Toyota, Sony, SoftBank. and others join forces to create advanced chip business in Japan

Toyota, Sony, and Softbank have joined forces with Japanese chip companies to create Rapidus, a consortium dedicated to developing and producing the next generation of semiconductors by 2027. The move comes at a time when major economies are aiming to boost their semiconductor availability to support artificial intelligence and quantum computing, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Japanese government pledged to provide around US$500 million in subsidies, while a research center for Rapidus will be set up still in 2022.

The fall in Japan’s semiconductor manufacturing ability is perceived by Tokyo as a national security concern and a problem for local manufacturers. ‘As the struggle for control of technology between the USA and China intensifies, the importance of semiconductors is increasing from the perspective of economic security’, said Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura.