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Samsung Electronics to spend over 10 tln won on R&D this year
SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest memory chipmaker, may spend over 10 trillion won (US$9.3 billion) on research and development (R&D) this year as part of efforts to enhance its global competitiveness, sources said Tuesday.

   In the first half, the company's R&D expenditures totaled 4.98 trillion won, or 6.5 percent of its sales, with spending expected to increase in the coming months.

   "In 2010, the company spent 9.4 trillion won on research making it likely that the total will surpass 10 trillion won this year," said a company executive, who declined to be identified.

   The money is expected to be used to strengthen the company technology prowess in such areas as mobile phones, semiconductors, displays and electronics products. Funds will also be allocated to software development.

   Related to money spent on R&D, the company said it controlled a total of 100,452 patents worldwide as of late last year. Of the total, 4,551 were earned in the United States in 2010, which placed Samsung second after IBM in terms of patents secured in a one-year period. Samsung has been runner-up in the patent race in the North American market for five years in a row.

   The company, meanwhile, said that it had a workforce of 100,453 as of the end of June with their average wage standing at 33.10 million won, with male workers making more than their female counterparts.

   There were 69,247 male workers who earned an average of 38.10 million won while the 31,206 female employees had salaries reaching 22.30 million won. The company said that male employees made roughly 1.7 times more than their female co-workers.

   The company said the reason for the difference was due to many female workers being employed in less managerial positions and because they have been with the company for fewer years. It added that Samsung is currently in the forefront on doing away with discrimination at the workplace.