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It prompted a lively discussion here. Now, I have a follow-up item. In a recent report, Doug Freedman, an analyst at Broadpoint AmTech, provided an update on Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (MPS), a U.S. fabless manufacturer of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors.
The report had a few shocking developments. MPS ''describes current business as 'very good,' almost 'too good.' The better business gets, the more worried MPS becomes. It is too soon to have a read on Q4, though historically it has not been an up quarter,'' Freedman said in the report. ''The company expects to have a read by October, after it sees September orders.''
That was not the shocking data. This was the real stunner: MPS ''has 50 design engineers in China, who were trained at MPS and have one-fifth to one-tenth the salary. This can really help drive the product pipeline. Only 160 out of 600 employees are in the U.S.,'' Freedman said.
So, a chip maker can hire engineers in China at one-fifth to one-tenth the salary! I knew engineers in China and India are paid less than their counterparts in the U.S., but I'm stunned about Freedman's data.
Here's the big questions: Based on this data, are U.S. engineers at a disadvantage? Is the handwriting on the wall for U.S.-trained engineers? Is that what all multinationals must do to compete by hiring in China and elsewhere? Is the salary situation unfair or not?
Readers: Any feedback?