Tokyo: Japan has signed a $ 338 million semiconductor research project to develop advanced chip technology in the country with the market leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
Taiwan’s chipmaking factories are among the largest and most advanced in the world, and the project aims to strengthen Japan’s competitiveness in a key industry.
The move comes as the industry grapples with a global semiconductor shortage that has hampered the manufacture of many products, especially automobiles.
About 20 Japanese companies will work with TSMC on a 37 billion yen project, with the government paying just over half, a ministry official told AFP on Tuesday. ‘Tokyo Economy, Trade and Industry.
Research will focus in particular on 3D chip assembly technology, allowing the creation of denser but still small components.
A surge in demand for home electronics using semiconductors, fueled by a pandemic, has strangled the supply of chips – a crisis made worse by a cold snap in the United States, a drought in Taiwan and a fire from the Japanese manufacturer Renesas.
Semiconductors are an essential part of modern technology, from smartphones to game consoles and new cars, with the auto industry being one of the hardest hit by the shortage.
Construction will begin this summer on the research facilities at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, near Tokyo, the official said, with the project scheduled to start in 2022.
Japanese companies involved include chemical companies Asahi Kasei, Mitsui Chemicals and Sumitomo Chemical.