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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.

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