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TSMC's chairman touts company as `Toyota car'

2010/12/20 19:10:20

Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.(TSMC) , the world's largest contract chip maker, will likely havebetter prospects than its U.S. rival, Intel Corp., on the back of awider usage of TSMC products, Chairman Morris Chang said Monday.

The popularization of notebooks, netbooks and smartphones hasgenerated huge demand for TSMC's IC chips, while Intel's efforts inmicro-processors make it more attractive for high-end clients, saidChang in a speech at the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research.

"TSMC can be likened to a Toyota car with popularized technologyand great client demand, while Intel is more like a Mercedes-Benzthat is aimed at a smaller, high-end market," he said.

The annual expenditure on research and development for theHsinchu-based chipmaker, totaled NT$36 billion (US$1.2 billion) in2010, exceeding the total budget of Taiwan's semi-official IndustrialTechnology Research Institute, and Chang said the figure will grow tomore than NT$50 billion next year, trailing only behind Intel in theglobal semiconductor R&D sector.

"This is because Intel includes both process technology anddesign business, while TSMC is devoted to process technology only, "said Chang, adding that TSMC's R&D expenditure would surpass that ofIntel if the R&D spending of its IC design partners were included.

Chang said that TSMC, with leading global shipments of logic ICs,has become one of the world's top three semiconductor manufacturersalong with Intel and the world's No. 1 memory chip maker in terms ofcapital expenditure and shipments, Samsung Electronics Co.

TSMC recorded its capital expenditure of NT$180 billion thisyear, ranking in second place behind Samsung in the global market.

Regarding the company's market value, Chang said TSMC is nowworth NT$1.9 trillion, representing the highest value of any singlecompany in Taiwan.

When asked about the rising appreciation of the New Taiwandollar, Chang told reporters that while he appreciates the effortsmade by the government, it is having a hard time fighting theappreciation and has been less successful than previously hoped.

(By Jeffrey Wu)