Rapidus joins imec Core Partner Programme for 2nm development

Rapidus joins imec Core Partner Programme for 2nm development

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

imec in Belgium has reinforced its position as the leading semiconductor process technology development research labs in a 2nm deal with Rapidus of Japan.

Rapidus is Japan’s newly founded chip manufacturer backed by IBM, Toyota, Sony, NTT, SoftBank, Kioxia, Denso, NEC and MUFG Bank and is developing a 2nm process technology. The company has joined imec’s Core Partner Programme following a a Belgian economic delegation to Japan in late 2022 and a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC).

“Through this partnership, we will help Rapidus research and develop the key building blocks necessary for the mass production of state-of-the-art 2-nanometer chip technology. Advanced chips like these can be used for 5G communications, quantum computing, data centers, autonomous vehicles, and digital smart cities,” said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec.

“This is yet another example of the fact that the chip industry’s strength lies in union, not division. While regions feel the need to strengthen their own strengths, real progress can only be achieved when they open up, connect their strengths, and pursue cross-border collaboration. It is a way of working that imec has held dear for almost forty years.”

Imec’s Core Partner Programme started in 2005 and now includes GlobalFoundries, Intel, Micron, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Hynix, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, Kioxia, TSMC and Western Digital.

“Joining imec’s Core Partner Program is a significant milestone for us. It provides Rapidus with access to imec’s advanced technologies, system solutions, state-of-the-art 300mm pilot line, and extensive partner network. International collaboration will be vital for us to attain our target of mass-producing 2-nanometer technology, and imec is a critical partner in achieving this goal. This agreement represents a decisive point in our endeavor to re-establish Japan’s position in the semiconductor industry,” said Dr. Atsuyoshi Koike, President and CEO of Rapidus.

The programme provides research and development partnerships between the world’s top foundries, IDMs, fabless and ‘fablite’ companies, material suppliers, and equipment suppliers working in semiconductor process technologies from 5nm and below.

It uses imec’s cutting-edge cleanroom infrastructure, which houses the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing tools. This enables imec’s partners to conduct research on technologies that are well ahead of industrial needs.

The agreement with Rapidus was supported by both the Government of Flanders and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI),;

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