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Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to Provide up to 260 Billion Yen Support for Rapidus’ New Next-Generation Semiconductor Plant

2023年05月10日 10時00分

Rapidus Corporation (headquartered in Tokyo) is proceeding in all earnest with its plans to establish a new next-generation semiconductor plant in Chitose City. On April 25, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approved the company’s FY 2023 project plan to construct a new plant, and decided to provide a subsidy of up to 260 billion yen. The necessary preparations, including administrative procedures and geological surveys, have since been initiated. Kajima Corporation is responsible for the design as well as construction, which is slated to begin in September this year and be completed in January 2025. Everything is thus set to realize domestic production of cutting-edge semiconductors.

Kajima’s proposed construction plan for the “Innovative Integration for Manufacturing-1” semiconductor plant as the first half of the project, was selected by Rapidus and the company was selected as the designer and builder.

Rapidus announced the plan to build a next-generation semiconductor plant in Chitose Bibi World industrial park, Chitose City, in February this year (2023). The target date of completion of the pilot line is in the first half of 2025, and research and development in collaboration with IBM has also started.

The mass production line is expected to start operation in the latter half of the 2020s. The company plans to mass-produce next-generation semiconductors with a circuit line width of two nanometers (“nano” means one-billionth) by 2027. These are indispensable in cutting-edge technologies such as those involved in automated driving. The project requires a total investment of five trillion yen.

In November 2022, semiconductor business was selected for the Research and Development Project of the Enhanced Infrastructures for Post-5G Information and Communication Systems by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). In FY 2022 a maximum of 70 billion yen in aid was disbursed, and in FY 2023 aid of 260 billion yen will be contributed under the same framework.

As part of the FY 2023 project plan, the company is engaged in full-scale technological development in collaboration with IBM and imec, besides starting with the basic construction work.

At a press conference after the Cabinet meeting on April 25, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, expressed his full support for the RAPIDUS project, saying, “I believe it will require significant investment for many years to come. We will continue to provide the necessary support while external experts monitor the progress and we remain abreast of international technological trends.” He also expressed expectations of domestically produced semiconductors, saying, “It is a strategically indispensable technology in various fields such as AI, 5G, and automated driving.”

Governor Naomichi Suzuki also showed a positive attitude by commenting, “This is a major step toward the realization of an unprecedented and spectacular project. As a partner, we participate in the project plan and strengthen our support system to speed up the process of addressing the challenges.”

(Excerpt from an article on April 26, 2023)

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