Japan and the US will strengthen their alliance on semiconductor factories

It seems that the United States and Japan want to strengthen their alliance in the semiconductor manufacturing sector to regain ground on China: according to reports from the Nikkeithe two powers should soon sign a cooperation agreement for the development of more advanced production processes than those at 2 nanometers, which should come into operation by 2024-2025 (forecasts by TSMC, Intel and Samsung).

In short, the partnership is projected over the long term, but it is interesting to note that one of the aspects that will be worked on is a framework for contain, if not completely eliminate, information leaks, precisely to avoid certain behaviors on the part of China. The announcement could take place as early as next week: Japanese economy minister Koichi Hagiuda will be visiting the US starting Monday.

Mainland China is not particularly advanced in the sector – although it is working hard to become competitive by leveraging only domestic technologies – but Taiwan is another matter entirely, thanks to TSMC, the largest and most advanced foundry in the world. It is fair to point out that the political relations between Taiwan (formally the Republic of China) and China (formally the People’s Republic of China) are quite complicated, with the latter claiming to be “the only China” and therefore also in control of Taiwan – which deeply disagrees; in a nutshell, Taiwan is an unrecognized state that still enjoys a certain degree of independence from the People’s Republic of China.

Japan and the USA have been collaborating in this sector for some time. In particular, at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tokyo, national companies such as Tokyo Electron and Canon work side by side with US giants of the caliber of IBM. In the past, Japan has invited TSMC to build factories on its territory; TSMC responded, but the plants will only deal with less refined chips, with outdated processes, between 10 and 20 nm.

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