As Big Tech lays off staff, TSMC swoops in to hire 6,000
Good news: Jobs for all! Bad news: Employer may be invaded by China
Updated TSMC is capitalizing on the recent trend for tech layoffs, which have left thousands of engineers out of work.
The company says it plans to recruit as many as 6,000 engineers — a roughly 10 percent increase in headcount — to keep the wafers flowing. First reported by Reuters, TSMC isn't just looking for expensive talent, but is looking to hire engineers with educations ranging from a 2-year degree up to a doctorate in electrical engineering or software development.
The catch is you may have to relocate to Taiwan. The local salary being offered is a fair bit lower than what you'd expect to see in the US. TSMC says the average salary for a new engineer will be about NT$2 million dollars, or about $65,500 a year, though it's worth noting the cost of living is considerably lower in Taiwan. TMSC is also dramatically expanding in the US, but it'll be a while before the new fabs come online.
The hiring round comes as the semiconductor industry as a whole contends with a weakening global economy and declining demand for chips, particularly in consumer markets.
These economic forces have hit many chipmakers hard. In January, Samsung, TSMC's largest rival in the foundry sphere, saw its profits fall to $3.4 billion dollars, a 69 percent decline from the year prior, while revenues slid 8 percent to $57.3 billion.
- Intel buries news of GPU cuts and delays in low-key Friday post
- Samsung profits and sales slump, hopes for a jump start from cars
- TSMC bucks chip biz trend with Q4 sales lift, but will cut spending in 2023
- TSMC injects a bonus $3.5B into Arizona chip fabs
The situation has been even worse for Intel, which is investing tens of billions of dollars a year to expand its semiconductor manufacturing capacity. But as of yet, none of its new facilities are ready, and the boss of Intel's Foundry Services recently resigned.
Meanwhile declining PC and datacenter sales have forced the US chip giant to take drastic actions to preserve its foundry endeavors. The company has cut billions of dollars in research and development projects and announced layoffs to keep its foundry ambitions on track.
By comparison, TSMC has, so far, managed to push ahead largely unscathed. While others were posting operating losses and declining revenues, TSMC reported Q4 revenues of $19.93 billion, a 26.7 percent increase from the year prior.
Things do appear to be ramping down slightly for the world's largest chip manufacturer. In January TSMC said it expected Q1 revenues to come in around 16.7-17.5 billion, marking the first decline in four years.
But as we all discovered following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor manufacturing has an incredibly long and complex supply chain. It takes years to bring new capacity online, which means that foundry operators need to plan far in advance.
TSMC certainly has plenty of projects in the works. The company expects to pour between $32 billion and $36 billion into capital expenditures in 2023. Much of this will go toward the company's sites in the US, which as of last month are now expected to cost the company roughly $40 billion to bring online.
The Register reached out to TSMC for comment; we'll let you know if we hear anything back.
Updated to add
"To support the company's business growth and technology development, TSMC is planning to recruit more than 6,000 new employees in Taiwan including engineers and production line operators in Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung in 2023," the chip biz told The Register.
"TSMC is recruiting broadly from both experienced professionals and first-time job seekers with backgrounds in electronics, electrical engineering, opto-electronics, mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, financial, accounting, management, human resources and related fields to come on board. TSMC is also recruiting production line operators. People with senior high school (inclusive) or above including college graduates are welcome to join. The company is open to hiring foreign engineers."