SBI Holdings Collaborates with Powerchip to Establish Chip Plant in Japan

TOKYO, July 5, 2023 – In a move to revitalize Japan’s chip industry, financial firm SBI Holdings has announced its partnership with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp to establish a cutting-edge chip manufacturing plant in Japan. This collaboration comes as Japan aims to attract foreign chip companies by providing substantial subsidies, ensuring its automotive and technology sectors have access to crucial components in the face of growing global demand.

SBI Holdings, under the leadership of CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, will spearhead the establishment of a new company focused on aiding in planning, fundraising, and lobbying for government subsidies. The company will also assist Powerchip in identifying a suitable location for chip production catering to automakers and industrial machinery manufacturers. Additionally, a dedicated research laboratory will be set up to develop advanced chips, further bolstering Japan’s chip manufacturing capabilities.

In a joint press conference held by SBI Holdings and Powerchip, CEO Yoshitaka Kitao expressed his confidence in the venture, stating, “This is the best possible time to enter chip manufacturing.” He further revealed that Powerchip is currently evaluating three or four potential sites for the plant. Construction is expected to commence within the next two years, followed by the commencement of chip production.

SBI Holdings and Powerchip: A Strategic Partnership

SBI Holdings’ partnership with Powerchip marks a significant milestone in Japan’s efforts to fortify its chip industry. The Japanese government has already committed a staggering 400 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in subsidies to attract major players like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s leading logic chip maker. TSMC is set to build a plant in Kumamoto prefecture, supplying semiconductors to prominent companies such as Sony Group and Denso Corp, an auto parts manufacturer.

Moreover, Japan has extended subsidies to memory chip manufacturers Kioxia Corp and Western Digital Corp, supporting the expansion of their production facilities in the country. In addition, financial aid has been provided to American chipmaker Micron Technology to augment its plant’s capacity in Hiroshima. These initiatives solidify Japan’s commitment to fostering a robust chip manufacturing ecosystem.

The Impetus for Japan’s Chip Industry Expansion

The global chip shortage has prompted countries worldwide to prioritize strengthening their chip industries, and Japan is no exception. With a surge in demand for semiconductors in various sectors, including automotive and consumer electronics, Japan recognizes the need to secure a stable supply chain.

To address this, Japan has also ventured into developing its own chip manufacturing capabilities. The domestic startup Rapidus, backed by funding from the Japanese government and IBM Corp, aims to produce advanced logic chips by the mid-2020s. This ambitious undertaking aims to establish Japan as a leading player in the chip manufacturing market.

Powerchip’s Expertise and Future Prospects

Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp is a prominent player in the field, providing contract manufacturing services for logic and memory chips, with a focus on power management. The company’s extensive experience, coupled with SBI Holdings’ financial expertise and government support, positions the collaboration for success.

As the partnership progresses, it is expected to generate employment opportunities, boost technological advancements, and contribute to Japan’s overall economic growth. The establishment of the chip plant will not only bolster Japan’s chip industry but also foster closer ties between Japan and Taiwan in the technology sector.

In conclusion, SBI Holdings’ collaboration with Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp marks a significant step forward for Japan’s chip industry. With Japan’s substantial subsidies and the expertise of Powerchip, the establishment of a chip manufacturing plant in Japan will pave the way for increased production capacity and technological innovation, ensuring a secure supply chain for the country’s automotive and technology sectors.

© Reuters

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