A former employee of chip designer Broadcom was sentenced to eight months in prison this week by a federal district court judge after pleading guilty to charges for theft of trade secrets in May, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney\u2019s Office for the Northern District of California.\nPeter Kisang Kim, who worked for Broadcom as a principal design engineer for more than 20 years, quit his job in July 2020 and, after less than two weeks, took a job at a startup based in the People\u2019s Republic of China. In pleading guilty, Kim admitted to accessing trade secret information from Broadcom related to the testing and design of the company\u2019s Trident family of chipsets, which are designed for use in network switches and cloud-based networking equipment.\nIn his plea agreement, Kim acknowledged accessing Broadcom\u2019s proprietary information stored on his smartphone and laptop in the course of his employment at the Chinese company, which he had copied to his personal devices shortly before leaving Broadcom. He also admitted to accessing the information during the course of his employment at the PRC startup, which, Kim said in his plea agreement, was seeking to compete with Broadcom for the Chinese domestic market and hoped to become a leading chip designer in that country.\nKim was indicted by the U.S. Attorney\u2019s office in November 2021 and charged with 18 counts of trade secret theft, 18 U.S.C. \u00a7 1832(a). Each count could have carried a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, $250,000 in fines, and three years of supervised release. He was released on $500,000 bail after his initial appearance. Kim eventually plead guilty to three out of the 18 counts.\nCriminal actions in trade secrets cases has become commonplace in recent years. In August, a former Apple engineer, Xiaolang Zhang, also pled guilty to theft of trade secrets involving Apple\u2019s self-driving car program, and is set to be sentenced in November. Zhang was arrested in 2018 at San Jose International Airport, before he could board a flight to Beijing. Jizhong Chen was also arrested for trade secret theft in connection with that program, and has thus far pled not guilty.