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Canon to invest $345 million to double chip-making device production

This file photo shows the logo of Canon Inc. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Canon Inc. is set to invest 50 billion yen ($345 million) to double its production of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment in Japan, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday, as the country tries to strengthen chip supply chains amid a global shortage.

The company plans to start the construction of a new facility at its factory in Utsunomiya in the eastern prefecture of Tochigi in 2023 to increase the output of the semiconductor lithography equipment, the source said.

Canon aims to begin the facility’s operation in 2025. The company is also considering producing next-generation equipment, which could make chips at a lower cost, at the facility.

The decision comes as Japan, the United States and other Asian countries rush to invest in the semiconductor industry as they seek to overcome the global chip shortage and establish supply chains less dependent on their adversaries.

Canon currently has two production sites for semiconductor lithography equipment in Japan, one in Tochigi and another in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

The company aims to sell 180 units of such equipment this year, up about 30 percent from a year ago, amid a growing demand.

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