TSMC leads R&D spend among Taiwanese companies

Contract chipmaker spends US$1.4 billion in research and development, contributing about a tenth of the total US$10.99 billion spent on R&D among Taiwanese businesses, in 2012. HTC's spend declines though.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Taiwanese companies committed a total of NT$329.5 billion (US$10.99 billion) in research and development (R&D) activities in 2012, with top contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) spending NT$38.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) to continue dominating R&D expenditure for the fifth straight year.

Citing figures from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Focus Taiwan reported Monday that R&D spend from the 1,358 listed and over-the-counter companies, excluding financial holding, insurance and stock brokerage firms, surveyed spent a total of NT$329.5 billion, representing a 2.5 percent on-year increase.

The manufacturing industry continued to dominate, accounting for 95.9 percent of the overall R&D spend. Electronics parts and components accounted for more than half at NT$171.3 billion (US$5.7 billion), the report noted.

TSMC tops, HTC drops

Delving into individual companies, TSMC continued to be the top R&D investor among Taiwanese companies since the survey was first compiled in 2008. It spent NT$38.8 billion last year, which accounted for 7.8 percent of its revenues and was a 22.8 percent increase from the same timeframe in 2011.

It was also the contract chipmaker's third straight year registering double-digit growth in R&D investments, it stated.

Smartphone maker HTC, on the other hand, saw its R&D spend drop in terms of percentage of its overall revenues. It spent a total of NT$13.8 billion (US$460.4 million) last year, which was 5.1 percent of its revenues and down 18.7 percent from the previous year.

Focus Taiwan noted economics officials explained the drop was to the high basis of comparison when the 2011 R&D spend was at the high of NT$17 billion (US$567.2 million).  

Rounding up the top three was another chipmaker, MediaTek, which spent NT$13.1 billion (US$437.1 million) on research-based projects last year, it noted.

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