As the tech war between the U.S. and China intensifies, Japan has spotted an opening to build a viable alternative for semiconductors — not least so that its own consumer electronics firms do not run out of memory chips. Now, eight major Japanese tech firms and car makers, including Kioxia, NEC, NTT, SoftBank, Sony and Toyota, are teaming up in a consortium to launch an advanced chip maker. Rapidus, as it will be called, aims to develop and mass-produce the next generation of logic semiconductors by 2027.

“Semiconductors are going to be a critical component for developing new leading-edge technologies such as AI, digital industries and health-tech,” Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a news conference today. “Semiconductors are becoming even more important from an economic security perspective” due to the rising geopolitical risks.

Rapidus aims to develop 2-nanometers chips, which can be used for 5G, quantum computing, data centers, self-driving vehicles and digital smart cities.

SoftBank, NEC, Sony, Toyota + more team up for Rapidus, Japan’s bid for next-gen chip domination by Kate Park originally published on TechCrunch