Japan approves additional US$3.9 billion in subsidies for semiconductor firm Rapidus

  • Japan has approved up to 590 billion yen ($3.89 billion) in additional subsidies for chipmaker Rapidus Corporation.
  • Japan previously agreed to provide subsidies worth some 330 billion yen to Rapidus.
  • Rapidus plans to start volume production of 2nm chips in 2027, competing with industry leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung Electronics.

Japan’s industry ministry said on Tuesday it had approved a subsidy of up to 590 billion yen ($3.9 billion) to chip foundry Rapidus to boost Tokyo’s plans to rebuild the country’s chip manufacturing base.

Rapidus’s plans

Rapidus Corporation was founded in 2022 by the Japanese government and eight domestic companies to develop and manufacture advanced semiconductors.

Companies such as Toyota Motor Corporation and Sony Group have invested billions of yen in Rapidus.

Rapidus received 330 billion yen from the Japanese government between 2022 and 2023 to mass-produce 2-nanometer chips in Chitose, Hokkaido, from 2027.

In partnership with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), a New York-based multinational technology company, and Belgium-based research organisation Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre  (Imec).

Also read: US, Japan call for deeper cooperation in AI

Competition with TSMC and Samsung Electronics 

Japan has been trying to regain its position as a semiconductor powerhouse, which was taken back by countries such as Taiwan and South Korea.

Rapidus will compete with industry leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, which plan to start mass production of 2-nanometer chips by 2025.

TSMC and Samsung currently produce 3nm chips, while Rapidus is currently building an advanced semiconductor plant in Chitose.

Jennifer-Yu

Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and internet governance. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Master’s degree in Journalism. Send tips to j.yu@btw.media.

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