One reason for the increased spending is that new cutting-edge chip manufacturing technologies cost more to develop. New capacity for cutting edge 28-nanometer production technology is twice as expensive as 65nm technology, he said.
TSMC will mass produce chips using 28nm technology in the fourth quarter of this year. A number of customers have already started to make plans to use 28nm technology to produce their latest chips. TSMC is already preparing 71 chip products for 28nm production, Chang said.
A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, about the size of a few atoms combined. Companies constantly strive to reduce the size of transistors and other parts on a chip in order to make them speedier and operate more efficiently.
TSMC's research plans next year include 28nm, 22nm and 14nm technologies, while exploratory work will be done on 10nm and 7nm technologies. The company will also work on specialty technologies including embedded flash, microcontrollers and image sensors.