TSMC MediaTek to hire over 10,000 employees in 2022

Taiwan’s two largest chipmakers plan to hire more than 10,000 engineers this year to support their aggressive expansion plans and maintain their technological edge as the global economy pushes to nurture domestic industries.

TSMC plans to hire about 8,000 engineers in 2022, the same as last year, people familiar with the matter said. The world’s largest foundry chipmaker is on its biggest expansion yet, building and expanding facilities in Taiwan, the U.S., Japan and China.

TSMC announced Thursday that it plans to spend $44 billion this year to expand production capacity to ease an unprecedented global shortage of chips and meet growing demand for chips used in artificial intelligence and 5G-powered applications. TSMC told Nikkei Asia that hiring plans for this year have not been finalized, but said last year’s hiring target was about 8,000 employees. It already has more than 60,000 employees worldwide.

Meanwhile, MediaTek, the world’s No. 1 mobile chip developer by shipments, said it would recruit more than 2,000 people this year. The company, which recently overtook U.S. mobile chip maker Qualcomm in the high-end 5G market, hired more than 2,000 engineers last year, bringing its workforce to about 19,300.

MediaTek is mainly hiring in Taiwan, but it aims to add a significant number of employees in India, where the chip developer has a 1,000-person R&D team and has found “excellent semiconductor talent,” the company said. MediaTek said R&D spending in 2021 will be around NT$100 billion ($3.6 billion), and this year’s budget will increase by 10% to 20%. In 2020, its R&D budget is NT$77.3 billion.

This article comes from Nikkei Asia, a global publication that looks at politics, economics, business and international affairs from a unique Asian perspective. Our own correspondents and external commentators from around the world share their perspectives on Asia, while our Asia300 section provides in-depth coverage of the 300 largest and fastest-growing listed companies from 11 economies outside Japan.

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Taiwan, which has the world’s second-largest semiconductor economy after the United States, has built a full-fledged chip cluster on the West Coast for decades. ASML, Europe’s largest chip equipment maker, plans to hire about 1,000 people in Taiwan this year, after hiring 1,400 last year and building a team of 3,800 in Taiwan. Leading chip material makers Merck and Entegris are building new production facilities in Taiwan and plan to hire more locally this year.

The move by TSMC and MediaTek comes as a year-long global chip crunch underscores the strategic importance of the democratically ruled island and its crown jewel chip industry. Chip shortages have affected a wide range of industries, from smartphones, PCs and servers to cars and military equipment.

Top auto-making economies in the U.S., Germany and Japan have all asked the Taiwanese government to encourage local chipmakers to prioritize automotive chips. To improve supply chain security, governments have also introduced massive subsidy programs to bring semiconductor production domestically.

The island recently opened to protect Taiwan’s position in the chip supply chain and address concerns about a shortage of talent Four new semiconductor graduate schools in its first four universities. The government plans to invest NT$300 million over the next ten years to ensure a steady stream of R&D talent to support the development of the local chip industry.

a version of this article First published by Nikkei Asia on January 14, 2022. ©2022 Nikkei Inc. All Rights Reserved

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