IBM and Rapidus Form Strategic Partnership to Develop Advanced Chips in Japan

Rapidus, a Japanese-government-backed chipmaker, and IBM have recently announced a strategic partnership to advance Japan’s chip manufacturing ecosystem. This partnership comes at a time when the global chip industry is facing turbulence amid geopolitical wrangling. The move indicates  Japan and the USare making strategic moves that will help both countries to stay ahead of the competition and meet the growing global demand for chips. 

The partnership between IBM and Rapidus is set to drive significant advancements in semiconductor technology. It is a major milestone in the ongoing competition, as the United States works closely with its allies like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan to try and shut China out of high-tech manufacturing. The partnership between Rapidus and IBM can be seen as part of this broader effort to maintain a strong position in the global chip industry.

In November, the Japanese government announced that it would invest 70 billion yen ($500 million) in Rapidus, a venture led by technology companies including Sony and NEC. The investment will help fund the development of 2nm chips and the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Japan. This marks a significant step in the Japanese government’s efforts to boost the country’s semiconductor industry and maintain its position as a global leader in technology.

“This is a long-desired international collaboration, truly essential for Japan to once again play a vital role in the semiconductor supply chain. I am fully confident that this collaboration will pave the way for our goal of contribution to the well-being of humanity through advanced logic semiconductors produced with technologies jointly developed with IBM,” said Atsuyoshi Koike, President, and CEO of Rapidus.

The two companies will work together to develop 2-nanometer-node chips that enable a new generation of high-performance computing and data-intensive applications, including AI, edge computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The 2nm chip will offer significant improvements over the current 7nm and 5nm chips. It will feature a 40% increase in density and a 30% improvement in performance while consuming 75% less power. 

The partnership between the two companies is a natural fit, given the company’s long history of innovation in the semiconductor industry. Rapidus is known for its expertise in chip design and manufacturing, and the company has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies in this area. On the other hand, IBM brings its vast experience in the areas of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing to the partnership. “This collaboration is critical to ensure a geographically balanced global supply chain of advanced semiconductors, built through a vibrant ecosystem of like-minded companies and nations.” said Darío Gil, SVP and Director of Research at IBM. 

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