Japan’s newly founded chipmaker Rapidus aims to have a prototype 2nm production line ready by 2025, the company’s president Atsuyoshi Koike told Nikkei. Rapidus wants to decide on a site for the facility, which would be Japan’s first step toward rejoining leading-edge chip manufacturing. Unlike Europe, which has struck a deal with Intel, Japan wants to develop its own technology with help from Imec and IBM. The aim is to have mass production up and running by the end of the decade. For comparison: TSMC’s 2nm risk production is scheduled for 2025.
Rapidus, which will operate as an external foundry, was formed by eight Japanese companies, including NEC, Sony and Toyota. However, it will still need to raise billions in capital before it has a shot at manufacturing leading-edge chips. Koike estimated that Rapidus will need to invest roughly 14 billion euros to get 2nm technology off the ground and another 21 billion to construct a fab. So far, only a fraction of that investment has been secured from participating companies and the Japanese government.