But according to a recent survey, there were an average of 35,000 monthly jobs for semiconductor engineers in Taiwan in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 39.8% over the same period last year. According to data from 104.com.tw, a job-seeking website in Taiwan, a qualified engineer job seeker gets an average of 3.4 job offers.
Milan Chang, the talent acquisition director of Micron in Taiwan, said in the 104.com annual report: “This is the most intense competition I have seen in 15 years!” Chang believes that the talent war will continue in the next three years, and Taiwan’s Semiconductor workers are in short supply due to low birth rates.
A country manager of a foreign headhunting firm, who did not want to be named, told DIGITIMES Asia that they have started helping Taiwanese semiconductor companies recruit workers from India and Southeast Asia. “Taiwan has an advantage over Singapore in this wave of talent wars, because the wages of semiconductors in Taiwan are high and the price level is only a fraction of Singapore’s,” the manager said.
There are 1,700 semiconductor companies in the industrial supply chain in Taiwan, including wafers, substrates and other materials, IC design companies, IC foundry manufacturers, and packaging and testing. The war for talent is getting fiercer every year. However, those who have the financial resources to raise wages or lure the best talent with huge bonuses areIntel、AMD, Nvidia, Micron and other foreign companies or MediaTek, TSMC, UMC and other multinational companies headquartered locally.
Phison founder KS Pua has called for regulatory reforms to lower the threshold for allowing foreign talent to work in Taiwan. Pua himself is a Malaysian citizen, and later went to Taiwan to study at a university, and stayed there to work after graduation. Since Phison is relatively small, Pua attracts talent by offering scholarships to Malaysian students to study in Taiwan and hiring them to work at his company.
At the same time, SEMI Taiwan President Cao Shilun pointed out that as the semiconductor industry becomes more complex, the lack of highly skilled engineers, such as a lack of Ph.D.s studying next-generation semiconductors, may affect the development of advanced technologies. But the number of engineering doctoral students in Taiwan has also declined rapidly over the past decade.
The highest salary increase this year is for engineers in Tainan. TSMC will set up new 7nm and 28nm fabs in Kaohsiung to attract engineers to move south.
According to market research firm TrendForce, most of the new capacity in 2022 will come from TSMC and UMC, concentrated on 28-40nm node chips, which will be produced on 300mm wafers. At present, Taiwanese foundry manufacturers produce nearly 90% of the world’s advanced chips (manufactured with process technologies below the 10nm node).
The war for talent is already unfolding in Europe. Bosch, GF, Infineon and Siltronic are working to secure a limited supply of electrical and electronic engineers near the Dresden area.
Bosch has just announced an investment of 3 billion euros ($3.05 billion) to expand production capacity by 2026, and the European Union has committed 43 billion euros of public and private investment to reach its goal of doubling its share of the global chip market to 20 percent by 2030.
A report by Handelsblatt cites industry association Silicon Saxony that the region will have around 4,000 jobs per year in the chip industry, and by 2030, the microelectronics and communications industry in Saxony alone will need around 100,000 people, more than There are 30,000 more people in the region, and at the same time today, around 5,000 industry experts will retire.
The war for talent will also extend to Southeast Asia. GLOBALFOUNDRIES celebrates the arrival of its equipment at its new $4 billion factory in Singapore, with plans to increase capacity in 2023. UMC also announced a $5 billion investment in its Singapore campus to expand capacity.
In Malaysia, Intel’s 10-year investment of US$7.1 billion to set up an assembly, test and R&D center in Penang will compete head-to-head with 54 OSAT service providers already operating in Malaysia. Bosch is also building a test center for finished semiconductor chips and sensors in Penang, which will start operations in 2023. Infineon has decided to invest US$1.8 billion to build a fab module in Kulim to boost its manufacturing capabilities in power semiconductors. The work is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2024.
According to SEMI, 29 new fabs will be completed later this year and in 2023, including eight in mainland China and eight in Taiwan in 2022. In North America, six new fabs will begin construction, while Japan and South Korea will begin construction with two new fabs each.
Although advanced fabs are highly automated and reduce labor in the manufacturing process, several roles such as process engineering, production operations, logistics and equipment support are still essential to keep the fab running.
According to an estimate from the Eightfold AI white paper, if the U.S. is to re-support the semiconductor capacity required for critical applications, it will need to add 18-20 fabs and about 70,000-90,000 fab jobs: “To seize this opportunity, ask The U.S. will increase its existing (fab) workforce by 50%.”
The massive additional capacity from the new fab could be sustainable if demand continues to grow more than supply. Plans to build new fabs are more likely to be shelved or canceled if demand falls due to slowing economic growth.
While some industry experts believe that manufacturing reflow can be achieved through a multifaceted effort, including reshaping fabs to streamline workforces and retrain talent, semiconductor companies, especially latecomers, must still overcome talent shortages first and then Supply and demand imbalance problem. (Proofreading/Liu Yi)