Japan Eyes 45 B. Yen in Aid for Optical Semiconductors

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry in Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s industry ministry said Tuesday that it will provide up to ¥45.25 billion in aid for research and development of semiconductors using the “photonics-electronics convergence” technology, which allows information to be transmitted and processed through optical signals.

The technology is expected to enable information transmission that is faster than electrical signals and to help reduce power consumption.

“We hope that (the technology) will become a game changer,” Japanese industry minister Ken Saito told a press conference on the day.

The technology is essential to the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network, or IOWN, initiative, a next-generation optical communications infrastructure concept proposed by Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

In addition to NTT, major semiconductor maker Kioxia Corp., electronics manufacturers Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp., and other companies are involved in joint research on the technology.

The companies will also work with U.S. technology firm Intel Corp. and South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc., with the goal of putting the technology into practical use as early as 2029.