Last month, Japan-based Canon announced it would be launching a nano-imprint lithography (NIL) machine that it claims is capable of producing parts down to a 5nm node, and could eventually produce 2nm nodes once the technology has been refined even further.
Japan is currently caught in the crosshairs of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. At the start of 2023, Japan agreed to an export ban on advanced computing chips, devices that included them, and certain semiconductor manufacturing items including extreme ultraviolet lithograph machines.
As a result, in addition to financially shoring up its homegrown semiconductor industry, Japan is also seeking to form partnerships with other jurisdictions and strengthen its global standing in the chip space.
In July, the EU-Japan Digital Partnership was formed to improve cooperation between the two regions on digital issues. In addition to focusing on issues relating to undersea cable connectivity, investment in quantum and high-performance computing (HPC), and AI regulation, the governments pledged to monitor the global chip supply chain and provide support to Japanese semiconductor companies looking to operate within the EU.
“We believe that it’s extremely important to secure the supply chain of semiconductors,” EU Commissioner Thierry Breton told Reuters at the time, adding that the EU was seeking to “de-risk” its own technology supply chains by implementing policies to reduce its dependence on China-made technology such as chips.