According to the latest report from IC Insights, U.S. companies account for more than half of the total R&D spending in the global chip industry. About 56% of the global semiconductor industry R&D spending in 2021 came from companies headquartered in the Americas, basically all of which were U.S. companies, with 19% coming from Intel.

Figure 1 shows that in 2021 Asia-Pacific companies (including foundries, fabless, and IDMs) spent more than 29% of the global total on semiconductor R&D, followed by European companies with about 8% and Japan with nearly 7% of industry spending. Since 2011, the global share of semiconductor R&D expenditures held by chip suppliers based in the Americas grew slightly from nearly 55% and Asia-Pacific companies (including China) climbed from 18%.

IC Insights:Chip R&D spending in the Americas exceeds half the world-SemiMedia

The report states that global semiconductor companies spent 13.1% ($80.5 billion) on research and development in 2021, compared to 15.5% ($50.8 billion) in 2011.

R&D expenditures as a percent of semiconductor sales for companies headquartered in the Americas region averaged 16.9% in 2021. The R&D-to-sales ratio for semiconductor suppliers in the Asia-Pacific region was 9.8% in 2021, while European companies spent about 14.4% of their combined chip revenues on research and development last year. Japanese semiconductor companies had a combined R&D/sales ratio of 11.5% in 2021, according to IC Insights.

The IC Insights report also showed that South Korean suppliers (including Samsung) accounted for 11.9% ($9.9 billion) of global semiconductor R&D spending, mainland Chinese companies accounted for 3.1% (nearly $2 billion) of semiconductor industry R&D spending last year, and the Pacific region only accounted for 0.04% of the global total (about $300 million).