Japan was one of the leaders in the semiconductor industry a couple of decades ago, but over time it has long lost its leading position in the relevant market.To remedy the situation, Japanese tech giants including Sony and NEC will spend about $500 million on a new company designed to restore Japan's leading role in microchip manufacturing.Image source: Moughit Fawzi/unsplash.com \"Semiconductors should be a critical component in the development of new advanced technologies like AI, digital industries and healthcare,\" Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said during a recent briefing.According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Rapidus, which is being established, will develop a new generation of semiconductors that will use sub-2nm process technology.Contract manufacturing could start around 2030.As the trade war between the U.S.and China picks up steam and Washington has limited China's access to semiconductor technology, Japan is rushing to revive its semiconductor industry, which has stagnated in recent years, to provide its own automakers and IT companies with advanced solutions in the field.Japan does not rule out that China will try to take Taiwan under its control, which is currently the largest center for the production of advanced semiconductors.Under the new strategy, Japan will encourage foreign semiconductor manufacturers to build factories in the country, in particular, funds of over $2.7 billion to build a plant in Kumamoto prefecture will be allocated to TSMC - the plant will supply semiconductors to Sony and car parts manufacturer Denso Corp.In July Japan pledged $635.5 million in subsidies to help manufacturers The funds will also be allocated to U.S.Micron Technology to expand production in Hiroshima.Image source: Jezael Melgoza/unsplash.comThe establishment of the new company signals the beginning of a new phase of Japan's semiconductor strategy.In addition, the country continues to deepen technological cooperation in the relevant field with the U.S.- in July, Japan and the United States agreed to establish a joint research center for the development of fast and energy-efficient semiconductors to 2 nm.The center is expected to be ready by the end of this year.Japan has a lot of catching up to do.The country's most advanced production lines are capable of producing 40-nm chips - it has not had the opportunity to invest in the industry comparable to rival states, which those states have been actively spending on industry development since the 2010s.Rapidus has already secured funds from the Organization for the Development of New Energy and Industrial Technology, Japan's national research center.Businesses like Toyota, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp, as well as Kioxia Holdings, for example, are also investing in the company.
Canon will challenge ASML - the company will establish production of machines for chip production with advanced lithography, but without EUV
Japanese Canon is developing a new generation of lithographic equipment for semiconductor production, able to compete with the products of Dutch ASML, which is almost a monopolist in the market of such solutions.The new plant in Japan will also be a response to competitors' investments in the related area in the United States, South Korea and Taiwan.Image source: CaponThe investment is expected to total $345 million, including construction costs and installation of production equipment.The plant will start production in the spring of 2025.As a result, the company will double its production capacity in this niche.Not only does the company intend to expand production, but it is also betting on new technology that will make it possible to produce next-generation semiconductors at low prices.Today it makes lithographic equipment in two factories in Japan which is used to produce chips for car control systems, for example.The new plant will be built on a 70,000 m2 plot of land on the site of an existing facility.This will be Canon's first new lithographic production facility built in 21 years, with construction starting in 2023.In 2022, lithographic equipment sales are expected to grow 29 percent year-over-year to 180 machines - a fourfold increase from ten years ago.The new plant will help meet growing demand.According to World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, last year the global semiconductor market exceeded $500 billion for the first time in history.The industry expects it to exceed $1 trillion in 2030.Today, Canon controls 30% of the global lithographic equipment market by volume, second only to ASML, which accounts for 60%.Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.(TSMC) announced plans to build their own new plants in the U.S.and other countries.The company has also developed next-generation technology called nanoimprint lithography.It makes it possible to produce cutting-edge microchips at a lower cost than existing lithographic equipment.The process is simplified thanks to a technique that allows you to literally \"stamp\" the patterns of integrated circuits, which can significantly reduce production costs - the development of technology involved Japanese Kioxia and Dai Nippon Printing.Today, the most indispensable technology using EUV lithography to form circuits at the nanometer level.The only source of such technology today is the Dutch ASML.Nevertheless, such equipment is expensive, costing about $138 million per machine and consuming a lot of energy.If nanoprinting lithography reaches the stage of practical commercial use, Canon expects to reduce the cost of lithography by up to 40% and energy consumption by up to 90% compared to EUV.This will shake the dominance of ASML in the market.
Japanese suppliers of materials for chip production have increased prices for their products
The increase in prices for semiconductor products is caused not only by the increase in prices for services of contract manufacturers of chips.The entire chain of components needed to make microprocessor products will become more expensive in today's environment.Japanese vendors are not immune to the trend and intend to raise prices for raw materials by up to 30% in the foreseeable future.Source image: TSМККand Nikkei Asian Review reports that the silicon wafer supplier Sumco plans to raise prices for their products in the period from 2022 to 2024 just by those same 30%.Prices for silicon wafers in the instant market have been rising for a long time, but Sumco intends to adjust the terms of long-term contracts, because it gets most of its revenue from them.The $2.6 billion profit from the price hike will be used to build new plants in Japan and Taiwan to boost the company's output.Showa Denko was forced to raise prices for technical gases used in chipmaking by 20% in January.The reasons for such a decision were rising prices for raw materials and increased transportation costs.Recall that the start of a special military operation in Ukraine significantly reduced the supply on the world market of inert gases used in the semiconductor industry.Even containers for transporting silicon wafers increased in price by 20%, helped by corresponding moves by Shin-Etsu Chemical, the company that makes them.
Japan will help Ukraine overcome the fuel crisis
In late April there was a serious shortage of fuel for cars on the territory of Ukraine, the reason was problems with logistics due to the \"special operation\".Japan decided to lend a helping hand in a difficult time, and is going to help with the solution of the fuel crisis.This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine in cooperation with the Japanese.So far, Ukrainian drivers have to stand in kilometer-long queues waiting for fuel, and they can only get a limited amount of fuel.The government is actively working to solve the problem, especially in negotiations with other countries. As part of the negotiations, an agreement was reached with wealthy Japan.As it became known, Japanese companies can deliver fuel to Ukraine, this was said by the Minister of Economy and Trade of Japan, after negotiations with the government of Ukraine.Also Japan can increase the delivery of electric cars in the country to solve the problem with shortages.Meanwhile, the Minister of Economy of Ukraine has counted the necessary amount of fuel in May - 300 thousand tons of diesel and 120 thousand tons of gasoline.Contracts for the required amount of fuel are already ready, all that remains is to solve the problem with the supply of fuel to the country, as there are huge problems with logistics, supplies can literally be delivered only from Poland.For the post rewardedThis material is written by a site visitor, and it is rewarded.
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