Rapidus spending billions to restart Japan's chip industry to rival TSMC

Rapidus is looking to become Japan's TSMC in just four years, with the construction of new plants and cutting-edge 2nm production by 2027.

1 minute & 24 seconds read time

Rapidus Corp. is a newly-formed Japanese semiconductor manufacturing company with pretty lofty goals, making it a significant player in the chip space in just four years. This would put it in direct competition with TSMC and Samsung, with Rapidus producing its 2-nanometer chips by 2027.

Rapidus Corporation looking to bring 2nm semiconductor manufacturing to Japan, image credit: IBM.

Rapidus Corporation looking to bring 2nm semiconductor manufacturing to Japan, image credit: IBM.

The company is already investing billions in the new plant, with strategic investments from the likes of Sony and Toyota and even the Japanese government. According to Bloomberg, the government has already budgeted over USD 2.4 billion (or ¥330 billion) annually for the new semiconductor manufacturer.

"Huge opportunities are ahead of us if we can become first in the market and focus on making chips for specific areas, such as AI," Rapidus chairman Tetsuro Higashi tells Bloomberg.

That said, with TSMC and Samsung planning to produce 2nm chips by late 2025, odds are it won't be the first to market - but it won't be far behind when the plant opens. That is, if everything goes to plan and production is up and running sometime in 2027. Rapidus is also confident that it will be able to produce 1.4nm chips in the future.

According to earlier reports at Bloomberg last year, the big hurdle was money - with huge sums required to create the infrastructure to produce 2nm chips. Rapidus also announced a strategic partnership with IBM in December 2022 to advance logic scaling "to become a global leader in semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing."

This latest update sounds like that's sorted, with the clock now ticking for Rapidus to realize its dream of cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing in four years.

Domestic chip manufacturing looks to be a recent trend in many locations of late, most notably in the United States, thanks to the new CHiPs Act that is seeing companies like Intel constructing multi-billion dollar chip plants in the country.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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