Japan offers $300 million backing for chip research organisation

By Thomson Reuters Feb 9, 2024 | 2:34 AM

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s trade ministry said on Friday it would offer backing worth up to 45 billion yen ($301 million) to an organisation, including chip foundry venture Rapidus, for research into cutting-edge semiconductor technology.

The Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC) is chaired by Rapidus Chairman Tetsuro Higashi and includes research institutions and universities.

The support comes at a time when Japan is making a major push to rebuild its chip manufacturing base.

Underpinned by billions of dollars in subsidies, Rapidus aims to mass manufacture 2-nanometre logic chips in Hokkaido and compete with leading companies such as Taiwan’s TSMC.

TSMC, this week, announced it would build a second fab in Japan to begin operation by 2027 in a vote of confidence in the country as a base for manufacturing.

($1 = 149.3100 yen)

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Eileen Soreng)