SiC power devices


[News] STMicroelectronics to Invest EUR 5 Billion in New SiC Wafer Fab

STMicroelectronics, following its EUR 7.5 billion wafer fab project with GlobalFoundries in Crolles, France. is set to invest EUR 5 billion in building a new SiC super semiconductor wafer fab in Catania, Sicily, Italy. The fab in Italy will specialize in producing SiC chips, a pivotal technology for electric vehicles with substantial growth potential, according to French media L’Usine Nouvelle on November 26th,

STMicroelectronics competitively plans to transition to 8-inch wafers starting from 2024. The company will integrate Soitec’s SmartSiC technology to enhance efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Simultaneously, STMicroelectronics aims to increase capacity, achieve internal manufacturing, and collaborate with Chinese firm Sanan Optoelectronics to raise SiC chip-related revenue from the expected USD 1.2 billion in 2023 to USD 5 billion by 2030.

On June 7th earlier this year, STMicroelectronics and Sanan Optoelectronics announced a joint venture to establish a new 8-inch SiC device fab in Chongqing, China, with an anticipated total investment of USD 3.2 billion.

To ensure the successful implementation of this extensive investment plan, Sanan Optoelectronics said to utilize its self-developed SiC substrate process to construct and operate a new 8-inch SiC substrate fab independently.

TrendForce: over 90% SiC market share by major global players        

According to TrendForce, the SiC industry is currently dominated by 6-inch substrates, holding up to 80% market share, while 8-inch substrates only account for 1%. Transitioning to larger 8-inch substrates is a key strategy for further reducing SiC device costs.

8-inch SiC substrates offer significant cost advantages than 6-inch substrates. The industry’s major players in China, including SEMISiC, Jingsheng Mechanical & Electrical Co., Ltd. (JSG), Summit Crystal, Synlight Semiconductor, KY Semiconductor, and IV-SemiteC, are advancing the development of 8-inch SiC substrates. This shift from the approximately 45% of total production costs associated with substrates is expected to facilitate the broader adoption of SiC devices and create a positive cycle for major companies.

Not only Chinese companies but also international semiconductor giants like Infineon Technologies and Onsemi are actively vying for a share of the market. Infineon has already prepared the first batch of 8-inch wafer samples in its fab and plans to convert them into electronic samples soon, with mass production applications scheduled before 2030. International device companies like Onsemi and ROHM have also outlined development plans for 8-inch SiC wafers.

Currently, major companies hold over 90% of the market share, intensifying competition. A slowdown in progress could provide opportunities for followers. According to TrendForce, the market share of the top 5 SiC power semiconductor players in 2022 was dominated by STMicroelectronics (36.5%), Infineon (17.9%), Wolfspeed (16.3%), Onsemi (11.6%), and ROHM (8.1%), leaving the remaining companies with only 9.6%.

(Image: STMicroelectronics)

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[News] ROHM’s First SiC Substrate Production in Japan, 8-Inch Substrates Set for 2024

During an earnings call in November 2023, Isao Matsumoto, President of ROHM Semiconductor, disclosed the company’s plans to the production of 8-inch SiC substrates at its second plant in Miyazaki, Japan, starting in 2024. This is the first time ROHM will produce SiC substrates in Japan.

Notably, the Miyazaki Plant No.2 Project is part of ROHM’s ongoing capacity expansion strategy. The company intends to invest between 170 and 220 billion yen in its SiC business from 2021 to 2025.

For SiC power semiconductor manufacturers like ROHM, it’s imperative to bolster their SiC substrate production capacity. This is driven by two key factors. Firstly, there has been a shortage of substrate materials, which has posed a challenge for the SiC power semiconductor industry. Secondly, the growing wave of electric vehicles has led to an increased demand for SiC power semiconductors.

To thrive in the SiC power semiconductor industry and capture a big market share, major companies are actively investing in expanding their production capacity. They often choose to form supply agreements with suppliers, set up their own production lines, or acquire related businesses.

ROHM previously established a pioneering position in the industry by producing SiC substrates at its plant in Nuremberg, Germany, following the acquisition of SiCrystal, a German SiC substrate manufacturer.

