The chairman of the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, which assembles gadgets from Apple iPods to Nintendo Wii game consoles, pledged NT$15 billion to Taiwan's most prestigious university to build a new cancer ward and fund research against the disease.

Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which operates under the trade name Foxconn, signed a memorandum of understanding with the president of National Taiwan University on Tuesday in Taipei, a spokesman at his company said.

The majority of the donation, NT$10 billion, will go towards building a 500-bed clinic for cancer patients, while the remainder has been earmarked for cancer-related biomedical research at the National Taiwan University Hospital.

Cancer is a personal issue for Gou.

His wife died of complications related to breast cancer two years ago, and his younger brother passed away from leukemia at a hospital in China this past July.

In giving the gift, the Taiwanese mogul joins other major technology industry philanthropists on a growing chorus of giving. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, for example, has pledged much of his multi-billion dollar fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, CEO Steve Ballmer, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, and Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison have all graced the pages of Forbes Magazine's list of top philanthropists.

Foxconn was last year embroiled in a scandal when it emerged that factory workers assembling Apple iPods were enduring harsh working conditions for little pay.