Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chip maker, ranked as the sixth largest spender in research and development in the global integrated circuit business last year, according to an advisory firm IC Insights.
Citing data, IC Insights said that TSMC, which has grasped a more than 50 percent share of the world's pure wafer business, spent about US$2.22 billion in R&D in 2016, up 7 percent from a year earlier, making it the sixth largest R&D spender in the year.
The advisory firm said that TSMC's R&D spending accounted for some 7.5 percent of its total sales revenue.
MediaTek Inc., the largest IC designer in Taiwan, specializing at smartphone chip design, came in seventh after spending US$1.73 billion in R&D in 2016, up 13 percent from a year earlier, IC Insights said. The firm added that MediaTek's R&D spending made up 20.2 percent of its total revenue.
The statistics showed that U.S.-based IC giant Intel Corp. topped the 2016 rankings by investing far more than the other companies -- US$12.74 billion -- in R&D spending, up from 5 percent a year earlier.
Intel's spending represented 22.4 percent of its total sales, the data indicated.
Intel, IC Insights said, accounted for 36 percent of the total R&D investments made by the top 10 R&D spenders in the world's IC business in 2016.
Its spending also made up 23 percent of the US$56.5 billion spent on R&D by the global IC industry.
IC Insights said that Intel's R&D to sales ratio has risen sharply over the past 20 years. Intel's ratio stood at only 14.5 percent in 2005, but rose to 16.4 percent in 2010 before climbing to more than 22 percent last year, the advisory firm said.
But Intel's year-on-year growth rate of 5 percent in R&D spending in 2016 fell below the average of 9 percent annual growth it has seen since 2011.
Following Intel, Qualcomm Inc. of the U.S. took the second place in the rankings after pouring US$5.11 billion in R&D spending, U.S.-based Broadcomm Ltd. took third place with US$3.19 billion, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. took fourth place by spending US$2.88 billion and Japan's Toshiba Corp. came in fifth after spending US$2.78 billion, the data showed.
U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc., meanwhile, came in eighth after spending US$1.68 billion in R&D, followed by Dutch-based NXP Semiconductors N.V with US$1.56 billion and South Korea's SK Hynix Inc. with US$1.51 billion, the data indicated.
(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)