In short: Japan aims to become a major player in the race to commercialize next-generation chip technology and will work with the US to achieve its goal. According to the Nikkei Asia report, private companies from the two countries will work together on research and mass production.
Each side has something to offer. IBM, for example, showed off a 2nm design last year that can fit up to 50 billion transistors on a fingernail-sized chip. Japan, meanwhile, is home to several major chipmakers, including Canon and Tokyo Electron.
Joint research could begin as early as this summer, with the first facility in the region expected to be built between fiscal year 2025 and 2027.
The publication notes that Japanese and US firms could set up an entirely new company to manage the project, and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry would partially subsidize R&D and capital expenditures.
According to Nikkei, the first wave of 2nm chips is likely to be for data centers, quantum computers, and flagship smartphones. They can also be useful in military applications, linking them directly to national security issues.
Competitor TSMC is widely regarded as the industry leader in next generation chips. The semiconductor giant is set to begin mass production of 3nm chips later this year and plans to roll out 2nm chips by the end of 2025.
Image credit: Sergey Starostin