Micron to invest $3.6 billion in Japan for next-generation memory chips

micron technology saying will invest up to 500 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in Japan over the next few years with support from the Japanese government to up its game on next-generation memory chips.

The move signals that the Japanese government is ambitiously pushing its revival of the semiconductor space and bringing chip technology to the country to strengthen the chip supply chain amid rising tension between the US and China.

The US chip giant plans to install extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in Japan to manufacture the next generation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), called 1-gamma chips, at its Hiroshima plant.

The 1-gamma node, following the most advanced 1-beta node in the industry today, will have the smallest cell size in the world. Micron expects to “increase EUV production at node 1-gamma in Taiwan and Japan from 2025,” he said in a statement. In November, Micron began mass production of its 1-beta DRAM at the Hiroshima plant.

Micron, the only company that manufactures DRAM in Japan, will be the first to bring the EUV chip manufacturing equipment to Japan. EUV technology with the 1-gamma node will enable the next-generation node to “deliver faster, more power-efficient, and higher-performance memory products.”

The US chip giant makes about a third of the DRAM used by Japanese companies in sectors including automotive, data centers, 5G infrastructure and medical equipment.

“We are proud to be the first to use EUV in Japan and to develop and manufacture 1-gamma at our Hiroshima factory,” Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in the statement.

Japan has been supporting the country’s chip industry.

Last year, the Japanese government, with a handful of tech firms, including Kioxia, SoftBank, Sony, Toyota and NEC, have backed Rapidus, which aims to make 2-nanometer chips by 2027. assigned subsidies for a joint chip research center and chipmakers such as Kioxia, TSMC and Micron to establish their plants in Japan.

Rahm Emanuel, US Ambassador to Japan, said, “This partnership demonstrates how allies, when working together, can create economic opportunity and security in cutting-edge technologies.”

Meanwhile, Micron has been in an ongoing cybersecurity investigation in Chinareleased a month ago by the country’s cybersecurity watchdog.

Micron, which now has more than 4,000 engineers and technicians in Japan, has hired more than 1,500 workers in the country over the past five years.


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