The tech sector isn't the first sector many investors think of when it comes to dividend stocks. After all, tech may not have as many high-yielding stocks as sectors more typically associated with dividends, like financials, energy, or telecom. But there are plenty of great tech stocks paying out solid dividends.

While the yields may not be as high as those in more mature sectors, I like the idea of combining the cutting-edge innovation and long-term growth of top tech stocks and supplementing them with quarterly dividend payments. This offers a nice combination for long-term returns. With that said, here are three top dividend-paying tech stocks to buy in December. 

Artistic representation of a semiconductor chip.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Taiwan Semiconductor 

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM -5.90%) is the world's largest contract chip manufacturer, making chips for the likes of Apple, Qualcomm, and Advanced Micro Devices. These chips are used in end markets, including mobile phones, automotive, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and more. Because Taiwan Semiconductor makes some of the world's smallest and most advanced chips, the company has a strong and durable moat.

Despite these advantages, shares of Taiwan Semiconductor are down 45% from their 52-week high, due to the ongoing bear market as well as a current state of oversupply in the semiconductor industry. However, these problems are short term in nature and Taiwan Semiconductor is a crucial cog in this industry that is set to grow for years to come. In fact, semiconductor giant (and Taiwan Semiconductor rival) Intel predicts that demand for semiconductors will rise from $600 billion to $1 trillion annually by the end of the decade.   

In addition to this strong moat and positive long-term outlook, Taiwan Semiconductor is also a solid dividend stock. Shares currently yield 2.3%, which is slightly higher than the market average and well above that of many peers in the semiconductor space. Taiwan Semiconductor's annual payout has fluctuated over time, as the company slightly reduced its payout in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and its 2022 payout will also be slightly lower than last year's.

However, the company has paid a dividend for 17 years in a row and the long-term trend in terms of its dividend payout is up and to the right -- the annual payout is now nearly five times higher than the $0.49 a share it paid out 10 years ago in 2012. Taiwan Semiconductor's dividend also looks relatively safe with a dividend payout ratio of 33%.

Ultimately, Taiwan Semiconductor isn't your classic dividend stock, but its market-beating dividend that has been paid out on a consistent basis combined with its ironclad moat, long-term growth prospects, and favorable valuation (shares trade at just 14 times earnings) make for a winning combination. These elements also help make it a top dividend stock to buy in December. And you don't need to take my word for it -- famous investor Warren Buffett and his team recently bought the stock and made it a top-10 holding for Berkshire Hathaway.   

2. Texas Instruments

Let's stay in the semiconductor space for another top dividend-paying tech stock to buy in December -- analog semiconductor leader Texas Instruments (TXN -0.01%). Texas Instruments has an excellent dividend track record and a long-standing commitment to shareholder returns. The company has grown its dividend payout for 19 years in a row, and it has done so at an impressive 25% compound annual growth rate.

During this same time frame, Texas Instruments has also added to these shareholder returns by using share repurchases to reduce its shares outstanding by 46%. These share repurchases help increase shareholder value by reducing the number of shares outstanding, which increases earnings per share. This can help boost dividend growth because there are less shares to divide dividends between in the future. 

Like Taiwan Semiconductor, Texas Instruments is a strong business that should see ample growth over the long term. The company is a leader in analog chips, which are needed in all devices that contain digital chips to manage power and to sense and transmit data from the outside world. Texas Instruments' analog chips go into products like automobiles, industrial machinery, and personal electronics. With over 100,000 customers, the company is well diversified and insulated from the risk of any one particular customer or end market slowing down.    

In fact, Texas Instruments is such a strong business that shares have outperformed both the broader market and the semiconductor space this year, with a 8.5% decline year to date at a time when the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are in bear market territory. Shares now yield an appealing 2.8%, which makes Texas Instruments a top dividend-paying tech stock to buy in December.   

3. IBM  

Lastly, let's move outside of the semiconductor industry with IBM (IBM -0.04%). This blue chip stock has taken a lot of grief from investors over the past few years, as it underperformed other top tech stocks like Microsoft and Amazon. However, IBM is getting the last laugh this year with a monster 21% gain over the past year versus a roughly 30% decline for the tech-oriented Nasdaq over the same time frame.

The market seems to be coming around to IBM's turnaround under CEO Arvind Krishna. During Krishna's reign, IBM has shed its lower-growth, less-profitable IT services business (by spinning it off into a new company, Kyndryl) and become a bigger player in the hybrid cloud. While the market seems to finally be giving IBM more credit for this pivot, shares still look attractively priced at just 15 times forward earnings.

Even after this large gain over the past year, shares of IBM still yield an impressive 4.4%, one of the best yields you will find in the tech sector. Furthermore, IBM is a Dividend Aristocrat that has raised its annual dividend payout for 28 years and counting. 

Overall, the tech sector is a great place to find new dividend stocks. While some of the yields may not be as high as can be found in more mature sectors, these three stocks offer competitive yields of between 2.3% and 4.4%. Furthermore, their combination of market-beating yields with long-term growth prospects and strong moats is an attractive combination for dividend investors.