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ZF signs multi-year supply agreement with STMicroelectronics for silicon carbide devices for new inverters

The technology group ZF will, from 2025, purchase silicon carbide (SiC) devices from STMicroelectronics. Under the terms of the multi-year contract, ST will supply a volume of double-digit millions of silicon carbide devices to be integrated in ZF’s new modular inverter architecture going into series production in 2025. ZF will leverage ST’s vertically integrated silicon carbide manufacturing in Europe and Asia to secure customer orders in electromobility.

With this strategically important step, we are strengthening our supply chain to be able to securely supply our customers. Our order book in electromobility until 2030 now amounts to more than thirty billion euros. For this volume, we need several reliable suppliers for silicon carbide devices.

In STMicroelectronics, we now have a supplier whose experience with complex systems meets our requirements and who, above all, can produce the devices in exceptionally high quality and at the required quantities.

—Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for electromobility as well as materials management

With this agreement, ZF has gained a world-class supplier for silicon carbide technology, in addition to ZF’s existing partnership agreement on silicon carbide technology with Wolfspeed announced in February. (Earlier post.)

ST will manufacture the silicon carbide chips at its production fabs in Italy and Singapore with packaging of the chips into STPAK, an ST-developed advanced package, and testing at its back-end facilities in Morocco and China.


STPAK is a multi sintering package well suited for EV applications. The multi sintering solution (which is suitable for both SiC MOSFET and IGBT), offers better thermal performance and higher reliability, along with a low-inductance connection to the bus bar.

ST will supply ZF from 2025 with a volume of double-digit millions of third-generation silicon carbide MOSFET devices. ZF can connect a variable number of such devices together to match customers’ performance requirements without changing the design of the inverter. Among others, ZF will use the technology in inverters for vehicles of a European car manufacturer whose production start is planned for 2025.

The inverter manages the flow of energy in electric drivetrains from battery to e-motor and vice versa. Inverters have become more efficient and more complex with every development step. The combination of the inverter design and the semiconductors, such as silicon carbide, is critical to improving electric vehicle performance.

Silicon carbide devices significantly reduce power losses in electric car inverters, as well as in wind turbine and photovoltaic inverters. Devices made with silicon carbide have decisive advantages over conventional silicon-based products, such as higher efficiency, power density and reliability. At the same time, they enable smaller and more cost-effective system designs.


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