TSMC is to spend $1.3bn on R&D as part of its 2012 capital expenditure budget of $8-8.5bn, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
Last year the R&D budget broke $1bn for the first time. The 30% increase in this year’s R&D budget will be spent mostly on 20nm and 24nm process development. 20nm processes are expected to come on-line this year; 14nm processes are scheduled for risk production in 2014.
The non-R&D, bulk segment, of the 2012 capital expenditure budget will be spent on expanding 28nm capacity and bringing up 20nm.
Although rivals Samsung and Intel have R&D budgets of $3bn and $5bn respectively, their R&D has to cover device development while TSMC’s is focussed only on process development.
TSMC’s 2012 revenues are expected to be over $17bn, some way short of Intel’s at over $50bn and Samsung’s at around $30bn.