An Ex-Broadcom engineer accused of stealing chip technology to share with a new Chinese employer.
Peter Kisang Kim, a 20-year veteran of the San Jose-based semiconductor and infrastructure software product company allegedly shared trade secrets before he left the company in July 2020.
According to the US justice, Kim stole information that included details of products “associated with a Broadcom family of chips often used in high-volume data centers”.
After quitting Broadcom, Kim started working with a China-based chip startup, targeting the Middle Kingdom’s domestic market for networking silicon and related chip design services.
Kim has been accused of sharing Broadcom trade secrets on devices over the next nine months of joining the new firm.
The US Attorney’s office in San Francisco has charged him with 18 counts of trade secret theft. Resulting in 10 years of jail time, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release – for each of the counts. This means he will be punished for 180 years and fined around $4.5 million if proven guilty. Currently, he has pleaded not guilty and is out on bond.
Earlier in 2020, the Department of Homeland Security in a guide published a warning against using Chinese tech for fear of theft of trade secrets, plus other risks. Also, the US does not want China to get access to its digital technology trade secrets.
It is not yet clear what has leaked from Broadcom, while the DoJ’s description of “chips often used in high-volume data centers” could mean almost anything.
In other Broadcom news, the company spent yesterday talking to investors about its software portfolio, which is dominated by the remnants of Symantec and CA.
The company revealed that it’s software biz delivers $5.2 billion of annual recurring revenue, more than half of which comes from subscriptions. Investors were told that Broadcom Software has “grown both average deal duration by increasing multiyear bookings as well as the number of deals that represent more than $1 million of annualized booking value”.
Broadcom in the future plans to focus on, “partnering with the largest multinational customers to provide a comprehensive portfolio of industry-leading solutions and generate sustainable revenue”.
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