Toshiba and Rohm to Work Together on Power Semiconductors for Electric Vehicles; Japanese Government to Provide ¥130 Billion Funding

Toshiba Corp. and Rohm Co. have announced a collaboration to produce power semiconductors, which are commonly used in electric vehicles and other devices. This partnership aims to strengthen the domestic industrial base with the support of up to ¥129.4 billion in subsidies from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The global demand for power semiconductors is on the rise as countries focus on reducing carbon emissions. Japan currently holds a 20% share of the global market and hopes to capitalize on the ¥13.4 trillion market estimated by Research firm Fuji Keizai Co. for 2035, five times larger than in 2022.

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corp. will expand its plant in Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture to increase the production of silicon power semiconductors, while Rohm plans to ramp up its manufacturing of next-generation devices made with silicon carbide in Kunitomi, Miyazaki Prefecture. The collaboration aims to avoid business overlap and increase market share.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura emphasized the importance of cooperation among Japanese manufacturers to improve competitiveness and create world-leading manufacturers. The ministry is expected to contribute one-third of the total ¥388.3 billion investment in the Toshiba and Rohm project.

The collaboration between Toshiba and Rohm is expected to lead to a reorganization within the industry. Both companies plan to jointly manufacture power semiconductors and concentrate resource management in their respective fields of expertise. This initiative could encourage other Japanese manufacturers to reconsider their business strategies in the cut-throat competition of the industry.

Rohm is part of a domestic consortium that acquired Toshiba and will contribute a total of ¥300 billion, including preferred stock, to deepen cooperation with Toshiba. Power semiconductors play a crucial role in energy-saving functions in various electronic equipment and other uses.

The government is also considering providing additional public financial assistance to encourage collaboration and industry reorganization. The aim is to nurture a Japanese power semiconductor production base that can compete with those in the United States and Europe.

The power semiconductor market is currently dominated by a German company, followed by a U.S. company. Four Japanese firms are in the top 10 in terms of global market share, with Mitsubishi Electric Corp. ranking the highest at fourth. With the collaboration between Toshiba and Rohm, the hope is to enhance Japan’s position in the global market and create world-leading manufacturers.

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