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Imec and Rapidus sign Memorandum of Cooperation to collaborate on advanced semiconductor technologies

8 December 2022

The newly founded Japanese semiconductor company Rapidus, aiming to revive Japan’s chip industry, signed an agreement to collaborate with a imec in developing next-generation chips for production in Japan.

The MOC was signed by Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; Mr. Jan Jambon, Minister-President of The Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy, Culture, Digitalisation and Facilities; Dr. Atsuyoshi Koike, President and CEO of Rapidus; and Mr. Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec – as part of the Belgian economic mission to Japan.

Rapidus plans to mass-produce chips with state-of-the-art 2-nanometer technology in Japan in the latter half of this decade. Such advanced chips can be used for 5G communications, quantum computing, data centers, self-driving vehicles, and digital smart cities. Imec intends to support Rapidus in the research and development of leading-edge technology. For this, Rapidus and imec express their intention to set up a strategic partnership, with Rapidus becoming a core partner in imec’s leading advanced nanoelectronics program.

The MOC also contemplates collaboration with the nearly established Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC), which will serve as a research and development hub for beyond 2-nanometer technologies in Japan. With the MOC, all parties subscribe to the importance of worldwide collaboration and regional strengthening of semiconductor ecosystems, in particular the ecosystem in Japan.

Minister Nishimura says, “We welcome the MOC between imec, which has formed one of the EU’s top semiconductor R&D ecosystems, and Rapidus, the future production base for next-generation semiconductors in Japan. We expect that this MOC, in collaboration with the nearly-established Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC), will contribute to establish designs and a manufacturing production base for next-generation semiconductors in the late 2020s, and strengthen semiconductor supply chain resiliency in like-minded countries and regions.”

“With this MOC, imec is pleased to be able to further intensify its collaboration with the Japan-based R&D ecosystem, the foundation of which was laid years ago,” says Luc Van den hove. “We are excited that Rapidus intends to join our core program and engage in bilateral projects on semiconductor device integration, on key enabling process technologies (such as advanced lithography) as well as system application-oriented projects. Building on our years of expertise in advanced chip technologies and on our global ecosystem of partners including the entire value chain of the semiconductor industry, we will support Rapidus in their intention to mass-produce chips with state-of-the-art 2-nanometer technology in Japan.”

“I am very pleased that Rapidus is signing an MOC with imec, which is renowned for its advanced technologies, system solutions and state-of-the-art 300mm pilot line.” says Dr. Atsuyoshi Koike. “International collaboration is crucial for Rapidus to achieve our planned goal for mass-production of 2-nanometer technology, and imec is an essential partner for such collaboration. I am very excited to think that the day is approaching when Japan can once again play an active role in the semiconductor arena and contribute to the well-being of humanity by taking advantage of this long-desired opportunity.

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