Japan's Rapidus to have 100 engineers in IBM facility by summer to acquire GAAFET technology

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Albany NanoTech Complex. Credit: IBM

Japanese semiconductor champion Rapidus will have 100 engineers sent to IBM's research facility in the US to acquire knowhows in the gate-all-around (GAA) transistor technology key to 2nm process, Nikkei reports. Rapidus reached a collaboration with IBM in December 2022 to transfer IBM's 2nm technology, which was successfully prototyped by IBM in 2021.

According to Nikkei, Rapidus already dispatched the first group of technical personnel to IBM's New York-based Albany Nanotech Complex in April, and the company continues to seek engineering talents, targeting people with experience in semiconductor development in large electronic companies in Japan from the 1990s to the first half of the 2000s.

Rapidus seeks to reach 2nm production by 2027. In May, the company indicated that it completed the preparatory work of its first EUV lithography machine. The EUV equipment is expected to be in place before Rapidus' trial production begins in 2025.

Rapidus president Atsuyoshi Koike previously claimed that about 1000 engineers are required to bring the most cutting-edge process into volume production. However, with the introduction of automation into Rapidus' production process, Koike claims that only approximately 500 engineers are needed.

Albany NanoTech Complex was at the center of a law suit filed by GlobalFoundries against IBM in April. GlobalFoundries believes that IBM unlawfully disclosed GF's private intellectual property and trade secrets, jointly developed by the two in Albany NanoTech Complex, to partners like Intel and Rapidus, after IBM transferred the sole and exclusive right to license and disclose that technology to GF in 2015.