Skip to content
News & Analysis

Japan Bets on Jim Keller: Why?

Japan has developed its own “edge” AI accelerator. But it needs CPUs and chiplet expertise to turn it into commercial products. Who ya gonna call?
Japan's Bet on Jim Keller: Why?

Share This Post:

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
Japan’s ability to secure the chip supply and protect national security would require it to build leading-edge semiconductor fabs and AI technologies. Japan is giving Tenstorrent, a Canadian startup, the job of leading its national AI/RISC-V/chiplet project.

Japan’s chipmaking challenge is colossal. It will take herculean effort and staggering investment to bring up a 2-nm process technology at Rapidus, its startup foundry, by 2027.

Given the many national tech projects that have failed under the guidance of the Japanese government, recent media headlines such as “Japan’s comeback in semiconductor manufacturing” make some industry observers in Japan cringe.

Nonetheless, as the Ojo-Yoshida Report learned recently from semiconductor manufacturing equipment vendors and EDA suppliers, contracts are getting signed. Hardware and software tools are heading to Sapporo, where Rapidus is building a fab.

This is great stuff. Let’s get started.

Already have an account? Sign in.