January 30, 2024 /SemiMedia/ -- According to reports, many chip fabs are expected to start mass production in Japan in 2024, which will stimulate the growth and development of Japan's domestic semiconductor supply chain and improve Japan's chip manufacturing capabilities.

In Kikuyo Town, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), invested by TSMC, Sony and Nippon Denso, is currently building a 12-inch wafer fab. The fab is scheduled to be completed on February 24, 2024, and mass production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024. The fab will use 12nm, 16nm, 22nm, and 28nm technologies to manufacture chips, and will enable Japan to make significant progress in logic IC process technology, moving from Renesas Electronics' 40nm to JASM's 12nm. This is seen as the first step in Japan's semiconductor revival strategy.

NAND flash memory maker Kioxia and Western Digital are building a 12-inch joint venture factory in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. The factory will be ready for mass production of 3D NAND flash memory products in March 2024. In addition, another KIOXIA and Western Digital joint venture factory in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, will open later this year. The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2023, but was delayed due to poor market conditions.

In response to growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) power semiconductors, Renesas Electronics has committed to spending 90 billion yen to install a 12-inch silicon wafer production line at an existing factory. The new production line will enable Renesas Electronics to increase its production capacity of power semiconductors such as IGBTs and MOSFETs, with mass production planned for 2024.

Toshiba and its subsidiary Kaga Toshiba Electronics are building a new factory in Nomi-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture. The factory is expected to be completed in March 2025 and will be equipped with a new 12-inch silicon power semiconductor wafer manufacturing line. In addition, Toshiba will begin production integration with ROHM's newly developed silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor plant in Kunitomi City, Miyazaki Prefecture.

The report pointed out that after 2025, more wafer fabs will appear in Japan, including Micron Technology’s new 1-gamma (1γ) DRAM production plant in Hiroshima Prefecture; JSMC, the wafer manufacturing subsidiary of Power Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (PSMC), plans to mass produce chips in 2027; Rapidus plans to mass produce 2nm chips in 2027. In addition, TSMC is evaluating the construction of a second factory in Japan. TSMC said it will officially announce the location of the factory as soon as February 6.