Taipei-Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, spends more on research and development than any other manufacturer listed on the local equity market, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
MOEA data showed that TSMC spent NT$59.5 billion (US$1.98 billion) on R&D in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 16.1 percent from a year earlier.
The amount was equivalent to 8.5 percent of the chipmaker's total sales for that period, according to the data.
None of the other Taiwanese manufacturers listed on the main board spent that much, although Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker, increased its R&D spending by 30.7 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
Hon Hai's R&D spending during the nine month period was NT$46 billion, the second highest, which was equivalent to 1.5 percent of its total sales in the first three quarters of the year, according to the MOEA.
The third highest R&D spending was by integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc., which amounted to NT$41.3 billion and represented a decline of 0.8 percent from a year earlier. The spending was equivalent to 23.2 percent of the company's total sales in the first nine months of the year, the data indicated.
For TSMC, its R&D investment has been in chips on high-end processes in a bid to maintain its lead in the global market. It recently put its advanced 10 nanometer process into mass production and is working on developing chips on the 7nm, 5nm and 3nm processes.
The company is about to build a sophisticated 3nm process fab in Tainan with the aim of beginning mass production in 2022.
Meanwhile, the MOEA's data showed that R&D spending by all the manufacturers listed on the local main board and the over-the-counter (OTC) market in Taiwan totaled NT$462.9 billion in the first nine months of the year.
The figure was the highest in three years and represented an 8.2 percent year-on-year increase, according to the data.
In the manufacturing sector, the biggest R&D spending was in the electronics component industry, which totaled NT$230 billion over the nine-month period, followed by the optoelectronics industry with NT$157.4 billion, the data showed.
In terms of fixed capital investments, TSMC was also at the top of the list with a total of NT$269.4 billion in the first three quarters of year, an increase of 25 percent from a year earlier, according to the MOEA.
Hon Hai was second with fixed capital investments of NT$36.6 billion, and United Microelectronics Corp., a smaller rival of TSMC, third with NT$33.3 billion, the data showed.
According to the data, TSMC also recorded the highest net profit of NT$243.8 billion in the nine-month period, an increase of NT$9.7 billion from a year earlier, while its net margin was 0.7 percentage points higher at 34.8 percent.
Hon Hai again was in second place, posting NT$63.8 billion in net profit, NT$17.1 billion lower than a year earlier, while Formosa Petrochemical Corp., was third with NT$56.9 billion, the data showed.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel