South Korea’s leading memory chipmakers spent a record amount of money on research and development last year to hold onto their leading positions and develop emerging technologies, their financial statements showed on April 2.
Samsung Electronics said it invested 18.7 trillion won ($16.5 billion) in R&D in 2018, up 11 percent from a year earlier.
The tech giant’s R&D spending was equal to 7.7 percent of its 2018 sales, the highest level since 2003.
In its financial report, Samsung highlighted the mass production of cutting-edge universal flash storage for smartphones, DRAM and solid-state drives based on advanced manufacturing procedures as accomplishments of its R&D efforts.
Last year, Samsung said it acquired 2,055 patents in South Korea and 6,062 patents in the United States to protect its intellectual property rights on its semiconductor technologies.
SK Hynix said it spent 2.9 trillion won on R&D activities last year, a 16.4 percent rise from a year earlier. The company’s R&D expenditure was above 2 trillion won for the third consecutive year.
The company said its R&D is focusing on DRAM and NAND solutions as well as new products and emerging technologies to maintain growth momentum and find new business opportunities.
SK hynix’s intellectual property rights on its semiconductor technologies numbered 12,786 as of December, its financial statement showed.
The tech giants have been jacking up investment to maintain their dominant market position and widen gap with emerging Chinese manufacturers while developing technologies to expand their presence in the nonmemory market amid slumping memory chip prices.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)