Japan wants to reignite its once-dominant silicon industry

nanoguy

Posts: 894   +12
Staff member
The big picture: Japan's share of global semiconductor sales has gone from 50 percent in 1988 to less than 10 percent today. The country has more chip factories than any other country -- 84 to be exact -- but only a few of them use advanced sub-10nm process nodes. This is why the country is scrambling to reignite its semiconductor industry, even if it comes at an incredibly high cost over the next decade.

The ongoing chip shortage has affected everything from LCD displays to graphics cards, game consoles, TVs, and even automakers. For consumers, this has created a hostile buying environment in some instances, while some governments have become acutely aware of the fragility of the global tech supply chain.

In the US, the Biden administration is trying to fix the situation by committing $52 billion towards boosting the local semiconductor industry, heeding the call of the Silicon Industry Association but at the same time falling short of the $100 billion that China is pouring into government subsidies for semiconductor companies.

The European Union is also looking to double down on chip manufacturing as part of its "Digital Compass" initiative, which is meant to increase the region's share in the global semiconductor manufacturing to 20 percent by 2030. It's an overambitious goal, but Intel has promised to build a chip factory in Europe, while Apple will invest $1.2 billion in a silicon design center in Germany that will focus on 5G and other wireless connectivity technologies.

Meanwhile in Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga revealed his country has made it a priority to save the local semiconductor industry from falling apart and help it regain its legs when it comes to advanced manufacturing processes. An interesting but little-known fact is that Japan has no less than 84 semiconductor plants -- more than any other country and around eight times more than Taiwan, or four times more than South Korea.

The main issue with these plants is most of them are using old, out-of-date equipment, some of which was offloaded earlier this year to Chinese companies that were more than happy to purchase it to go around US restrictions. The only notable exceptions are Sony and Kioxia, who are well-known for their advanced camera sensors and flash memory, respectively.

Although you'd think Japan's goal is to increase its output of semiconductors at all costs, the country's plan is more about "national security." Specifically, it wants to create an attractive environment for companies like TSMC to build local foundries and research and development centers, with the ultimate goal of carving an independent path for infusing its infrastructure with future technologies.

This strategy is no doubt born from simple observations on how global tensions and the race to achieve technological dominance have affected the global tech supply chain, and also led to a step back from the globalization of the chip industry.

On top of that, Japan went from dominating global semiconductor sales in 1988 to importing 64 percent of the chips needed for its local industry last year.

Japan also wants to implement stricter export controls for chips as well as materials needed to make them, especially as they're considered a sensitive industry that enables the manufacturing of equipment for both civilian and military use.

The big question, however, is what it will take for Japan to achieve this goal. According to Tetsuro Higashi, who is the former chairman of Tokyo Electron, the initial investment is at least one trillion yen ($9 billion), with trillions more over the next ten years. The 71-year-old silicon industry veteran says it will also take a combination of subsidies, tax breaks, and a new framework to facilitate technology sharing.

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p51d007

Posts: 2,824   +2,177
China is the 6000 pound gorilla in the room. That, and most of the CEO's of the businesses that kiss up to China, because of their slave labor rates. Until that changes, don't look for much of this to change. The CEO's are beholding to the stockholders. If they don't make a profit, they will go to someone else. That, and China "borrowing" technology, reverse engineering and producing it cheaper.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,557   +4,334
China is the 6000 pound gorilla in the room. That, and most of the CEO's of the businesses that kiss up to China, because of their slave labor rates. Until that changes, don't look for much of this to change. The CEO's are beholding to the stockholders. If they don't make a profit, they will go to someone else. That, and China "borrowing" technology, reverse engineering and producing it cheaper.

All true, but if the west *did* rebuild the industries it allowed (and enabled) China to destroy then we'd no longer have the Chinese monkey on our backs. Unfortunately, the security and economic health of western nations usually takes a back seat to the pure unmitigated greed of the EU/NA ruling class.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 306   +192
The number of chip foundries in Japan using sub-10nm process nodes is greater than zero? If so, Japan is ahead of most countries already. So they definitely have something on which they can build.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 306   +192
All true, but if the west *did* rebuild the industries it allowed (and enabled) China to destroy then we'd no longer have the Chinese monkey on our backs. Unfortunately, the security and economic health of western nations usually takes a back seat to the pure unmitigated greed of the EU/NA ruling class.
It isn't the 1% that shops at Wal-Mart.
Rebuilding the industries destroyed by China would only be feasible if the rebuilt factories were protected by huge tariff walls. Everything from kitchen utensils to electronic gadgets would cost about five times as much, although, as food and rent would stay the same, people could still survive - and, indeed, a few more people would have jobs, so this would promote equality.
This was what Donald Trump was supposed to do, which is why "Make America Great Again" was such an inspiring slogan to many, but it never happened.
 

