Any Device Engineers ?

TI MJrI57
Sep 1 92 Comments

Most posts i see are for design / verification folks.

any device engineers here ?

Edit: i meant semiconductor device engineers

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TOP 92 Comments
  • Apple arialae
    I did my PhD in device. Not much left for growth so I switched to SW. it’s sad but most jobs are gone and the remaining ones are not competing in TC.
    Sep 3 6
    • Google hgfx
      Totally worth it. MS ASIC with 10 yoe was 200k, switched to SW and jumped around a couple of times now 350k tc with free food :)

      Best decision ever made
      Sep 4
    • Intel Spikiera
      @Google people at apple or Broadcom 10yoe makes 350k TC easily
      Sep 4
    • Apple arialae
      I switched after 5years. Totally worth it. Bumped my TC from 160k to 310k.
      Sep 5
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      @Apple, suppose one is 260K+ TC in devices, do you still advice going down in TC to get into ML/software with the intentions of getting to 400K+ TC one day ? (Just trying to dig a little deeper)
      Sep 6
    • Apple arialae
      Yes Definitely take pay cut for a better future. Apple does not really have many device engineers. There are some folks working on display and a few on SoC. So if you get in for device at apple that’s great but not many opportunities.
      Sep 11
  • Intel rewt
    Would be good to see YOE, TC, location as well. I'll start - 197k, 6yoe, bay area
    Sep 3 34
    • Samsung statarb
      I typically do not see people last more than 3 years at Samsung. Either they are laid off, demoted and/or way underpaid that they choose to leave. Average tenure is 2-3 years. But for a select few who work very hard and deliver, the pay and promotion opportunities are phenomenal. You don’t have to stress yourself on a daily basis, but you cannot goof off either. Samsung works best for those who are very well disciplined and focus on results vs politics. While political cliques form, entire kingdoms are destroyed every 2- 3 years by leadership in Korea. VPs and their reports who play politics or don’t deliver are walked out the door like any other engineer. This evens the playing field and keeps it a meritocracy.
      Sep 5
    • Samsung statarb
      @TI — For Architecture/RTL, High end of Sr Staff / Low End of PE gives TC of 360 for rating of low 3s ( low 3s meet most). Most people don’t realize there are three tiers for 3 rating. Rating of 4 will place you on PIP. 2 is meets all / exceeds some , 1 exceeds all expectations. Note that lower rating numbers are better. Those rated 1s make Fang equiv TC numbers. Other design functions will be paid at 70% of these numbers ( TC above X 0.7). Newbies are paid bottom dollar across all disciplines, so no discrimination there.
      Sep 5
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      @samsung. Thanks a lot. Useful info. Would you mind sharing how a sr staff tc split would be like (base / bonus) ?
      Sep 5
    • Samsung statarb
      @TI. Base — 240K. Cash bonus 25% (meets some, mid 3s). Retention bonus 60K. Not everyone gets retention. Some pre negotiate when taking up the job.
      Sep 5
    • Broadcom Ltd. moveback
      Is these numbers in Bay area or Austin ?
      240k base is doubtful in either location i think!
      Sep 6
  • Intel BobSwine
    TC about 250K YOE 6 if this helps anyone.
    Sep 4 8
    • Intel BobSwine
      Beak down is not gonna help you because the RSUs accumulate over years at different grades also there is 20% spread in base at each grade depending on how long you have been in that grade. A typical g9 has 180k base 40k bonus and 40-50k stock refresher. If you join at G9 it will be higher because the initial grant is much higher.
      Sep 4
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      Thanks that was helpful. Grade 9 is 260 TC it looks like.
      Sep 4
    • Intel BobSwine
      I’d say it is more for someone who has been g9 for say 2-3 years. I just checked online on company portal the median base is 180K with a typical bonus multiplier you get 45K bonus and 50K RSU more like 280ish. G10 ( principal engineer) or higher is when your pay starts to look good.
      Sep 4
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      Thanks a lot BobSwine. Very useful info. What is the typical YOE to get to grade 9 and grade 10, after a PHD?
      Sep 4
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      Btw, does Intel let you see median/high/low for your grade ? I saw another Intel guy also quoting median value precisely.
      Sep 4
  • OmniVision Technologies / Eng IGZO
    146k base, 10k sign on bonus, 70k stock

    4 yoe + PhD, Bay Area

    This is my second job after graduating, just came onboard 5 months ago.
    Sep 4 6
    • OmniVision Technologies / Eng IGZO
      HW companies are gradually coming along and realizing what it takes to prevent younger HW engineers from switching to SW en masse. I think eventually it will all balance out.

