2nm Logic Semiconductors Power Next-Gen AI Edge Devices: Rapidus and Tenstorrent Collaborate

Rapidus, a joint venture established in 2022 by eight Japanese enterprises including Sony, Toyota, NTT, Mitsubishi, NEC, Kioxia, and SoftBank, aims to localize the design and manufacturing of advanced semiconductor processes. By the end of 2022, Rapidus had signed a technology licensing agreement with IBM and plans to initiate its production line in 2025. It aims to trial-produce 2nm chips and commence mass production by 2027.

Tenstorrent has announced an agreement with Rapidus to collaborate on developing semiconductor IP for the artificial intelligence (AI) edge domain, based on the 2nm process. This collaboration promises to bring greater innovation to AI. Tenstorrent, through its technological partnership with Rapidus, seeks to accelerate the development of cutting-edge devices to meet the evolving needs of the digital society.

Tenstorrent, a startup based in Toronto, Canada, specializes in AI chips initially designed for image recognition and voice processing tasks. This year, they also shared the Ascalaon chip based on the RISC-V architecture. Legendary chip architect Jim Keller, who has worked at Intel, AMD, Apple, and Tesla, currently serves as President, CTO, and board member of Tenstorrent, and this year, he also assumed the role of CEO.

On September 1, 2023, Rapidus began construction of its wafer fabrication plant in Chitose City, Hokkaido. This facility will be Japan’s first logic semiconductor factory to employ 2nm or more advanced processes. Rapidus has already dispatched researchers to the Albany NanoTech Complex in New York, USA, to collaborate with IBM on researching 2nm process technology.