Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s top contract chipmaker, yesterday said it planned to raise its spending on research and development by nearly 39 percent to NT$50 billion (US$1.63 billion) next year, as part of efforts to fend off growing competition from its peers.
This year, TSMC budgeted NT$36 billion for research and development spending, company chairman and chief executive Morris Chang (張忠謀) said in his speech at an event arranged by local think tank the Chung-hua Institute for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院).
“In the last five years, TSMC has seen a threat from overseas [companies],” said Chang, who founded TSMC in 1987. “TSMC has grown to be a company that is 10-fold, or even 20-fold bigger than the one I imagined back in 1985.”
“We think technology is the most important [factor behind this success],” Chang added.
Earlier this year, Chang said it was the firm’s mission to become a major chip technology and capacity provider to the global chip industry in the years to come.
TSMC is one of the world’s top three semiconductor companies in terms of technological capability, along with US chip giant Intel Corp and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, Chang said.
Presently, TSMC is not in direct competition with Intel and Samsung, Chang said.
“Intel is the semiconductor industry’s Mercedes-Benz, while TSMC is a Toyota,” Chang said, using the automobile industry as a metaphor.
However, in the next 20 years, “we will be rivals,” Chang said, adding that the growing popularity of affordable netbooks and smartphones is a trend that favored TSMC.
Intel and Samsung are makers of logic chips and memory chips, but in recent years they have expanded into the field of contract chip manufacturing, which is TSMC’s main market.
Commenting on the upward trend of the New Taiwan dollar against the US dollar, Chang said “for TSMC, it is an issue.”
TSMC’s gross margin would fall to between 48 percent and 50 percent this quarter, from 50 percent in the third quarter, if the NT dollar rose to NT$30.6 against the US dollar, the chipmaker said in October.
Chang expects a gradual appreciation of the local currency against the greenback, judging from the central bank’s recent intervention in the currency market, he said.
UNWANTED ATTENTION: In the past two months, the automaker has made headlines, with a Chinese military ban of its vehicles and a protest at an expo Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, facing scrutiny in China over safety and customer service complaints, is boosting its engagement with regulators and beefing up its government relations team, industry sources said. Tesla’s change of strategy leading to more behind-the-scenes interaction with policymakers in Beijing compared with relatively little previously shows the seriousness with which the US automaker views the setbacks in its second-biggest market. TALKING SHOP It also comes at a time when China is trying to regulate large and powerful private companies, especially in the technology sector, on concerns about their market dominance. As they do elsewhere, regulators in China, the world’s biggest
Dell Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its Boomi cloud business to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG in a cash deal valued at US$4 billion, as part of efforts by chief executive officer Michael Dell to trim down the PC maker. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, the companies said in a statement on Sunday without providing additional details of the terms. Dow Jones had earlier reported that the companies were near a deal. Boomi specializes in integrating different cloud platforms for companies and has more than 15,000 customers. Dell agreed to acquire the company for
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up Nio Inc (蔚來) reported a narrower first-quarter loss, while warning that a global chip shortage would keep a lid on deliveries. The Shanghai-based company posted a net loss of 451 million yuan (US$68.8 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with 1.69 billion yuan a year earlier, it said in a statement. It also marked an improvement on the 1.39 billion yuan net loss it posted in the fourth quarter of last year. Revenue rose to 7.98 billion yuan, beating estimates of 7.16 billion yuan. Nio delivered 20,060 vehicles in the quarter, a 423 percent increase from
Intel Corp wants 8 billion euros (US$9.7 billion) in public subsidies toward building a semiconductor factory in Europe, chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger was cited as saying on Friday, as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on imports amid a shortage of supplies. The pitch is the first time that Gelsinger has publicly put a figure on how much state aid he would want, as Intel campaigns to take on Asian rivals in contract manufacturing. “What we’re asking from both the US and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here, compared to in Asia,”