The Miyazaki plant no.2, scheduled to start production in 2024, was originally the Kunitomi plant of Solar Frontier, a subsidiary of Idemitsu Kosan. In July of this year, ROHM announced its acquisition of the assets of Solar Frontier’s former Kunitomi plant, a deal that concluded in October. It’s worth noting that this plant will become ROHM’s largest SiC power semiconductor production hub in Japan.

While pursuing acquisitions, ROHM is also actively expanding its in-house production capacity. According to information on ROHM’s official website, the company currently operates four SiC power semiconductor production plants in Japan, located at its Kyoto headquarters, Chikugo Plant in Fukuoka, Nagahama Plant in Fukuoka, and Miyazaki plant no.1.

Both acquisitions and in-house production strategies help ensure a reliable product supply. However, in the dynamic SiC industry, forward-thinking leaders are eager to secure additional production capacity in advance. Collaboration with established manufacturers is a common approach, and ROHM is no exception.

In June of this year, ROHM signed a long-term supply partnership agreement for SiC power devices with Vitesco. According to this agreement, the combined transactions between the two companies from 2024 to 2030 will exceed 130 billion yen.
(Image: ROHM)


8-inch Substrate Mass Production in 2H22, 3rd Gen Power Semiconductor CAGR to Reach 48% by 2025, Says TrendForce

At present, the materials with the most development potential are Wide Band Gap (WBG) semiconductors with high power and high frequency characteristics, including silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), which are mainly used in electric vehicles (EV) and the fast charging battery market. TrendForce research estimates, the output value of third generation power semiconductors will grow from US$980 million in 2021 to US$4.71 billion in 2025, with a CAGR of 48%.

SiC is suitable for high-power applications, such as energy storage, wind power, solar energy, EVs, new energy vehicles (NEV) and other industries that utilize highly demanding battery systems. Among these industries, EVs have attracted a great deal of attention from the market. However, most of the power semiconductors used in EVs currently on the market are Si base materials, such as Si IGBT and Si MOSFET. However, as EV battery power systems gradually develop to voltage levels greater than 800V, compared with Si, SiC will produce better performance in high-voltage systems. SiC is expected to gradually replace part of the Si base design, greatly improve vehicle performance, and optimize vehicle architecture. The SiC power semiconductor market is estimated to reach US$3.39 billion by 2025.

GaN is suitable for high-frequency applications, including communication devices and fast charging for mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Compared with traditional fast charging, GaN fast charging has higher power density, so charging speed is faster within a smaller package that is easier to carry. These advantages have proven attractive to many OEMs and ODMs and several have started rapidly developing this material. The GaN power semiconductor market is estimated to reach US$1.32 billion by 2025.

TrendForce emphasizes that third generation power semiconductor substrates are more difficult to manufacture and more expensive compared to traditional Si bases. Taking advantage of the current development of major substrate suppliers, companies including Wolfspeed, II-VI, and Qromis successively expanded their production capacity and will mass-produce 8-inch substrates in the 2H22. Output value of third generation power semiconductors is estimated to have room for continued growth in the next few years.


Annual 6-inch SiC Wafer Demand from EV Market Expected to Reach 1.69 Million Units in 2025 as 800V Charging Architecture Nears, Says TrendForce

Owing to the EV market’s substantial demand for longer driving ranges and shorter charging times, automakers’ race towards high-voltage EV platforms has noticeably intensified, with various major automakers gradually releasing models featuring 800V charging architectures, such as the Porsche Taycan, Audi Q6 e-tron, and Hyundai Ioniq 5. According to TrendForce’s latest investigations, demand from the global automotive market for 6-inch SiC wafers is expected to reach 1.69 million units in 2025 thanks to the rising penetration rate of EVs and the trend towards high-voltage 800V EV architecture.

The revolutionary arrival of the 800V EV charging architecture will bring about a total replacement of Si IGBT modules with SiC power devices, which will become a standard component in mainstream EV VFDs (variable frequency drives). As such, major automotive component suppliers generally favor SiC components. In particular, Tier 1 supplier Delphi has already begun mass producing 800V SiC inverters, while others such as BorgWarner, ZF, and Vitesco are also making rapid progress with their respective solutions.

