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Samsung has appointed Lin Jun-cheng, who worked at its foundry business rival TSMC, who will serve as a senior vice president of the advanced packaging team under Samsung’s chip business division, device solutions.
Jun-cheng, who was in TSMC for 19 years, played a significant role in the development of 3D packaging technology at the Taiwan-based chip-making giant. Before joining Samsung, he served as the chief of Skytech, a semiconductor equipment firm in Taiwan. Prior to his tenure at TSMC, Lin worked for US-based Micron Technology which specialises in memory semiconductors.
Lin’s recruitment by Samsung coincides with the company’s strong investment in advanced packaging technology, an area where it has lagged behind global competitors like TSMC and Intel.
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Kim Woo-pyeong, who previously worked at Apple, was appointed as the head of Samsung’s Packaging Solution Center at device solution last year. In addition, Samsung recruited Benny Katibian, a self-driving chip expert who previously worked for Qualcomm, to improve its self-driving technology. Samsung Research also recently hired Kwon Jung-hyun, a former Nvidia engineer, for robotics research.
However, Samsung and SK Hynix, are facing difficult situations due to declining memory prices and tighter US restrictions on China. In February, South Korea’s exports fell 75% to $50.1 billion, with semiconductor exports dropping by 42.5%. South Korea’s exports to China also fell by 24.2% due to weak demand for chips and petrochemical products.
Samsung is expected to incur an operating loss of up to KRW 4 trillion from its memory chip business in the first quarter of 2023, the first operating loss since the global financial crisis in 2008. The device solutions division, which includes memory, IC, and foundry businesses, accounts for more than half of Samsung’s operating income. In addition, the US-China tension is a significant geopolitical risk for chipmakers, and South Korea’s chip inventory levels have increased by 28% in January compared to the previous month.