On February 1, 2023, Wolfspeed, the global leader in Silicon Carbide technology, announced their plans to construct an advanced 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) wafer fabrication facility in Saarland, Germany
On February 1, 2023, Wolfspeed, the global leader in Silicon Carbide technology, announced their plans to construct an advanced 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) wafer fabrication facility in Saarland, Germany. The announcement was made at an event on the 35-acre (14-hectare) site of the planned fab, a former coal-fired power plant in Saarland. The Fab construction is expected to begin in first-half 2023, subject to approval by the EU Commission.
This fab will be the most extensive SiC development and production facility in the European Union (EU) and is planned as part of a collaboration within the IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) and is dependent on state aid approval from the European Commission.
It will be designed for manufacturing processes to produce the future generation of silicon carbide devices. Wolfspeed states that the new fab will employ more than 600 people and include innovative sustainability measures.
The project is estimated to cost $3 billion, and Germany-based ZF Friedrichshafen AG, one of the world’s largest automotive industry suppliers, is to invest $185 million for minority ownership of the fab.
The European fab is an integral part of Wolfspeed’s broader $6.5 billion capacity expansion, which includes opening the 200mm Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, NY, USA, in April 2022, and the construction of the 445-acre John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide in North Carolina.
Wolfspeed’s President & CEO Gregg Lowe stated that “Silicon carbide devices offer greater energy efficiency and are essential in the global shift toward sustainable electrification,” he adds, “This new facility will be crucial to supporting our expansion in a capacity-constrained industry that is proliferating, especially across the electric vehicle (EV) marketplace. It was important for us to have a facility located in the heart of Europe, near many of our customers and partners, to foster collaboration on the next generation of silicon carbide technologies.”
Wolfspeed also said they would establish an R&D center to drive advances in SiC systems and devices for mobility, industrial, and energy applications with ZF. The R&D center will focus on innovation for Silicon Carbide systems and devices to meet specific requirements in all mobility segments, including consumer, commercial, agricultural, and industrial vehicles and the industrial and renewable energy markets. In addition, the collaboration will drive improvements such as higher efficiency, increased power density, and higher performance for electrification solutions.
ZF and Wolfspeed have been partners since 2019, creating industry-leading, highly efficient electric drivelines with a Silicon Carbide inverter.
Gregg Lowe, president, and CEO of Wolfspeed, said, “We have a strong partner by our side in ZF, which brings industry-leading experience in scaling components for electric mobility and the aptitude to accelerate innovation in Silicon Carbide systems and power devices. I am confident this partnership will lift Silicon Carbide semiconductor technology to a new level of global impact, supporting increased sustainability and efficiency efforts across many industries.”
“These initiatives are a significant step towards a successful industrial transformation. They strengthen European supply resilience and, at the same time, support the European Green Deal and the strategic goals for Europe’s Digital Decade,” said Dr. Holger Klein, CEO of ZF.
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