      Not all companies though... I put up with an extremely lowball comp at my ex employer (a china-based startup) for 4 years until I made the jump.
      Sep 4
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      @IGZO, is that 70k per year stock or 70k over 4 years ? I am asking because I would like to know if it is reasonable to ask a semiconductor company for 300k stock grant initially.
      Sep 4
    • OmniVision Technologies / Eng IGZO
      70k over 4. So TC would be about 166k/yr
      Sep 4
    • Intel Spikiera
      Device engineer or circuit design?
      Sep 4
    • OmniVision Technologies / Eng IGZO
      Started out as device engineer for first 4 years. Moved to hardware (CMOS) reliability engineer for current position.
      Sep 4
  • Xilinx LWkj71
    Haha bright in Asia alright. Not here.
    Sep 3 1
    • Western Digital memyself
      Lol..that’s true...all I see is the number of job opportunities particularly in the US shrink everyday.
      Sep 3
  • Intel BobSwine
    Semiconductor guru here :D

    I am curious. what in the world a device engineer does at TI these days or western digital ? Future is def. not bright in those two companies ;)
    Sep 3 5
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      I’ve seen quite a few good device guys at TI. So I assume you are kidding.
      Sep 3
    • Intel Spikiera
      Which semiconductor company is bright in the future? Lol
      Sep 3
    • Intel BobSwine
      You gotta be kidding. Device engineer at TI that make exactly what ? Maybe some old timers hanging in there to retire ? Company has not had a fab or CMOS technology for ages. TI was big in the 80s and 90s. Has been dead since then.
      Sep 4
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      I’m in a specialized area (even within devices) and see many good people in my area. In general, I have seen many MIT PhD type people around. But I haven’t been long enough / don’t know intel enough to say if Intel is much better.
      Sep 4
    • New / Eng
      picodog

      New Eng

      PRE
      Lockheed Martin
      picodogmore
      Not a device guy, I’m a designer, and it seems more and more likely that any on shore fab is going to die.
      Sep 17
  • Google QuantumDoc
    We have a couple folks doing semiconductor design in our group, building custom ASICS for fab at a foundry.

    Here’s a post on some of that work:

    http://ai.googleblog.com/2019/02/on-path-to-cryogenic-control-of-quantum.html
    Sep 3 3
    • Intel BobSwine
      The link you sent is about quantum computing in a dilution fridge. It’s a science project and not something practical or promising. IBM and intel have been doing this for 2 decades now. It has nothing to do with foundary and volume manufacturing. The foundaries design their technology themselves. Customers such as google just do the circuit design. Job of semiconductor scientist is not circuit design.

      With all due respect the paper is low quality just designed to generate buzz compared to the publications in this field. Nothing really new there. It looks like it was an intern project. I used to be very close to this topic. Still review papers from time to time.
      Sep 4
    • Google QuantumDoc
      Well, we’ve actually worked with our foundry partner to modify their processes, to account for the changes we need to operate devices reliably at 4K.

      And saying that quantum computing isn’t promising is kind of a strange take, given the possible applications that are out there. Just because it’s a long time-horizon R&D project doesn’t make it less interesting, quite the opposite.

      While the first link was to our blog post, for general readers, if you’re interested in more detail here’s the IEEE preprint link on the arXiv:

      https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.10864.pdf
      Sep 4
    • Intel BobSwine
      Thanks but I still don’t see anything new here. People have been making electronics reliable at cryogenic temp for decades now.

      Of course when you don’t have a fab you need to ask someone to make things for you and you need to tell them it has to work at 4K.

      It is an interesting science project for sure but has no economic value IMO. For now enjoy the free money from google while it lasts ;)
      Sep 4
  • Intel BobSwine
    As for jobs I think jobs at tier 3 and lower (in semiconductor field) companies do not exist anymore because most of these companies are belly up or near belly up now. e.g GF, cypress, former sandisk etc. some have already disappeared like IBM fishkill, SVTC, Sematech. But others are hiring and there is actually a shortage of good candidates. Top 5 schools aren’t graduating many hardcore device PhDs as the students have moved towards system, AI and bio topics. So there is a balance. Of course salaries are nowhere as good as software but SW will not stay like this forever. AI is now at its peak of Gartner hype with the next recession it will die and something new will emerge and ride on the hype for a while ... we shall see.
    Sep 4 0
  • TI MJrI57
    OP
    Got a 240K TC offer last year with PHD + 7 YOE, Bay Area.
    Sep 3 3
    • Intel Spikiera
      TI pays 240k or the job is from another company? Did you take that offer?
      Sep 3
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      Another company. Didn’t take the offer. TI offer was slightly better more like 260K, with some caveats. I think TI can pay pretty well if then match is good.
      Sep 3
    • Intel Spikiera
      Thanks for the reply, that sounds like pretty good pay, semiconductor guys should be paid like this more. What type of work do you do? Transistor / interconnect modeling?
      Sep 3
  • Microsoft
    dynamo9

