The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will join hands with IBM to enhance the development of advanced semiconductors. IBM will join METI’s joint development framework, which includes Tokyo Electron and others. IBM is a leader in semiconductor design and basic research, and Japanese companies excel in semiconductor production equipment. Together they will cooperate with an eye to creating manufacturing technologies at an early date. The framework also aims to strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation in semiconductor supply chains.
In March, METI launched a framework at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, for researching technologies to manufacture advanced semiconductors. A total of seven companies, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Intel’s Japanese subsidiary, are participating in the framework in addition to Japanese manufacturers such as SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions. METI also invited IBM to join.
Semiconductor performance is enhanced through miniaturization; in other words, by decreasing the circuit line width. In May, IBM announced the world’s first technology to design next-generation semiconductors that have a circuit line width of 2 nanometers (a “nanometer” is one billionth of a meter).
Longtime rivals Intel and IBM have joined hands in research collaboration since March. IBM aims to mass-produce advanced semiconductors in the future by granting licenses to Intel and joining hands with semiconductor production equipment companies.