Infineon and Resonac expand cooperation in silicon carbide (SiC) materials for power semiconductors
16 January 2023
Infineon Technologies is extending its cooperation with silicon carbide (SiC) supplier Resonac (formerly Show Denko). According to the new agreement, Resonac will supply Infineon with SiC materials for the production of SiC semiconductors, covering a double-digit share of the forecasted demand for the next decade.
While the initial phase focuses on 6" (150 mm) SiC material supply, Resonac will also support Infineon’s transition to 8" (200 mm) wafer-diameter during the later years of the agreement.
SiC epitaxial wafers (from left to right, 150mm and 200mm in diameter)
Resonac began shipping samples of SiC epitaxial wafers (SiC epi-wafers) 200mm (8 inches) in diameter in September 2022.
SiC power semiconductors reduce power loss and emit less heat than conventional silicon-wafer-based power semiconductors, thereby conserving energy. As a result, the SiC power semiconductor market is rapidly expanding, especially in the fields of power devices for use in electric vehicles and renewable-energy-based power generation.
An SiC power semiconductor’s performance is greatly affected by the quality of SiC epi-wafer. Thus, it is necessary for SiC epi-wafer manufacturer to make the epi-wafer to have low density of surface defects and stable quality. At present, SiC power semiconductors are manufactured mainly from SiC epi-wafers 150mm (6 inches) in diameter. The larger the diameter of SiC epi-wafer becomes, the more pieces of SiC-power-semiconductor chips the manufacturers of power devices can produce. Therefore, device manufacturers expect that they can improve their productivity and reduce costs of devices by introducing SiC epi-wafers with diameters larger than conventional ones. Resonac has accelerated development of 200mm SiC epi-wafer since 2021.
Furthermore, Resonac will accelerate improvement in technologies for and product quality of SiC epitaxial wafers through reinforced joint development activities with Infineon.
As part of the cooperation, Infineon will provide Resonac with intellectual property relating to SiC material technologies.
Infineon is currently expanding its SiC manufacturing capacity in order to reach a market share of 30% by the end of the decade. Infineon’s SiC manufacturing capacity is about to increase tenfold by 2027. A new plant in Kulim is scheduled to start production in 2024. Today, Infineon already provides SiC semiconductors to more than 3,600 customers worldwide.