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AMD planning to set up R&D center in Taiwan: Economics ministry

05/20/2024 05:03 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), a U.S.-based artificial intelligence chip designer, has applied with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to set up a research and development center in Taiwan as part of the government's "A+ global R&D and innovation partnership program," the MOEA said Monday.

However, the MOEA declined to disclose the details of the AMD plan, including the investment amount and what the plan is regarding. It only revealed that the application process was underway.

The A+ global R&D and innovation partnership program covers three major fields -- AI, new-generation semiconductors including high-power and high-frequency ICs, and new 5G network structures.

It aims to encourage local and foreign tech firms to invest in Taiwan and for the country to become a global R&D hub, according to the Executive Yuan.

Under the program, a qualified applicant is expected to receive a subsidy worth up to 50 percent of its investment.

While the MOEA did not disclose any details about the AMD plan, local news media cited an unnamed government source who revealed earlier Monday that AMD is planning to invest about NT$5 billion (US$155 million).

The source said the MOEA has come up with conditions that must be met to receive the subsidy.

AMD has, reportedly, been asked to work with Taiwanese IC designers to develop the country's IC industry. The servers which use its AI chips will also be produced in Taiwan.

In addition, the source said, the MOEA has asked AMD to recruit enough foreign talent to account for at least 20 percent of its R&D workforce in Taiwan, so the U.S. tech giant will not have to compete with Taiwanese firms for local talent.

The source said the MOEA also wanted AMD to work with universities in Taiwan to help cultivate talent.

According to the source, the MOEA has received a positive response from AMD regarding the conditions.

Local media reports said Lisa Su (蘇姿丰), AMD's CEO, is scheduled to attend Computex Taipei in early June and is expected to discuss the R&D plan with the new government of President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), who was sworn in Monday.

In recent years, the MOEA approved investment applications filed by several tech heavyweights wanting to invest in Taiwan under the A+ global R&D program.

Investors included the Netherlands-based semiconductor equipment supplier ASML Holding N.V., American wafer-fabrication equipment supplier Lam Research Corp., and American semiconductor equipment supplier Applied Materials Inc.

In 2021, Nvidia Corp., another U.S.-based AI chip designer, secured approval for its investment plan from the MOEA under the "Supreme A+ Program."

The AI innovation and R&D center program, which began in 2020, aims to attract innovators to invest in state-of-the-art technologies relating to semiconductors, communications, and AI in Taiwan.

Nvidia's investment plan aimed to set up an AI R&D center through a NT$24.3 billion investment, with the MOEA providing a subsidy worth NT$6.7 billion. The company will cooperate with enterprises and universities through its investments.

(By Liu Chien-ling, Alison Hsiao and Frances Huang)


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