Thu, Feb 27, 2014 - Page 14 News List

TSMC sixth-largest R&D spender in IC industry

TECH INVESTMENTS:The Taiwanese chipmaker moved up three notches last year from ninth in 2012, while Intel retained its lead as the industry’s biggest spender

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, ranked as the global semiconductor industry’s sixth-biggest spender in research and development (R&D) last year, a report released yesterday showed.

Market information advisory firm IC Insights said that TSMC’s R&D expenditure last year totaled US$1.62 billion, up more than 18 percent from 2012, when the Taiwanese chipmaker ranked ninth in the IC sector.

In 2010, TSMC raised its R&D spending by about 44 percent from a year earlier, vaulting the company to the position of 10th-largest IC investor in the world, up eight notches from the previous year, on the back of rising demand from fabless IC designers, IC Insights said.

Last year, R&D accounted for 8 percent of the company’s total sales, the same ratio as the previous year, IC Insights said.

TSMC has allocated US$9.5 billion to US$10 billion for capital expenditure this year — little changed from last year — to maintain its technological edge.

IC Insights said Intel Corp, a US-based integrated device manufacturer, continued to lead the semiconductor business, investing a record US$10.61 billion last year, up 5 percent from a year earlier.

Intel’s R&D spending accounted for 22 percent of its sales last year, up 1 percentage point from 2012.

US-based smartphone chip supplier Qualcomm Inc replaced South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co as the second-largest R&D spender with US$3.4 billion last year, an increase of 28 percent from a year ago.

Samsung’s R&D expenditure rose 2 percent last year from a year earlier to US$2.82 billion, making it the world’s third largest.

In third place was US-based wireless communications chipmaker Broadcom Inc, whose R&D expenses rose 7 percent from 2012 to US$2.49 billion.

It was followed by STMicroelectronics Inc of Switzerland, whose R&D spending fell 25 percent year-on-year to US$1.82 billion.

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