Micron to invest $3.6B for Japanese production of DRAM chips

Micron to invest $3.6B for Japanese production of DRAM chips

Having already invested billions of dollars in the US chip sector, Micron has announced it will be the first company to bring extreme ultraviolet lithography production methods to Japan.

Credit: Andre Benz

Chipmaker Micron Technologies plans to invest up to 500 billion yen ($3.6 billion) to bring extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) to Japan, making them the first company to bring this production method to the country.

Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EVU) is used in the most advanced semiconductor device fabrication and Micron plans to use machines powered by this technology to make the next generation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), also known as 1-gamma chips, at its Hiroshima plant.

DRAM chips are widely used in digital electronics where low-cost and high-capacity memory is required.

 “We are proud to be the first to use EUV in Japan and to be developing and manufacturing 1-gamma at our Hiroshima fab,” Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in a statement. “Our plans reflect our continued commitment to Japan, strong relationship with the Japanese government, and the exceptional talent of our Micron Hiroshima team.”

Boosting domestic chip manufacturing

Due to the ongoing global chip shortage and the escalating US-China chip war, which has seen widespread restrictions placed on the export of chips, indirectly causing a number of other countries to get caught in the crossfire, many governments, including Japan’s, are currently trying to boost their own domestic chip manufacturing capabilities.

The Japanese government has already pledged significant financial support for projects to develop and make next-gen chips in the country, including a deal with Rapidus to make 2nm chips in Japan by 2025. The project has received 70 billion yen ($532 million) from the Japanese government and investments from Toyota, Sony, and telecom giant NTT.

The news of Micron’s investment in Japanese chip manufacturing comes eight months after the company announced it would spend $20 billion to build what it called the largest-ever US semiconductor factory in Onondaga County, New York. The previous month, Micron broke ground on a memory manufacturing fab near its headquarters in Boise, Idaho.

In a statement at the time, Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra credited the passing of the $50 billion CHIPS and Science Act for revitalising the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry in the US, which has seen its market share slip drastically in recent years.

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