Japanese companies including Toyota, Sony, and SoftBank have formed the semiconductor company Rapidus, with the aim of reviving Japan's semiconductor industry. According to NIKKEI, Rapidus is partnering with IBM to develop 2nm semiconductor technology by sending 100 engineers to IBM to learn the gate-all-around (GAA) technology needed for chip production.
The first batch of workers was sent in April with another 100 to be sent this summer. The Japanese government has provided an additional 260 billion yen in subsidies to support the program. GAA technology is needed to prevent current leakage as semiconductor circuit line widths are minimized. IBM is expected to begin production of the world's first 2nm product prototype in 2021, with Rapidus aiming for mass production in 2027. The United States and Japan are working together to increase Japan's technological capabilities to diversify its advanced semiconductor manufacturing supply chains. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna believes Japan has a high possibility of achieving success and that IBM will provide the technology.