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Startups.co, Amazon
    BIO
    Cloud architect customer facing
    dynamo9more
    ASIC or fpga?
    Sep 3 1
    • Intel BobSwine
      Device is not ASIC or FPGA. Not to be confused.
      Sep 4
  • Intel rewt
    Keep this going folks. This is a great post for semiconductor engineers...
    Sep 5 0
  • Western Digital memyself
    What do you guys think of device engineering? Is the future bright?
    Sep 3 0
  • Hi,

    I worked as a semiconductor engineer for a small start up company. Comp started at $60k + 10% bonus and rose to $80k plus 10% bonus and equity worth about $15k per year. Left because I could make more as an SAT Tutor and it was more convenient as I completed my master’s (electronic materials engineering through UCLA MSOL program).

    Washington DC market for education is shockingly nice. Perfect SAT scores (1600) and 3 perfect subject test scores is a huge selling point with parents.

    I’d love to enter the semiconductor engineering field now that I’ve completed my masters but have been discouraged by some of the offers I’ve received. Micron offered $33/hr for a 9 month internship (I politely declined when I should’ve probably just replied lol) and a government agency offered ~$75k

    Would love to hear what you guys think comp should be for a semiconductor process engineer with 3 years experience and a master’s from UCLA (pretty solid GPA as well).
    Sep 10 5
    • OmniVision Technologies / Eng IGZO
      IMO in this time and age, to have any sort of meaningful career path in semiconductor device/process/materials engineering, you’re almost going to have to need a PhD...not saying it’s impossible without one, but the prospects are much worse and you’re going to be running into walls most of the time.
      Sep 10
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      Keep looking, there are some decent semiconductor jobs at masters level. May be you can start learning some layout, spice simulations etc.
      Sep 10
    • Would you be able to provide of rough estimate or what comp would be for someone with experience/gpa? I do have some experience with layout (last job I designed some of the masks for discrete device fabrication) and would be open to learning more spice simulations/circuit ee in my free time. Also, I’ve considered pursuing an SPC certification as many job postings seem to want that. However, I don’t want to do all of this for an $80K a year offer.
      Sep 11
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      I think after masters without experience, you can get 90K in CA. If you can sell your experience well, you might be able to get more. There are a few companies in Orange County area and few in LA. There is no harm applying as long as you have. Also, why not software ? Other people are saying software is better in the long term.
      Sep 11
    • I just have minimal programming experience at this point. Never was required to do it for work and only took a Java/matlab course in college. I would have to do something to qualify myself for that. Tbh, I’m sick of paying for education at this point in my life. My wife and I just paid off ~$120k of my wife’s MBA loans and $40-50k in education expenses associated with my UCLA masters.

      $170k in 3 years for masters programs that don’t seem to be worth their weight in gold at this time. I’d rather invest the next $200k in index funds to start earning passive income...

      I’m in a very unique position where I’m making roughly $175-200k as an SAT/STEM tutor and managing a small business of other tutors. I’d love to put my degree to use as I’m frankly getting quite bored of high school math problems. I just can’t rationalize walking away from my current position if it means cutting my pay in half and hopefully getting back to around $150-$200k in 5 years. It just seems naive to take a 50% pay cut to move into an industry that is partially being outsourced and partially being automated. I’m hoping someone could tell me my time is better spent in engineering than it is in education, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
      Sep 11
  • Western Digital memyself
    @OP are you referring to device driver engineer or semiconductor device engineer ?
    Sep 3 1
    • TI MJrI57
      OP
      I meant semiconductor device engineers. So, hello !
      Sep 3
  • Intel rewt
    +1
    Sep 3 0
  • Intel / Eng mid life
    Device Rel
    Sep 3 0
  • Microsoft / Eng udsk
    mechanical engineer here
    Sep 3 0
  • NVIDIA / Eng
    mrcompiler

    NVIDIA Eng

    PRE
    Nvidia
    mrcompilermore
    +1
    Sep 3 0
  • Western Digital memyself
    +1
    Sep 3 0

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