Japanese have done it again! They are rediscovering their mojo back!
Japan will open an R&D center for next-generation 2-nanometer chips by year-end under a partnership with the U.S., part of their efforts to establish secure chip supply chains amid tensions around industry leader Taiwan.
The facility will be set up by a new Japanese chip research institution slated to debut this year, tapping equipment and talent from the planned U.S. National Semiconductor Technology Center. The countries plan to research cutting-edge 2-nanometer semiconductors, which offer superior performance while using less power. The research and development center will include a prototype production line, with the goal to start mass-producing the chips domestically as early as 2025.
This is surprising, because Japan and the US were at loggerheads in the 70’s to vie for technological dominance until the Japanese raced ahead in memory chips (and then the same game plan copied by South Korea) and a scrappy upstart in Taiwan. The “history” is convoluted and has several twists and turns, but yes, the respective governments kicked off the investments (and fine-tuned) policies to encourage its technological dominance. I can’t discount Singapore from this, as they have also invested (and are investing) to create automated industries relying on the same mechanisms despite having restricted geographical area.
The idea is as follows:
Businesses will be invited to participate in the R&D center, which will research chip design, development of manufacturing equipment and materials, and installation of production lines. Once mass production becomes feasible, the institution will offer technology to companies in Japan and abroad. It will approach businesses in Taiwan, as well as in countries with shared values such as South Korea, about partnerships.
The “shared values” means there is a less likelihood of pilfered trade secrets!
I’d keep a steady focus on this dynamic and evolving sector!