Japan’s trade ministry has unveiled an ambitious plan to invest up to 45 billion yen (approximately $301 million) to support a research consortium, an initiative that underscores the nation’s concerted efforts to spearhead advancements in semiconductor technology. Reports from Reuters indicate that the endeavor will focus on propelling domestic chip company Rapidus to the forefront of the industry.
Strategic Leadership and Collaboration
Rapidus Chairman, Tetsuro Higashi, is at the helm of The Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC), a collaborative effort comprising premier research institutions and universities, according to the report.
With its eye on the future, Rapidus is gearing up to mass produce 2-nanometer logic chips in Hokkaido, a move that signals its intent to compete head-on with industry behemoths like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM).
Japan’s Vision and Collective Commitment
The Japanese government has laid out a comprehensive plan to establish the nation as a hub for semiconductor innovation, embarking on a series of strategic measures to realize this vision. As part of this initiative, the government has pledged 330 billion yen to bolster Rapidus, a prominent player in the semiconductor landscape that is headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, and is in the process of constructing a state-of-the-art facility in Chitose City, Hokkaido.
Global Collaboration and Forward-Thinking Investment
Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is set to fortify its presence in Japan, with plans in place to build a second chip fabrication facility in collaboration with revered entities such as Sony, Denso, Toyota, and the Japanese government. Reports from November 2023 also suggest that the company is contemplating the construction of a third plant in Japan to focus on the production of advanced 3-nanometer chips.
Last year, Japan laid the groundwork for substantial subsidies totaling around $10 billion in support of two pivotal semiconductor projects, with prominent contributions from TSM and Rapidus. In a further testament to its commitment, Japan’s industry ministry recently announced its intention to extend approximately 45.2 billion yen (roughly $307 million) in subsidies to drive the development of optical technology for use in chips, further cementing its dedication to advancing the semiconductor sector.