We had our doubts when the U.S. and Japan declared earlier this year that they were working together to create a 2nm fabrication technology. However, it turns out that the Japanese government is strongly committed to the project and has budgeted approximately 350 billion (about $2.38 billion) to construct the joint research centre with the United States.
According to Nikkei, the research hub will include numerous colleges from Japan, the U.S., and Europe as well as unnamed Japanese and American semiconductor companies. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Riken, and the University of Tokyo are included in the business publication as examples of Japanese universities. IBM is reportedly one of the participants in the competition.
By the second part of the decade, the hub will carry out fundamental research to investigate the materials required to fabricate chips utilising a 2nm-class fabrication method. Uncertainty exists regarding Japan’s intentions to construct actual chip manufacturing facilities. If such plans do exist, it is unknown which Japanese businesses have the resources and size necessary to produce chips on a cutting-edge node.
The day when Japanese businesses dominated the microelectronics industry has long since passed. In Japan today, only Kioxia manufactures cutting-edge memory.
Other Japanese chipmakers either manufacture their goods domestically using trailing nodes or contract out production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).
However, the Japanese government allowed subsidies for Kioxia and Western Digital, Micron, and TSMC to develop new fabs in the nation in order to revitalise the sector. The Japanese government plans to invest 450 billion ($3.071 billion) in advanced production hubs in addition to spending 350 billion ($2.38 billion) on a new research hub, which highlights how serious the government of Japan is about the chip industry. Additionally, 370 billion ($2.525 billion) will be spent to secure materials needed for manufacturing.
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