigation of unfair importation by Macronix Inc.
Meanwhile, Macronix in October filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Spansion, claiming infringement of seven Macronix patents directed to numerous aspects of flash memory. The seven patents relate to manufacturing of flash memory chips, compact memory with serial interfaces, security of memory cells, and circuit designs for flash memory.
In November, Macronix announced that it has filed petitions with the US Patent and Trademark Office for inter-parties review, challenging the validity of each of the patents Spansion has asserted against it in the United States. Inter-parties review is a new type of proceeding that became available on September 16, 2012, for challenging the validity of patents issued by the USPTO.
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times