Top South Korean manufacturers of semiconductor and display equipment were found to be spending much less on R&D compared to their foreign counterparts, according to data compiled by The Elec on Sept. 19.
The financial statements of the nation’s top 15 equipment makers for the first half of this year showed that an average 8% of their sales were spent on R&D. This was much lower than the 14% by the top five foreign equipment makers.
Among the 15 firms, 11 were spending less than 10%, while five of them were spending under 5%.
There were, however, a few local companies that exceeded the average, and even the records of their global counterparts. Wonik IPS, for instance, was spending 15.5% of its revenues on R&D. Jusung Engineering was spending 20.6% and Eugene Technology spending 24.1%.
Among the global five companies compiled, ASML was found to be spending the most at 20%, followed by KLA Corporation with 15.5%, Applied Materials with 14.1%, Lam Research with 12.3% and Tokyo Electron with 8.9%. All five of these firms were also spending more on R&D on-year.
In Korea, six of the firms had cut back on spending. However, there were some that went against the tide in the face of dwindling sales. Wonik IPS upped its R&D spending to 15.5% from 9.9%, Zeus to 4.6% from 3.1%, STI to 2.8% from 2.7%, Eugene Tech to 24.1% from 18.5% and Uni Test to 9.7% from 4.4%.
In terms of size, Wonik IPS spent the most amount on R&D. In August, the company’s CEO had noted the low amount of money equipment makers were spending on such future investment, saying that it’s becoming more difficult to prepare the unknown.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.