12 Dec 2023 -

Japan’s semiconductor industry advances to the forefront

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Japan is making significant strides in semiconductor manufacturing, positioning itself at the forefront of this critical industry. This progress is highlighted by developments at Rapidus and Taiwan’s TSMC, showcasing Japan’s commitment to leading-edge technology without the financial, social, and political difficulties experienced in countries like Germany, the US, and China, claims Asia Times.

The report says that Rapidus, a key player in Japan’s semiconductor scene, is collaborating with the University of Tokyo and France’s CEA-Leti research institute to develop 1nm integrated circuit design, aiming to align with Intel’s technology trajectory. Meanwhile, TSMC is reportedly considering 3nm production in Kumamoto, which would bolster Japan’s capability to fabricate advanced smartphone and AI processors. By the end of the decade, these initiatives are expected to establish Japan as a global leader in semiconductor production, significantly enhancing its manufacturing capacity and supply chain security.

The collaboration between Rapidus and CEA-Leti, focusing on 1.4nm to 1nm process technologies, is a critical step in this journey. Rapidus, backed by major Japanese corporations and the government, plans to progress from 2nm technology in 2027 to 1.4nm by 2030, and eventually to 1nm. This ambition is supported by partnerships with global research institutions and industry giants, ensuring access to cutting-edge tools and joint R&D opportunities.

In the memory IC sector, Micron Technology’s commitment to introducing EUV lithography for DRAM production in Hiroshima further cements Japan’s position in the industry. This, coupled with Kioxia’s expansion plans for 3D NAND flash memory production, signifies Japan’s growing dominance in memory IC manufacturing.

These developments contrast sharply with the challenges faced by semiconductor projects in Germany, where legal hurdles have created uncertainty for Intel and TSMC’s fab construction initiatives. In stark contrast, Japan’s clear roadmap and supportive environment for semiconductor development underscore its determination to lead in this critical technology arena.

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