A high-ranking R&D executive with nearly two decades of experience at TSMC recently took up a position with Samsung. Semiconductor industry insiders speaking with Taiwan's DigiTimes described the senior executive's move as "rare" and one that may be a "threat" to TSMC's hegemony.
Lin Jun-Cheng started his long tenure at TSMC in 1999 after serving at Micron Technology. The exec worked in TSMC's advanced packaging and testing department and has been described as a driving force in advancing packaging technologies like CoWoS and InFO. Before leaving TSMC in 2017, Lin was the Deputy Director of the R&D department. In the interim, he worked as the CEO of Skytech, a semiconductor equipment company in Taiwan, accumulating production experience for packaging equipment. His new position at Samsung is as the VP of Advanced Packaging Business.
Reports suggest Lin’s time at TSMC didn’t provide the opportunity to handle clients directly. Perhaps he got much more of that kind of experience in his most recent stewardship of Skytech. Nevertheless, his TSMC work in 3D IC packaging was highly popular with important foundry clients like Nvidia, Apple, AMD, and various HPC specialist companies. In addition, during his TSMC R&D career, Lin helped the firm secure more than 400 patents.
It is worth looking more closely at Lin’s most recent experiences at Skytech. The company actually makes foundry tools for supporting 2.5D and 3D packaging. Lin has helped Skytech secure over 100 patents.
According to Business Korea, Lin has been brought on board in the wake of Samsung setting up an advanced packaging commercialization task force in 2022. Samsung recognized this was an area where it could do better, and Lin is just the latest in a number of talents, with others hired from the likes of Intel, Qualcomm, and Apple.
Earlier in the week, and in a similar vein, we reported that Samsung has been putting in efforts to accelerate in-house CPU core development through high-profile hires, including a senior ex-AMD engineer. The South Korean tech giant obliquely responded to the story to say that its CPU development and optimization teams weren’t new and that it is continuously “recruiting global talents.”