By the end of the year in Japan, a partnership project with the United States will open up a research centre that will develop mass chip production technologies using the 2 nm process. A joint project will eventually help companies build stable supply chains and safeguard against tensions around the industry leader, Taiwan.
The Centre will be based on a new research institute, which will also open this year, with the project planning to use equipment and expertise from the National Centre for Semiconductor Technologies of the United States; initially, researchers from two countries will address the issue of advanced chips based on the 2 nm process, which will increase productivity and reduce energy consumption compared to existing solutions; the centre will also establish a production line for the production of prototypes; and the ultimate goal of the project is to launch mass chip production in Japan by 2025.
As early as May, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Koichi Hagiuda, and the University of Tokyo, announced plans to launch a partnership project.
Taiwan is now home to more than 90 per cent of the world's production capacity of semi-conductor products of a class below 10 nm, and by 2025, businesses on the island are planning to reach 2 nm. There is a perception that Beijing is planning to join the island by force to mainland China, and the US is categorically not happy with most of the advanced chips entering the country from Taiwan. Upon completion of the research project, the developed technologies will be transferred to other countries sharing American values, such as South Korea. The initiative involves not only technological but also financial support: one enterprise in Tokyo may receive investment of 1 trillion yen.
The world's leader in the production of advanced chips is today Taiwan's TSMC, followed by South Korean Samsung and American Intel. The US is also the centre of development of the advanced chip: the direction is represented, inter alia, by NVIDIA and Qualcomm. And Japanese companies Tokyo Electric, Screen Holdings, Shin-Etu Chemical, and JSR specialize in microscheme equipment and materials. In the early 1990s, Japan's share in the world semiconductor market was about 50%, but has now declined to 15%.