ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Semiconductors

Team Japan's first 5 nm chip geared for autos in bid to catch rivals

Fabless developer Socionext seen tapping TSMC to produce next-gen semiconductor

The system-on-a-chip design, which Tesla aims to develop in-house, is necessary for electric vehicles and autonomous driving. (Photo courtesy of Tesla)

TOKYO -- Fabless manufacturer Socionext looks to design cutting-edge 5-nanometer chips for automobiles, becoming the first Japanese company with plans to develop the technology while foreign rivals race ahead in the field.

Socionext, the spinoff of the chip businesses from Fujitsu and Panasonic, is expected to outsource production to top global contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which boasts 5 nm facilities.

The designer aims to develop a so-called system on a chip -- a central processing unit, memory and a graphics processing unit packaged together -- which is necessary to run artificial intelligence. It is an essential component for electric vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.

The delivery of samples will begin as early as 2022.

The automotive industry worldwide faces a semiconductor shortage, mainly involving microcontrollers in the 28 nm and 40 nm range.

Japanese fabless designer Socionext will compete with Dutch firm NXP Semiconductors in the development of 5-nanometer automotive chips.

TSMC is bolstering investment in new technologies that yield fatter margins. The latest 5 nm technology reportedly boasts 20% greater speed and uses 40% less power than the previous 7 nm generation. But the more complex design requires advanced know-how.

Japanese companies have fallen behind in commercializing 5 nm processors. Apple uses the advanced chips in its new iPhones and other devices. Socionext will be competing with Dutch firm NXP Semiconductors, which expects to ship samples of 5 nm automotive chips in 2021.

Among automakers, Tesla is working to make system-on-a-chip circuits in-house.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more