Steve Lalancette

Posts: 32   +28
I remember a time when every pieces of tech was made in Japan.
Remember Marty McFly saying to Doc Brown, that everything cool was made in Japan.
Hell, my first Nintendo console was made in Japan.
Now, japanese giants make their tech in China.
 

Aranarth

Posts: 115   +100
It isn't the 1% that shops at Wal-Mart.
Rebuilding the industries destroyed by China would only be feasible if the rebuilt factories were protected by huge tariff walls. Everything from kitchen utensils to electronic gadgets would cost about five times as much, although, as food and rent would stay the same, people could still survive - and, indeed, a few more people would have jobs, so this would promote equality.
This was what Donald Trump was supposed to do, which is why "Make America Great Again" was such an inspiring slogan to many, but it never happened.


The middle class got destroyed by inflation, debt, and stagnation.
The rich don't spend money they make it, the middle class spends money, the poor barely survive and they live on the taxes levied on the middle class.

Once the middle class started loosing money and their income did not grow faster than inflation they started to shrink and now you see the result.

If you want a strong middle class the rich need to start giving raises above and beyond inflation. Once the middle class is strong again they will be even richer. But the rich can't see that and they won't do it.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,820   +790
China is the 6000 pound gorilla in the room. That, and most of the CEO's of the businesses that kiss up to China, because of their slave labor rates. Until that changes, don't look for much of this to change. The CEO's are beholding to the stockholders. If they don't make a profit, they will go to someone else. That, and China "borrowing" technology, reverse engineering and producing it cheaper.
Which is why profits is only one metric of business. The law needs to be changed to force more disclosure and transparency to shareholders as to how profits are realized. So the shareholders can have at least the information to make an informed decision on how they want to invest their dollars. The so-called woked corporations really aren't that woked at all.
They are just as much participating in parasitical behavior as China. They're liars.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,820   +790
It isn't the 1% that shops at Wal-Mart.
Rebuilding the industries destroyed by China would only be feasible if the rebuilt factories were protected by huge tariff walls. Everything from kitchen utensils to electronic gadgets would cost about five times as much, although, as food and rent would stay the same, people could still survive - and, indeed, a few more people would have jobs, so this would promote equality.
This was what Donald Trump was supposed to do, which is why "Make America Great Again" was such an inspiring slogan to many, but it never happened.
It's only that way because the west's subservience, and the world at large, to the private western central bank system. That extra cost is inflation tacked on by the P.W.C.B.S.. Get rid of that with each nation printing their own currency without the added interests of skewed bank system and those costs will drop. The U. S. use to fund itself through tariffs. But thanks to the money changers, robber barons, and banksters all of that changed.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,820   +790
I remember a time when every pieces of tech was made in Japan.
Remember Marty McFly saying to Doc Brown, that everything cool was made in Japan.
Hell, my first Nintendo console was made in Japan.
Now, japanese giants make their tech in China.
The private western central bank and the world at large has collaborated with China to do this. China is the model and Chinese people have been kept as slaves to the world. The world elite powers are just as guilty as China and seems to be trying to take the Chinese system and make the world into that system. This explains COVID-19 and the rumored Reset more than anything could. It's all a plan to enslave the world with the untouchable elites on top. Trump was the wrench in that deal. That's why he's hated so much.

Bad. Bad orange man! F*** hilarious.
 

Eric Klien

Posts: 7   +2
The number of chip foundries in Japan using sub-10nm process nodes is greater than zero? If so, Japan is ahead of most countries already. So they definitely have something on which they can build.

I checked and there is no evidence of any such foundries but SanDisk has some 15nm Flash manufacturing.
 

Xex360

Posts: 131   +162
It seems Japan slipped because people are more obsessed with time spent working than actual productivity. The innovative Japanese got all old now, and people are pushed to not have children.
 

Aranarth

Posts: 115   +100
<Silly human, That is a robots job.>
"I'm here to fix the broken robot.... :D"
"How much?!"
"I'll accept 50% of the revenue the robot would have produced if it was up."
"That's blackmail!"
"Nah that's the going rate... Plus that's why I can afford to live down the street in those luxury apartments and own my car. Just like you!"
"I'm not paying that!"
"I guess you're not making any money then!"
"Oh..."
 

ron baer

Posts: 27   +10
China is the 6000 pound gorilla in the room. That, and most of the CEO's of the businesses that kiss up to China, because of their slave labor rates. Until that changes, don't look for much of this to change. The CEO's are beholding to the stockholders. If they don't make a profit, they will go to someone else. That, and China "borrowing" technology, reverse engineering and producing it cheaper.
sadly true for most companies. With TSMC putting a 12billion factory here in the states could change some things up depending on what they plan on building in it