To bad weather, good face. The Taiwanese company TSMC seems to have placed this slogan in its cover letter. The bad weather is justified by the enormous challenges ahead in the short and medium term despite the strength with which it leads the semiconductor industry. In fact, its 54% share of the chip market puts it a long way from the roughly 17% held by Intel and Samsung, which are fighting for second place.
If we stick to the short term, the biggest challenge facing both TSMC and the other manufacturers of integrated circuits is to ensure that the chip crisis that is already worsening does as little damage as possible to their coffers. The decline in demand is so palpable that Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of Intel, and Dave Reeder, the CFO of GlobalFoundries, have anticipated that 2023 will not be a good year for chipmakers.
However, TSMC is watching an even more sinister threat loom on the horizon: the possibility of tensions between China and Taiwan escalating and coming to blows. The atmosphere is so charged that at the beginning of last August Mark Liu, its general director, assured during an interview with the American chain CNN that the company he runs would be forced to paralyze their factories (at least the ones you have on Taiwanese soil).
Despite everything, it is going to hire 6,000 engineers. And he offers them salaries
Far from allowing circumstances to intimidate them, the executives of this company have opted to continue strengthening themselves. TSMC is preparing two new factories in Taiwan where some of its most advanced lithographic nodes will reside, as well as two more plants in Arizona (United States) in which it will invest, according to Mark Liu, 40,000 million dollars, a figure that it almost multiplies by four the 12,000 million that it had initially budgeted.
The new semiconductor plant installed in the science park in southern Taiwan is almost ready
The new semiconductor plant in the science park in southern Taiwan is almost ready, and the one in Hsinchu will presumably be ready by 2024, or 2025 at the latest. And, of course, to operate these facilities, TSMC needs highly qualified staff. In fact, he has confirmed that to cover his needs during 2023 he needs to recruit no less than 6,000 engineers. However, this figure is close to their needs for Taiwan. When its new plants in the United States are ready, it will certainly need to hire more qualified personnel.
In addition to confirming how many engineers it needs to sign, TSMC has revealed how much it plans to pay them. And it is not but not bad. The average salary of an engineer new to the company and endorsed by a master’s degree exceeds $65,500 per year, but this is only the starting point. It is assumed that as they gain experience their salary will increase. Of course, despite the storm clouds, this company expects that the demand for chips will begin to recover during the second half of 2023.
Cover image: TSMC
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