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Will Intel’s Turnaround Plan Include Ankle Bracelets?

blueone

Active member
A while back I knew an engineer at Boeing in Seattle who was unionized. He did not like being in a union, but he did make a comment that stuck with me: "Most companies that have a union deserve a union." I've never heard of some of the issues West brings up, like quick transitions between day and night shifts, but I do know that many Intel engineers in manufacturing are indeed on call at night and on weekends for resolving problems in production.
 

fansink

Member
The trend of squeezing every last bit of blood from semiconductor engineering talent, is not going away anytime soon, if ever. Semiconductor engineers at companies that are under stress, like Intel, would be under the most pressure.

This talent ~abuse trend is further exacerbated by the rapid growth of companies wanting their own in-house chip designers and having pure-play foundries fabricating such.
 

Portland

Active member
It's not only Intel senior mechanics are on call all the time. If the equipment is down the company loses money. Really there isn't enough people.
 

fansink

Member
It's not only Intel senior mechanics are on call all the time. If the equipment is down the company loses money. Really there isn't enough people.

I suspect there are plenty of semiconductor engineers, they are just not wanting to work for Intel. When Intel was at the top of their game, it was prestigious to work for Intel.

It’s now more prestigious for semiconductor engineers to work for Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Marvell, Ampere Computing, etc.
 

blueone

Active member
I suspect there are plenty of semiconductor engineers, they are just not wanting to work for Intel. When Intel was at the top of their game, it was prestigious to work for Intel.

It’s now more prestigious for semiconductor engineers to work for Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Marvell, Ampere Computing, etc.
The engineers discussed in the Extremetech article work in manufacturing. The semiconductor engineers working for the companies you just listed are EE and CS design engineers. Mostly two different populations.
 

fansink

Member
The engineers discussed in the Extremetech article work in manufacturing. The semiconductor engineers working for the companies you just listed are EE and CS design engineers. Mostly two different populations.

In the article Matt West refers to his “fellow engineers”.

Matt West, PhD, is a semiconductor engineer focusing on photolithography process research and development. Employees like West are critical in the design phase at companies like Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Marvell, Ampere Computing, etc.

You cannot successfully design something without complete knowledge of how it is fabricated, otherwise you'll be finding out soon enough from the fabricators.
 

blueone

Active member
In the article Matt West refers to his “fellow engineers”.

Matt West, PhD, is a semiconductor engineer focusing on photolithography process research and development. Employees like West are critical in the design phase at companies like Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Marvell, Ampere Computing, etc.

You cannot successfully design something without complete knowledge of how it is fabricated, otherwise you'll be finding out soon enough from the fabricators.
So... you're thinking Ampere, AMD, and Nvidia are employing chemical engineers on their chip development projects?
 
Apparently the labor shortage at Intel is so severe that they're willing to rehire workers they previously laid off...

"Hey rememember how we shitcanned you for no reason when we were at the top of the game? Well now that things are much much worse we'd like to have you back!"

They're also hiring experienced EDA people as mid-level design engineers which is some real HR brained stuff, most EDA folks I know are like moths to light when it comes to design work. The ship is being steered by a mode of total desperation.
 

M. Y. Zuo

New member
"Hey rememember how we shitcanned you for no reason when we were at the top of the game? Well now that things are much much worse we'd like to have you back!"

They're also hiring experienced EDA people as mid-level design engineers which is some real HR brained stuff, most EDA folks I know are like moths to light when it comes to design work. The ship is being steered by a mode of total desperation.
Well if they're offering multiples of the original compensation package... I'd think quite a lot would be receptive, especially if they also get a written apology or something if it was an acrimonious departure.

It does seem a bit desperate though, but I guess that's how the cookie crumbled. 2022Intel will likely need to pay a lot more, relative to prevailing wages, to attract the same talent that 2012Intel could.
 

lilo777

Active member
The "ankle bracelets" reference indicates clear anti-Intel bias. Some Intel workers are on call 24/7. Wow! As if there are any FABs where it is not the case. In the meantime, TSMC Struggling To Beat Intel’s Hometown Advantages In Building Large U.S. Chip Plant. Why? Because "its employees in the Asian country are used to stringent working conditions that require them to be on-call 24/7". So, what's next for TSMC? Ankle bracelets? Or do they already use them?
 

Paul2

Active member
Why? Because "its employees in the Asian country are used to stringent working conditions that require them to be on-call 24/7". So, what's next for TSMC? Ankle bracelets? Or do they already use them?

The name for these "ankle bracelets" is "RTLS" - real-time location system
 

fansink

Member
The "ankle bracelets" reference indicates clear anti-Intel bias.

lilo777, kindly keep your personal attacks in check.

I am not anti-Intel biased, on the contrary, I have enjoyed working with Intel’s product design teams and have sold them many patents and products.

I may seem biased against Pat Gelsinger because I believe he’s deceptive and opportunistic.
 

Paul2

Active member
Well if they're offering multiples of the original compensation package... I'd think quite a lot would be receptive, especially if they also get a written apology or something if it was an acrimonious departure.

It does seem a bit desperate though, but I guess that's how the cookie crumbled. 2022Intel will likely need to pay a lot more, relative to prevailing wages, to attract the same talent that 2012Intel could.

Remunerations will not work if most obvious things will not work.

Are they stopping being a marketing company, or they are continuing being a marketing company. If it's the former, engineers will know the company still has no real need for them, and they will get sidelined after 1-2 good nodes again, thus all effort for nothing.

Intel says the former, but it's obvious to engineers that they are keeping beating around the bush.

I can't say that getting back into the node race will save intel from it's troubles, because we don't know if the process is their only problem, or whether new ones would not appear.

What I can say is that they will not be able to go anywhere without solving their biggest, and most obvious problems.

Intel Inside still sells, and sells very well. Intel had no problems selling 5 years old dies at very good profit.

So, they would've lasted a long time doing close to nothing, and enjoying very good profits by simply selling the "Intel Inside" sticker.

A real turnaround would only be possible if Intel's leadership will decide to cross the Rubicon, and voluntarily sacrifices this extremely lucrative marketing business of selling 5 years old dies.



If Pat can come out tomorrow with old masks, destroy them in front of everybody, and say "we make a top tier new die, or we go bust," then engineers will believe in him.
 
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Portland

Active member
A decade ago Intel made the premier product today they fight for the mid level market share.

I think the tower purchase is great and we'll see how automotive will work out but the core industry is struggling.
 

benb

Active member
Intel is going through traumatic pain. I feel for them. It is hard on engineers. It is also hard to describe what is going on there.

Remember when Tesla model 3 was ramping up production, and Elon was sleeping in the Fremont factory? That’s what it takes to ramp. It isn’t an Intel thing, it’s a ramp thing.

Intel had 1 technology, 14nm, for essentially 10 years. During that time, Intel forgot how to ramp. Now they are relearning how hard it is to go from 0% yield to 10% to 20% to 30% in weeks. It requires less sleep, working Saturdays, giving up things. And it isn’t understood by anyone. Even on this board, you people just don’t know.

Getting ready to ramp is like getting ready to go to war. You need to start eating better, exercising, losing weight. When it’s over, you get fat. Look at Elon.
 
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