According to the latest reports from foreign media, sources revealed that in order to develop more advanced wafer manufacturing technology, two chip factories in mainland China offered 2~2.5 times the annual salary to recruit TSMC engineers. TSMC has more than 100 senior engineers and managers to change jobs!
The two mainland fabs are both led by TSMC executives. The two companies have poached more than 50 people from TSMC to build 14nm and 12nm processes. 14. The 12nm process is 2~3 generations behind TSMC, but it is still the most advanced process in mainland China.
“These people are paid as much as 2 to 2.5 times the total annual salary and dividends of TSMC,” said a person familiar with the matter. The headhunter also said: “Mainland Chinese manufacturers only target industrial talents working in top companies, and TSMC is the primary target.” Although the brain drain has no immediate impact on TSMC’s leadership in the industry, TSMC remains concerned that business secrets will fall into the hands of emerging competitors, the sources said.
TSMC even requires semiconductor equipment manufacturers to sign a commitment not to sell TSMC’s customized tools to mainland factories.
Before, more than 3,000 chip engineers from Taiwan, China, were lost to mainland China. “The loss of hundreds of people at TSMC may not be immediately affected, but some smaller chip companies may collapse if they lose a few dozen people,” said a chip industry executive.
“All Asian countries and regions need to figure out how to retain talent, because mainland China can use its huge capital market, subsidies and generous benefits to attract talent.”
Despite bringing together many top talents, building chip technology from scratch is still extremely challenging. Market watchers and industry executives say success requires a constant supply of good talent, extensive experience, a long learning curve, and deep financial resources.
Although Chinese mainland manufacturers are poaching wildly, semiconductor analysts pointed out that the mainland is carrying out a number of large-scale semiconductor projects at the same time, and the wafer talent is extremely insufficient, which has become a bottleneck in the development of semiconductors, and factories will compete with each other and compete for personnel.