Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 12 News List

SPIL loses engineers to Micron

ATTRACTIVE OFFER:Micron had reportedly offered a 20 to 30 percent pay raise for employees to contribute their knowledge to the firm’s capacity expansion efforts

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Siliconware Precision Industries Co (SPIL, 矽品精密) yesterday said that dozens of its engineers have left for better pay at Micron Technology Inc, the latest movements in the semiconductor industry’s competition for talent.

The Taichung-based chip tester and package service provider said it has taken rigorous measures to safeguard its intellectual property (IP), including examining e-mails sent by former employees, SPIL spokesman Byron Chiang (江百宏) said.

“It is natural to see talent flow among semiconductor companies, but we have to make sure our IP is well protected,” Chiang said yesterday by telephone.

He declined to comment on whether the company would take further steps to stem talent loss, such as pursuing legal action against Micron and former employees over the potential risk of theft of company secrets.

Chiang made the remarks in response to a report published by the Chinese-language Apple Daily newspaper yesterday.

The report said that Micron offered a salary boost of 20 to 30 percent to recruit about 100 engineers from local semiconductor companies, including SPIL.

“We believe that SPIL is not the only company facing talent loss [to Micron],” Chiang said. “The offer of 20 or 30 percent hikes in payroll are very attractive.”

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s largest chip tester and packager, and Amkor Technology Inc could also face talent drain to Micron, he said.

Micron is only halfway to its annual talent recruitment goal with 500 hires, instead of the 1,000 it planned at the beginning of this year, the company said.

Over the next 18 months, Micron plans to hire 1,500 employees, it said last week.

The recruitment program aims to cope with capacity expansion at the firm’s Taichung factory, the report said.

By luring talent from rival companies, Micron can shrink the production learning curve and hit production targets for its 3D packaging business, it said.

Micron last week said that it plans to invest US$2 billion per year over the next few years to expand its advanced memorychip capacities and to build its first 3D chip packaging plant in Taiwan.

Micron also faces IP infringement risks. The chipmaker filed a lawsuit alleging that its former employees had stolen company patents and provided them to United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) for illegal use.

UMC and three former Micron engineers allegedly contravened the Trade Secrets Act (營業秘密法) and the Copyright Act (著作權法), prosecutors said earlier this month.

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