Today, in Tokyo, Japan, imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and Rapidus, a newly founded semiconductor company in Japan, have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC). Under the agreement, imec and Rapidus intend to set up a long-term and sustainable collaboration on advanced semiconductor technologies. The MOC is endorsed by the Government of Flanders and METI who thereby confirm their commitment to strengthen the collaboration of the semiconductor industry in Japan and Flanders.
The MOC was signed by Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; Mr. 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 as part of the Belgian economic mission to Japan.
Rapidus plans to mass-produce chips with state-of-the-art 2-nanometer technology in Japan in the latter half of this decade. Such advanced chips can be used for 5G communications, quantum computing, data centers, self-driving vehicles, and digital smart cities. 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 MOC also contemplates collaboration with the nearly established Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC), which 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.
“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 off 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.”
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.”
“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,” says Luc Van den hove. “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.”
“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.” says Dr. Atsuyoshi Koike. “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.
Imec (imec-int.com) is a world-leading research and innovation center in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Imec leverages its state-of-the-art R&D infrastructure and its team of more than 5,000 employees and top researchers, for R&D in advanced semiconductor and system scaling, silicon photonics, artificial intelligence, beyond 5G communications and sensing technologies, and in application domains such as health and life sciences, mobility, industry 4.0, agrofood, smart cities, sustainable energy, education, … Imec unites world-industry leaders across the semiconductor value chain, Flanders-based and international tech, pharma, medical and ICT companies, start-ups, and academia and knowledge centers. Imec is headquartered in Leuven (Belgium), and has research sites across Belgium, in the Netherlands and the USA, and offices in China, India, Taiwan and Japan. In 2021, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 732 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of imec International (IMEC International, a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.), imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.), imec India (IMEC India Private Limited), imec San Francisco (IMEC Inc.) and imec Florida (IMEC USA Nanoelectronics Design Center Inc.).
About the Government of Flanders
In Flanders, the powers of the Community and the Region are exercised by the Flemish Parliament and the Flemish Government who exercise the legislative powers of the Flemish Community. Its competences cover 10 policy areas of which ‘Enterprise, Trade and Investment’. Flanders is responsible for its regional R&D policy, its trade and investment promotion and policy, and therefore also for supporting Flemish companies in their international activities and attracting foreign investors to the region.