Japan is working with the United States in a “bilateral chip technology partnership” with the aim of boosting 2nm chip manufacturing as early as 2025. The plan is to compete with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) and to prevent the company from dominating the next-gen chip market even more than it already has.
According to a report by Nikkei (Thanks, The register) American and Japanese companies will work together to research, design and manufacture 2nm chips. These smaller semiconductors will be used in devices such as quantum computers, data centers and smartphones. The advantage of 2nm chips over the 5nm chips used for the Apple M1 chips is lower power consumption as well as faster processing.
The report also states that chip size can “determine the performance of military hardware as well, including fighter jets and missiles. In this light, 2nm chips are directly related to national security.”
This would give both countries more reason to rely on domestic chip development and production, and give them more control over their supply chain without relying on supply from China, especially in the event of a supply shortage.
TSMC is wasting no time on manufacturing 2nm chips, as the company plans to inaugurate a new facility later this year and will start manufacturing at 3nm. The world’s largest chipmaker has already committed to building a new factory in Japan, although it will only produce 10nm to 20nm chips.
Japan hopes that with this cooperation with the United States, it can regain its leading position in the world semiconductor market, which has fallen from 50% in 1990 to around 10% despite the advantage of manufacturing fleas. over the past 30 years.
The report doesn’t say exactly which Japanese or American companies have signed on, but it does suggest the companies could “jointly set up a new business or Japanese companies could set up a new manufacturing hub.” The Japanese government will also partially subsidize the cost of research and development for these companies.
Companies such as IBM and Intel have announced that they are currently seeking 2nm technology, too. The United States and Japan could begin work on a 2nm research and manufacturing facility this summer, with production beginning in earnest between 2025 and 2027.