With an investment of 10 trillion yen in 10 years, Japan’s semiconductor sprint to 2nm, where does the confidence come from?

Since 2020, the global chip supply shortage problem has not been solved, and there is even a growing trend, which has disrupted the economic development of the manufacturing industry to a certain extent. Therefore, in the past two years, countries have strengthened their support for the domestic chip industry, especially It’s Japan.

With an investment of 10 trillion yen in 10 years, Japan’s semiconductor sprint to 2nm, where does the confidence come from?

In fact, in the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese semiconductors also had glorious moments. They once supported half of the global semiconductor industry. However, because of the insufficient investment in the chip industry by the Japanese government over the years, Japanese chip manufacturing has become more important in the global market. The share is getting smaller and smaller.

This time the global “chip shortage” made countries around the world realize the importance of mastering chip manufacturing and decided to revitalize the chip industry, including Japan.

As we all know, chip manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry, so the Japanese government has increased its investment in the chip industry. The Prime Minister of Japan has stated that it will provide over 1.4 trillion yen (approximately USD 12.3 billion) of investment in domestic chip production.

However, according to a Wall Street report on December 22, 2021, the former president of Tokyo Electronics Co., Ltd. Totetsuro believes that the Japanese government should provide tax relief in the next quarter and invest 10 trillion yen (approximately US$88 billion) in the next 10 years. Revitalize the Japanese chip manufacturing industry.

Moreover, Tetsuro Toshiro stated that it will take about 10 years for Japan to enter the front-line camp of chip manufacturing. It is expected that Japan can achieve mass production of 2nm and 3nm chips within this period of time.

It should be noted that even TSMC, the world’s most technologically advanced wafer foundry, has not yet been able to achieve mass production of 3nm chips.

Japan’s chip manufacturing industry has been behind for many years. It is really difficult to sprint to mass production of 3nm or even 2nm chips within 10 years. So, where does Japan have the confidence to sprint 2nm chips?

It is worth mentioning that although Japan does not have advanced fabs, it has obvious advantages in the fields of semiconductor materials and core equipment.

Take the lithography machine, which is an indispensable core equipment in the chip manufacturing process, as an example. It is well known that the only company in the world that can provide EUV lithography machines is ASML in the Netherlands, but in fact, Japan’s Canon and Nikon are also giants in the field of lithography machines.

Not only that, before the rise of ASML, Japan’s Nikon was the dominant global lithography machine, followed by Canon. Although Nikon and Canon have “declined” in the field of high-end lithography machines, their previous accumulation in the field of lithography machines can also provide guidance for advanced manufacturing in Japan to a certain extent.

In addition, in terms of EUV photoresist, Nanda Optoelectronics disclosed in a related report released in March 2021 that only Japanese manufacturers in the world have developed EUV photoresists.

It should be known that in the process of chip manufacturing, the importance of photoresist is almost equal to that of lithography machine, and the accuracy of photoresist also restricts the advancement of chip manufacturing process. If you want to produce chips below the 7nm node, EUV Photoresist is an indispensable material.

In addition to EUV photoresist, Japanese companies have achieved a global monopoly in EUV coating and development equipment and EUV mask inspection equipment.

All in all, Japan’s monopoly in the field of some semiconductor materials or equipment is its confidence. With the cooperation of relevant Japanese companies and the government’s financial support, Japan does indeed have the possibility of reviving the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

However, the rise of Japanese chips will inevitably pose a certain threat to China’s chip industry. After all, my country’s layout in the entire semiconductor industry chain is not perfect.

Since 2020, the global chip supply shortage problem has not been solved, and there is even a growing trend, which has disrupted the economic development of the manufacturing industry to a certain extent. Therefore, in the past two years, countries have strengthened their support for the domestic chip industry, especially It’s Japan.

With an investment of 10 trillion yen in 10 years, Japan’s semiconductor sprint to 2nm, where does the confidence come from?

In fact, in the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese semiconductors also had glorious moments. They once supported half of the global semiconductor industry. However, because of the insufficient investment in the chip industry by the Japanese government over the years, Japanese chip manufacturing has become more important in the global market. The share is getting smaller and smaller.

This time the global “chip shortage” made countries around the world realize the importance of mastering chip manufacturing and decided to revitalize the chip industry, including Japan.

As we all know, chip manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry, so the Japanese government has increased its investment in the chip industry. The Prime Minister of Japan has stated that it will provide over 1.4 trillion yen (approximately USD 12.3 billion) of investment in domestic chip production.

However, according to a Wall Street report on December 22, 2021, the former president of Tokyo Electronics Co., Ltd. Totetsuro believes that the Japanese government should provide tax relief in the next quarter and invest 10 trillion yen (approximately US$88 billion) in the next 10 years. Revitalize the Japanese chip manufacturing industry.

Moreover, Tetsuro Toshiro stated that it will take about 10 years for Japan to enter the front-line camp of chip manufacturing. It is expected that Japan can achieve mass production of 2nm and 3nm chips within this period of time.

It should be noted that even TSMC, the world’s most technologically advanced wafer foundry, has not yet been able to achieve mass production of 3nm chips.

Japan’s chip manufacturing industry has been behind for many years. It is really difficult to sprint to mass production of 3nm or even 2nm chips within 10 years. So, where does Japan have the confidence to sprint 2nm chips?

It is worth mentioning that although Japan does not have advanced fabs, it has obvious advantages in the fields of semiconductor materials and core equipment.

Take the lithography machine, which is an indispensable core equipment in the chip manufacturing process, as an example. It is well known that the only company in the world that can provide EUV lithography machines is ASML in the Netherlands, but in fact, Japan’s Canon and Nikon are also giants in the field of lithography machines.

Not only that, before the rise of ASML, Japan’s Nikon was the dominant global lithography machine, followed by Canon. Although Nikon and Canon have “declined” in the field of high-end lithography machines, their previous accumulation in the field of lithography machines can also provide guidance for advanced manufacturing in Japan to a certain extent.

In addition, in terms of EUV photoresist, Nanda Optoelectronics disclosed in a related report released in March 2021 that only Japanese manufacturers in the world have developed EUV photoresists.

It should be known that in the process of chip manufacturing, the importance of photoresist is almost equal to that of lithography machine, and the accuracy of photoresist also restricts the advancement of chip manufacturing process. If you want to produce chips below the 7nm node, EUV Photoresist is an indispensable material.

In addition to EUV photoresist, Japanese companies have achieved a global monopoly in EUV coating and development equipment and EUV mask inspection equipment.

All in all, Japan’s monopoly in the field of some semiconductor materials or equipment is its confidence. With the cooperation of relevant Japanese companies and the government’s financial support, Japan does indeed have the possibility of reviving the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

However, the rise of Japanese chips will inevitably pose a certain threat to China’s chip industry. After all, my country’s layout in the entire semiconductor industry chain is not perfect.

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Author: Yoyokuo