Paul van Gerven
6 May 2022

Worldwide research and development spending will grow 9 percent this year to 80.5 billion dollars, IC Insights predicts. Total R&D spending by semiconductor companies is expected to rise by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 percent between 2022 and 2026 to 108.6 billion dollars.

semi RD spending

When the world was hit by the Covid-19 virus health crisis in 2020, wary semiconductor suppliers kept a lid on R&D spending increases even though the chip industry’s revenue grew by a surprising 11 percent in the year despite shutdowns of businesses and other emergency measures to slow the pandemic. Semiconductor R&D spending as a percentage of worldwide industry sales slipped to 13.1 percent in 2021, compared to 14.5 percent in 2020 and 15.1 percent in 2019.

Last year, Intel continued to top all other semiconductor suppliers in R&D expenditures. The processor behemoth spent 15.2 billion dollars (+12 percent YoY), accounting for about 19% of the industry’s total. Samsung placed second in IC Insights’ 2021 R&D ranking with expenditures that grew 13 percent to an estimated 6.5 billion dollars. TSMC raised its expenditures by 20 percent in 2021 to about 4.5 billion dollars.