The United States and Japan are working together to develop a manufacturing technology for the 2-nm process. One of the reasons for the deal is to ensure intellectual property protection from China.

It is not so much a collaboration between Japanese and American companies as it is a collaboration between their respective governments. Japanese Economy Minister Koichi Hagiuda traveled to the United States on Monday this week specifically to agree on issues necessary for joint development of future chip manufacturing technologies, as well as to build a strong supply chain immune to problems from China. It’s about independence from China on the one hand, and protection against industrial espionage that mainly Taiwan faces on the other.

The US and Japanese governments have reached an agreement to develop and manufacture 2-nanometer chips in a bid to exclude China from the technology.

It is not clear which companies will participate in this cooperation, or rather it was not said directly, but we can guess that the American side will not lack Intel and IBM, as well as Nikon, Canon, Tokyo Electron and all kinds of suppliers of high-performance materials, the purity necessary for the production of integrated circuits (hydrogen fluoride, photoresists), and Japan also has a strong base of silicon wafer manufacturers. Another reason for the agreement is that Taiwan’s TSMC will not build state-of-the-art plants off the island. The company wants to keep its most valuable factory on its premises, and US-built facilities will supply the chips in the 10nm process or earlier.

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Cooperation between the United States and Japan can be viewed as a strategic issue and as a preparation for possible instability in the China region. This also applies to relations between China and Taiwan, where there is a real danger that China will try to take over the island, which has already been threatened by the Chinese government on several occasions. As long as China’s IC production capacity is lagging while neighboring TSMC plants are booming, the risk will not diminish.

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