Semiconductor manufacturing company Rapidus has formed a US subsidiary.

The new unit, Rapidus Design Solutions (RDS), is opening an office in Santa Clara, California, and appointed Henri Richard as president and general manager of the US organization.

RDS will serve fabless chip companies and technology companies wanting to develop advanced semiconductors. Before taking the helm at RDS, Richard worked for IBM, AMD, and SanDisk.

Henri Richard, GM and president, Rapidus Design Solutions – Rapidus

The company said its expansion into the US builds on its existing presence in the country where more than 100 Rapidus scientists and engineers currently work alongside IBM employees at the Albany NanoTech Complex, a semiconductor research and development facility in New York.

Rapidus was founded in November 2022 when the Japanese government and eight Japanese technology and automotive firms, including SoftBank, Sony, and NTT invested over 70 billion yen ($500 million) to launch the business.

The company works with IBM on the development of 2nm chip technology and its manufacturing facility in Hokkaido, Japan, is currently under construction, with the company saying production is “expected to begin in the coming years.”

Last week, Rapidus announced that it had received more than 920bn yen ($6bn) from the Japanese government to fund two projects: the extension of its Hokkaido-based foundry and a new project focused on the development of chiplet package design and manufacturing technology for 2nm semiconductors.

“We’re at an important inflection point for semiconductor manufacturing as there must be collaboration among multiple countries, governments, and foundries. The development of advanced node technology is essential to lessen power consumption, and in turn, help to address climate change challenges to realize a better world,” said Atsuyoshi Koike, president and CEO of Rapidus.

“With the opening of our office in Silicon Valley, combined with Henri’s extensive and impressive semiconductor experience, we’re ensuring that our customers have the best support –from Japan and the US – to address their design and manufacturing needs.”