Rapidus and Esperanto Technologies Form New Partnership for RISC-V

May 15, 2024


Rapidus and Esperanto Technologies Form New Partnership for RISC-V

In a recent releaseRapidus Corporation, a semiconductor company, and Esperanto Technologies, a RISC-V computing solutions provider, announced a new partnership and Memorandum of Cooperation.

According to the announcement, the two companies intend to promote the development and manufacture of low-power AI semiconductors for data centers. Esperanto brings its high-performance, energy-efficient RISC-V computing solutions for AI and ML, especially for generative AI and high-performance computing (HPC). Rapidus has been building semiconductor manufacturing capabilities in Japan called the IIM (Innovative Integration for Manufacturing) in Chitose City, Hokkaido, since September of 2023. This reportedly will be Japan's first facility built to produce state-of-the-art logic semiconductors at 2-nanometers (nm) and beyond.

Rapidus also has been dispatching researchers to the Albany Nanotech Complex in New York, one of the world's most advanced semiconductor research centers, to work with IBM to develop technologies for the production of 2nm logic semiconductors. The company also said it is planning to acquire EUV lithography technology, which is essential for the production of cutting-edge semiconductors, from imec. Utilizing these technologies,Rapidus said it plans to start operation of a pilot production line at IIM-1 in April 2025, and begin mass production in 2027.

"The strategic partnership with Rapidus plays a key role in our expansion plans for Japan," said Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies Inc. "Rapidus represents a new approach to leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing, and we are very impressed with the direction and speed at which they are operating. Along with our other partners in Japan, we hope our new relationship with Rapidus will extend the benefits of our energy efficient technology to a broader set of SoC designers."

Together the two companies believe they can capitalize upon the growing need for AI and ML capable semiconductors using RISC-V architectures. The 2nm node semiconductors that Rapidus aims to manufacture will enable not only improved processing performance but also reduced power consumption, according to the release. Esperanto, meanwhile, says it has been developing products with superior energy efficiency for generative AI, HPC and edge devices.

By collaborating early on the co-optimization between design and manufacturing of next-generation semiconductors, the two companies said they aim to better enable the development of energy-efficient products for the AI era.

"As part of our corporate philosophy, we will commit ourselves to further innovating toward a truly green society," said Dr. Atsuyoshi Koike, president and CEO of Rapidus Corporation. "As we enter the age of full-fledged AI, it is imperative to design and manufacture semiconductors with superior energy-saving performance, and we believe that this collaboration with Esperanto is a major step toward solving this issue."