The Japanese government is set to invest up to 45 billion yen ($300 million) in a research group focused on developing advanced chip technology.
Funding for research into fabrication technology at the Leading-edge Semiconductor Technology Center (LSTC) was approved by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
The center will bring together researchers from across different parts of the chip manufacturing industry, including nanotechnology, materials, and artificial intelligence.
The aim of the project is for LSTC to develop 1.4nm chip manufacturing know-how by 2028 and then share those plans with state-backed semiconductor company Rapidus.
“We outsource research and development that the government deems is necessary but is too risky for the private sector to carry out,” Hidemichi Shimizu, director of METI’s strategy office for the software and information services industry, said in comments reported by Bloomberg.
He added that the contract is set to last for up to five years and would span chip technology for 2nm and beyond, as well as AI-enabling chip design.
Over the last 12 months, the Japanese government has pledged significant funds to bolster its domestic semiconductor manufacturing sector. This includes the $500 million deal to launch Rapidus, alongside a $6.4 billion government buyout of equipment maker JSR.
In November 2023, the government announced it would be allocating an additional $13.3 billion to boost its domestic semiconductor industry, funding which is expected to be split between manufacturing and R&D.