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Japan renews chip R&D effort

Posted: 31 Mar 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara  R&D  Japan Semiconductor Industry Association  JSIA  Asuka II Project 

Japan's semiconductor industry is launching a renewed five-year R&D effort dubbed the Asuka II Project focusing on 45nm and 32nm technologies.

The renewed project is set to begin on April 1 and will be funded at the level of about Rs.3,380.70 crore ($764 million). Asuka II will include R&D on advanced design based on models from the Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Centre and advanced process and device research based on work by Semiconductor Leading Edge Technologies Inc.

Researchers will continue working closely with counterparts working in the national Mirai project. The Mirai and Selete projects will use the Super Clean Room facility at Tsukuba, northeast of Tokyo.

The Japan Semiconductor Industry Association (JSIA), which includes 11 Japanese chip makers, has been planning for the renewed Asuka II project based on the recommendations of the second Semiconductor New Century Committee issued in 2004. JSIA announced the basic outline July 2005.

Japan's chip R&D infrastructure has been criticized for conducting too many projects that have yielded few results. The Asuka project is financed by chip makers while the Mirai project is backed by the government. Both projects operate the Tsukuba Super Clean Room, but the cooperative management is not considered effective.

Last July, the Semiconductor Industry Research Institute Japan moved to combine the projects, calling for a "Tsukuba Semiconductor R&D Project Leader." Selete's president will head the effort and act as project leader for the entire R&D scheme based at the Tsukuba facility. However, the plan edged away from that scheme.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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