METI to Provide up to ¥45 bil. for Development of Cutting-Edge Chips; Subsidizing Research and Development Costs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry

The government announced Friday that it will provide up to ¥45 billion in support to the Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center in Tokyo, for the realization of next-generation semiconductors. The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry aims to promote the design of semiconductors for artificial intelligence and the research and development of cutting-edge products.

The LSTC is an association of research institutes and universities and includes the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, and government-backed chipmaker Rapidus Corp., among others. The industry ministry will subsidize all LSTC’s research and development costs for up to five years.

 The support is based on the assumption that Rapidus, which aims to produce cutting-edge semiconductors in Japan, will be responsible for semiconductor manufacturing in the future.

Up to ¥28 billion will be invested to develop the technology necessary for the production of 2-nanometer-class semiconductors specialized for AI and capable of rapid data processing. LSTC will establish an international development structure with Tenstorrent, a Canadian startup that designs and develops semiconductors for AI.

The ministry will also subsidize up to ¥17 billion for the development of next-generation semiconductors that are finer than 2 nanometers. The finer the line width of a circuit, the higher the processing ability of the semiconductor. These subsidies will encourage comprehensive research and development, including of materials and manufacturing equipment.

“We will promote the development of advanced semiconductors through collaboration with research institutions in the U.S. and Europe,” said LSTC President Tetsuro Higashi at a press conference on Friday.