Thursday, June 20, 2024

Japan Lapidus to send 100 employees to IBM to develop 2 nano


Lapidus, which is Japan’s vanguard of reviving semiconductors, has deployed 100 employees to IBM Labs in the United States to develop cutting-edge 2-nanometer technology. It seems that it has set its own goal of producing 2-nanometers by 2027 and is actively utilizing U.S. technology.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on the 28th that about 100 Lapidus employees are focusing on developing 2-nano semiconductor technology at IBM Laboratory in Albany, New York.

The Albany IBM Research Institute is the largest research and development base in the U.S. based on a 12-inch wafer fab, but it is built inside a semiconductor factory. The institute explained that it is the first place in the world to successfully design and develop 2-nanometer semiconductors.


In order to develop a 2-nano semiconductor mass production technology, Lapidus engineers are learning how to use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure equipment and are also focusing on identifying problems that may occur during the mass production process using the lab’s simulated production line. Following the dispatch of seven engineers in April last year, the company plans to increase the number of workers to 200 in the future, with half in charge of production processes and the rest in charge of performance measurement analysis and design engineers in charge of circuit design, the newspaper said. The so-called “Dream Team,” Lapidus has the full support of the Japanese government. Last month, it provided an additional 590 billion yen, amounting to 920 billion yen in subsidies approved so far, which the Japanese government said could increase in the future. Lapidus’ goal is to skip the previous node and immediately produce chips under 2 nanometers by early 2027. The company aims to dramatically enhance Japan’s semiconductor process technology, which has stopped at 40 nanometers, and make cutting-edge chips for use in supercomputers, artificial intelligence (AI), and autonomous vehicles. Lapidus is confident in developing a 2-nano process. In March last year, it took its first step in partnership with IBM of the U.S., which has advanced semiconductor process technology, and since then, technology development has been progressing smoothly. “We are close to producing prototype lines in April 2025,” said Atsuyoshi Koike, president of Lapidus, in an official appearance last month. Lapidus is presenting a variety of small-scale production models rather than quantitative competition as a way to survive competition with large companies such as TSMC and Samsung Electronics. “The AI boom is revitalizing the high-tech foundry market,” said Henry Richard, CEO of Lapidus Design Solutions. “Competitors focus on providing services to large customers, but Lapidus aims to secure small customers by providing comprehensive support services.” “Even if it does not necessarily provide a technological competitive advantage, the production capacity of the industry.




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