April 27, 2018 / 5:41 AM / 7 months ago

TSMC to invest $14 billion in R&D at Hsinchu facility

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is seen at its headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Eason Lam/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2330.TW), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, is planning a T$400 billion ($13.50 billion) investment to expand its research and development capacity for future technologies, a company spokeswoman said on Friday.

The initial planned investment is a “ballpark figure” and is for several years down the line, Elizabeth Sun told Reuters in a phone call.

The proposed investment is subject to the government’s ability to procure and integrate more land into the Hsinchu science park in Taiwan, which is currently full, as well as to environmental assessments, Sun added.

Hsinchu serves as the company’s headquarters, a major production facility, and its research and development center, which focuses on future chip technology.

“This piece of land, if we’re able to acquire it, it would be for all the future R&D activities,” Sun said. “Right now we’re already doing 5 nanonmeter R&D. In the future, it’ll be 3 nm and beyond.”

Earlier this month, TSMC revised its full-year revenue target to the low end of its earlier forecast due to softer demand for smartphones and uncertainty in cryptocurrency mining market.

At the same time, it said it expects high-performance computing chips to make up a greater share of the company’s growth over the next five years. The chips are used in such quick-growing fields as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency mining and blockchain.

($1 = 29.6380 Taiwan dollars)

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Kim Coghill

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