Intel pulled together a group of 14 Japanese companies to automate chip packaging, with the aim of having a working prototype by 2028, Nikkei Asia reported.

The US chipmaker will invest tens of billions of yen, the news outlet stated, noting advances in front-end processes, such as circuit formation, are driving the need for better back-end applications, including stacking chips, to boost chip performance.

Partners in the initiative, headed by Intel Japan president Kunimasa Suzuki, include Omron, Yamaha Motor, Resonac and Shin-Etsu Polymer, Nikkei Asia wrote.

Japanese companies account for about 30 per cent of global chipmaking equipment, the news agency stated, citing data from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The goal is to move away from manual assembly in low-cost regions, implementing full automation across production, assembly and inspection as chipmakers shift manufacturing to the US and Japan.

The newspaper noted in 2022 China was home to more than a third of global back-end chipmaking capacity, based on figures from Boston Consulting Group.

With pressure on chipmakers to shift production out of China and diversify their supply chains, some are setting up operations in Japan.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co plans to start construction of a second chip production facility in Japan by the end of the year. Rapidus Corp and Micron Technology secured subsidies from the government to build chip factories.