After suffering through a year where it had to lay off more than 200 employees, the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company states it will be hiring up to 3000 employees this year, showing that things are becoming better in places all over the world.

The differences in size are coming from increased production, but also expansion is coming in new production โ€“ making things the company has not done before. TSMC is the largest contract manufacturer of chips, and makes things for the many “fabless” companies in the world of electronics. (If you remember, it was TSMC that could not ramp up enough capacity for AMD/ATi to get 40nm GPUs to its board makers, thereby limiting the growth of AMD shares this last year).

PCWorld talks about the demand for chips from TSMC, and gives a few other interesting facts –

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) plans to hire more than 3,000 people this year as it expands chip production capacity and develops advanced new manufacturing technologies, the company said Thursday.

The world’s largest contract chip maker said it “is most eager for” chip production engineers and researchers. The company’s recruitment drive begins Friday.

TSMC is considered a technology industry bellwether for its size and the range of devices for which it makes chips. Its new hiring plan indicates the global technology industry continues to recover from the global recession, which caused widespread layoffs in 2009. Early last year, TSMC laid off over 200 workers due to poor business conditions. Most Taiwanese chip makers laid off workers last year, reduced salaries and asked workers to take unpaid leave as the recession hit demand for chips.

Global demand for a range of gadgets has leaped since the middle of last year. LCD TVs, laptop computers and Blu-ray Disc players led global sales last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The industry group predicts these devices will continue to lead in 2010, with the addition of other popular gadgets, including smartphones and netbooks. Global sales of consumer electronics, which includes PCs, will be flat at US$681 billion [B] this year, after declining last year.

The hiring plan by TSMC also comes as it faces new competition in the global contract chip-making business from GlobalFoundries, a joint venture between AMD and Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). GlobalFoundries on Wednesday said it absorbed Chartered Semiconductor, the Singaporean contract chip maker, into its operations. The new contract chip maker, which matches AMD’s manufacturing capabilities with cash-rich ATIC, hopes to gain market share this year.

I have not seen any word on whether AMD plans to move all of its orders to GlobalFoundries, but TSMC must know that is the eventual plan. This would seem to indicate that TSMC has firm orders for many things other than ATi video chips.

With the push for all the things previewed at CES, no doubt production will rise from many manufacturers. Those of us who build PCs on the small scale hope that some of the predictions for shortages of components will be made wrong by this upturn, as higher prices and lower supply helps no one in the end.


Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Mark Twain

* some religious views would differ with that timeline…



– isn’t it amazing how things can turn around, and improve, based only upon the way a few people feel?