Paul van Gerven
7 December 2022

Imec and the newly founded Japanese semiconductor company Rapidus are joining forces to develop 2nm chips. The partners have signed a memorandum of cooperation to set up a long-term collaboration on advanced semiconductor R&D. Rapidus will join Imec’s advanced nanoelectronics R&D program and possibly Imec will get involved in the nearly established Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC), which will serve as Japan’s research and development hub for technologies beyond 2nm.

“International collaboration is crucial for Rapidus to achieve our planned goal for mass production of 2-nanometer technology, and Imec is an essential partner for such collaboration. I’m very excited to think that the day is approaching when Japan can once again play an active role in the semiconductor arena and contribute to the well-being of humanity by taking advantage of this long-desired opportunity,” comments Rapidus CEO Atsuyoshi Koike.

Imec Rapidus
Imec CEO Luc Van den hove (second from the left) and Japan’s Minister of Trade Yasutoshi Nishimura (center) and others at the signing of the memorandum of cooperation. Credit: Imec

Rapidus, which will operate as an external foundry, plans to mass-produce 2nm chips in the second half of the decade. It was formed by eight Japanese companies, including NEC, Sony and Toyota, but it will still need to raise billions in capital before it has a shot at manufacturing leading-edge chips. Next to heavy investment from the Japanese government, the company intends to attract international investors.

Previously, it was announced that IBM will partner with the LSTC. Big Blue last year showcased its 2nm technology to the world.

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