SK Siltron CSS to invest $300M in new Michigan plant for silicon carbide wafers for EV power systems
SK Siltron CSS, a semiconductor wafer manufacturer, plans to invest $300 million and create up to 150 high-paying, skilled jobs in Bay County, Mich., over the next three years to provide manufacturing and R&D capabilities of advanced materials for electric vehicles. The expansion will more than double the company’s Michigan employee base and add a new site in Bay City, Mich., to join its existing site in nearby Auburn, Mich.
SK Siltron CSS manufactures a specialty wafer made of silicon carbide (SiC) that can be used in the semiconductor power components of electric vehicles. SiC wafers are more efficient at handling high powers and conducting heat than normal silicon.
When used in EV system components, this characteristic can allow a more efficient transfer of electricity from the battery to the motor, increasing the driving range of an EV by five-to-ten percent.
The SK Siltron CSS expansion, pending state and local approvals, is part of a new domestic supply chain forming to provide the components required to support new environmentally friendly vehicles.
The company will work closely with state and local partners to recruit and train potential employees. Of the new employees, 70% will be skilled workers while 30% will be professional engineers.
SK Siltron, a global maker of semiconductor wafers based in South Korea, acquired the Michigan silicon carbide wafer business in 2019 and established SK Siltron CSS as a US subsidiary. Since then, SK Siltron CSS has doubled its employee base in Michigan, currently employing approximately 130 skilled workers and professional engineers.
SK Siltron CSS’s silicon carbide wafer technology has benefited from its close collaboration and direct access to SK Siltron’s high-volume manufacturing (HVM) expertise in scaling up production of semiconductor wafers. These silicon carbide wafers can be used in EV system components including power converters, chargers and inverters.
In addition to helping increase driving ranges for EVs, the electrical and thermal properties of silicon carbide can help reduce charging times, relax system cooling requirements and shrink the power module size and weight.