Mitsubishi Electric to build 100 bil. yen chip factory in Kumamoto

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Tuesday it will invest 100 billion yen ($745 million) to build a new chip factory in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto in an effort to respond to rising semiconductor demand for electric vehicles.

The new factory will be set up in its existing manufacturing facility in Kikuchi and is scheduled to start production in April 2026.

The plant will produce so-called power semiconductors used for all-battery vehicles and various energy conservation and decarbonization technologies, it said.

The plan comes as the Japanese government moves to secure a stable supply of chips, used for everything from smartphones to rockets, from the standpoint of economic security.

State-backed chipmaker Rapidus Corp. said last month it will build a plant in Hokkaido, northern Japan, as it seeks to begin mass-production of chips with state-of-the-art 2-nanometer technology.

The world's largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is also building a factory in Kumamoto, in a joint venture with Sony Group Corp. and auto parts maker Denso Corp. with the Japanese government subsidizing the project.

© Kyodo News