We were skeptical when Japan and the US announced joint development of 2nm manufacturing technology earlier this year. But as it turns out, the Japanese government is taking the project very seriously and plans to allocate about 350 billion yen (about $2.38 billion) to build a joint research hub with the United States.
The research hub will reportedly consist of as-yet-unnamed Japanese and American semiconductor companies, as well as several universities in Japan, the United States and Europe. NikkeiAmong Japanese universities, the University of Tokyo, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research are named in business magazines. He is said to be one of IBM’s candidates to participate.
The hub will conduct fundamental research to explore the materials needed to create chips using 2nm-class manufacturing technology by the late decade. However, it is unclear whether Japan has plans to build an actual fab to manufacture commercial chips. And if such plans exist, it’s unclear which Japanese company has the funding and scale to manufacture chips at the cutting-edge node.
It’s been a long time since Japanese companies were leaders in the microelectronics market. Today, Kioxia is the only manufacturer of cutting-edge memory in Japan. Other Japanese chip developers use trailing nodes to manufacture their products domestically or outsource manufacturing to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC).
However, the Japanese government wants to revive the Japanese semiconductor industry, which is why Kioxia and Western Digital, Micron and TSMC have approved subsidies to build new fabs in the country.
In addition to spending 350 billion yen ($2.38 billion) on a new research hub, the Japanese government plans to spend 450 billion yen ($3.071 billion) on an advanced production hub, to We plan to spend 370 billion yen ($2.525 billion) to secure it. This underscores how serious the Japanese authorities are on the chip industry.