GF and Intel semiconductor talent forgo are gifts to competitors

Judy Lin, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: DIGITIMES Asia

Intel is offering voluntary unpaid leave for thousands of employees while GlobalFoundries (GF) is laying off 6% of its global workforce to reduce short-term costs amid an industry down cycle. They are probably doing competitors such as TSMC, Samsung, UMC, and Foxconn a favor.

Financial Times reported that Intel offers 3 months of voluntary unpaid programs in Ireland, but Intel said the program is available at its facilities worldwide, according to Tom's Hardware and CRN reported that GF aims to lay off 800 people globally, which are mostly non-manufacturing positions but may include people at the managerial level.

Besides Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which still has more than 300 positions to fill, while United Microelectronics is hiring for its Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan fabs, Samsung is also hiring for its semiconductor facilities in Austin, Texas.

Another company that is aggressively expanding is Hon Young Semiconductor (HYS), Foxconn's Semiconductor arm, which has just hired Chiang Shang-Yi as its chief strategy officer. Chiang had worked in China over the past few years after his retirement from TSMC but has returned to Taiwan.

"Currently Foxconn's Semiconductor Division has 5,000 people and adding, especially in Malaysia and India," according to an industry expert familiar with the details. "In 5 years, the company will hire big numbers (of people)."

The six-inch wafer foundry fab acquired from Macronix has a monthly capacity of 24,000 wafers and can be expanded to 35,000 wafers. In addition to being a SiC R&D center, the company also provides small-volume production services. Its SiC products will start mass production in 2023, according to information shared on, a job site in Taiwan.

HYS' main process products include 1 um to 0.35 um silicon-based Mix-Mode, analog, eNVM, mixed-signal analog ICs, power discrete components, and high-voltage components.

It will develop SiC 650V/1200V/1700V MOSFET process, and IR sensor, and expand the application to industries such as electric vehicles (EV), digital health, and robotics.

Foxconn and Indian conglomerate Vedanta signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in September 2022 to set up a joint venture to manufacture semiconductors in Gujarat India.

In Malaysia, Foxconn's subsidiary BIH also inked an MOU with Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNex) to set up a joint venture company for setting up Malaysia's first 12-inch chips manufacturing plant to produce 40,000 wafers of chips per month in 28-nanometer and 40-nanometer technology.

Currently, Foxconn owns about a 5% stake in DNex, which is Silterra's parent company. Foxconn thus has one seat on DNex board and enjoys indirect control over Malaysia's 8-inch chip maker Silterra.