US chipmaker Micron to invest JP¥500b to manufacture next-gen memory chip in Japan | Manufacturing Asia
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US chipmaker Micron to invest JP¥500b to manufacture next-gen memory chip in Japan

Japan secured investment pledges from global semiconductor firms like Micron, TSMC.

American chipmaker Micron Technology plans to invest up to JP¥500b in Japan over the next few to years to manufacture its next generation memory chips, with support from the Japanese government.

Micron, the biggest chipmaker in the US, said it is bringing the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology to the country to produce the next generation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) called the 1-gamma node in its existing Hiroshima plant. 

The new chips follow Micron’s industry-leading 1-beta chips which are being mass produced at the same fab and samples have already been shipped to mobile manufacturers last November.

For its new product, it said manufacturing 1-gamma chips using the EUV lithography allows the node to “deliver faster, more power-efficient and higher-performance memory products.” The future chips will have the smallest cell size globally and can be used for mass production of materials needed in complex applications like image processing networks and infrastructure.

Micron said the plan will also be supported by the Japanese government. 

“Micron is the only company that manufactures DRAM in Japan and is critical to setting the pace for not only the global DRAM industry but our developing semiconductor ecosystem,” Satoshi Nohara, a director-general at Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry, said in a statement. “This will not only deepen and advance the talent and infrastructure of our semiconductor ecosystem, it will also unlock exponential growth and opportunity for our digital economy.”

The announcement was made after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with global semiconductor leaders last Thursday in Tokyo, including executives from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Korea’s Samsung Electronics and US-based Intel.

TSMC chairman Mark Liu said that the company will also continue investing in Japan as they recognize the country’s important role in the global semiconductor ecosystem, according to a separate statement released after the meeting.

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