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Toyota joins 7 other companies in Rapidus venture to develop next-gen 2nm semiconductors in Japan

Toyota Motor will join seven other leading Japanese companies—Sony Group, NEC, Toyota supplier Denso, NTT, chipmaker Kioxia Holdings, SoftBank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Grou—in working with the Japanese government in a new next-generation semiconductor venture named Rapidus. The companies are investing a combined ¥7.3 billion (US$52.2 billion) and the government is contributing ¥70 billion (US$500 million).

Rapidus is intended to work with Japan’s also newly established Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC)—a joint R&D hub with US and European participants—to build a mass production base for next-generation semiconductors in Japan.

Rapidus will work on the research and development of 2nm generation semiconductor integration technology and short turnaround time (TAT) manufacturing technology based on Japan-US collaboration.

Rapidus will collaborate with IBM and other companies in the United States to develop technology for 2nm-generation logic semiconductors; Rapidus will demonstrate it with a test chip. After the research period ends, Rapidus aims to commercialize it as an advanced logic foundry.


Japan, notes the Nikkei, has some catching-up to do. Its latest logic semiconductor production lines are for 40-nm chips. Japan had not been able to keep up with the massive investments by companies overseas and other governments as competition in advanced technologies has been hot since the 2010s.


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