Imec, Rapidus Ally on Novel Semiconductor Technologies

Imec and Rapidus have agreed to set up a long-term and sustainable collaboration on advanced semiconductor technologies. Accordingly, the Government of Flanders and Japan’s METI have endorsed the partnership. Thus, affirming their commitment to strengthen the collaboration of the semiconductor industry in Japan and Flanders.

imec is a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies while Rapidus is a semiconductor company in Japan.

The signatories of the memorandum are Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; 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.

Core Partners for Advanced Nanoelectronics Program

Rapidus plans to mass-produce chips with state-of-the-art 2-nanometer technology in Japan in the latter half of this decade. Accordingly, such advanced chips can be used for 5G communications, quantum computing, data centers, self-driving vehicles, and digital smart cities. Thus, 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 memorandum also contemplates collaboration with the nearly established Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC). This 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.

Imec and Rapidus have agreed to set up a long-term and sustainable collaboration on advanced semiconductor technologies.

“Flanders boasts expert know-how in the nanotech field, centered around its five universities as well as its nanotech research center imec. Our region has all the buildings blocks for micro- and nanotechnology innovations and applications.” says, Jan Jambon. The Government of Flanders fully endorses the ambitious collaboration signed today between imec and semiconductor company Rapidus. International partnerships are – more than ever – key to boost our respective competitiveness when it comes to micro- and nanochips.”

On the other hand, 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.”

Crucial in 2nm Mass Production

Meanwhile, Luc Van den hove says, “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.”

“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.”

In addition, Dr. Atsuyoshi Koike notes, “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.”

“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.”