Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world's top contract microchip maker, said on Dec. 21 that it will raise research and development spending by nearly 40% to record levels next year.
Chairman Morris Chang said the hike will mean spending tops 50 billion Taiwan dollars (US$1.6 billion) for the first time, according to a company official, up from 36 billion dollars this year.
Analysts said the announcement illustrated growing optimism in the industry after it was hit by plummeting demand during the global downturn.
And Mars Hsu of Grand Cathay Securities said the spending plan would help TSMC to "further widen its lead over the competitors."
He said the massive increase was also necessary if the firm was looking to build factories capable of producing chips using state-of-the-art technology.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010