At the moment, EVs have become a core application of SiC power devices. For instance, SiC usage in OBC (on board chargers) and DC-to-DC converters has been relatively mature, whereas the mass production of SiC-based VFDs has yet to reach a large scale. Power semiconductor suppliers including STM, Infineon, Wolfspeed, and Rohm have started collaborating with Tier 1 suppliers and automakers in order to accelerate SiC deployment in automotive applications.

It should be pointed out that the upstream supply of SiC substrate materials will become the primary bottleneck of SiC power device production, since SiC substrates involve complex manufacturing processes, high technical barriers to entry, and slow epitaxial growth. The vast majority of n-Type SiC substrates used for power semiconductor devices are 6 inches in diameter. Although major IDMs such as Wolfspeed have been making good progress in 8-inch SiC wafer development, more time is required for not only raising yield rate, but also transitioning power semiconductor fabs from 6-inch production lines to 8-inch production lines. Hence, 6-inch SiC substrates will likely remain the mainstream for at least five more years. On the other hand, with the EV market undergoing an explosive growth and SiC power devices seeing increased adoption in automotive applications, SiC costs will in turn directly determine the pace of 800V charging architecture deployment in EVs.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms. Latte Chung from the Sales Department at


Driven in Part by Demand for New Energy Vehicles, GaN Power Devices Market Projected to Grow at 78% CAGR Through 2025, Says TrendForce

Demand for telecom base stations, converters, and charging stations has seen considerable growth this year as a result of ongoing developments in 5G telecommunication, consumer electronics, industrial energy conversion, and new energy vehicles (NEV), according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. While this demand generated a corresponding surge in demand for components and devices powered by third-generation semiconductors GaN and SiC, the GaN power devices market is expected to undergo the highest magnitude of growth. TrendForce expects GaN power devices revenue for 2021 to reach US$83 million, an impressive 73% YoY increase.

According to TrendForce’s investigations, GaN power devices are primarily used in consumer electronics; annual GaN power devices revenue is expected to grow at a 78% CAGR and reach US$850 million in 2025. Regarding applications, consumer electronics, NEVs, and telecom/data centers, in order, comprise the three largest sources of GaN power devices consumption, at 60%, 20%, and 15%, respectively. TrendForce finds that about 10 smartphone OEMs have released more than 18 models of smartphones equipped with fast charging capability, while notebook manufacturers are also indicating a willingness to adopt fast charging for notebook computers.

Annual SiC revenue, on the other hand, is expected to grow at a 38% CAGR and reach US$3.39 billion in 2025, with NEVs, solar power generation/storage, and charging stations representing the top three largest source of SiC power device consumption, at 61%, 13%, and 9%, respectively. For the NEV industry, in particular, SiC power devices are most widely used in powertrain inverters, OBCs (on board chargers), and DC-DC converters.

Major IDMs from Europe, the US, and Japan still control the vast majority of substrate supply

Due to their relative difficulty in epitaxial growth and the fact that the industry is moving from 6-inch towards 8-inch substrates as the mainstream, third-generation semiconductor GaN and SiC substrates are 5-20 times more expensive to manufacture compared to traditional 8-inch and 12-inch Si substrates. It should be noted that most substrate materials are, at the moment, controlled by such major IDMs as US-based Cree and II-VI, Japan-based Rohm, and Europe-based STMicroelectronics. In response to this oligopoly, certain Chinese suppliers, including SICC and Tankeblue, have successively entered the substrate market with the support of China’s 14th five-year plan. Their participation will likely accelerate China’s goal of semiconductor self-sufficiency.

Although substrate suppliers from Europe, the US, and Japan enjoy an early presence in the market and possess relatively mature process technologies, TrendForce believes that Taiwanese suppliers still hold certain competitive advantages. For instance, not only do Taiwanese companies have vast experiences in silicon development, but Taiwan is also home to a comprehensive upstream/downstream silicon supply chain. In addition to these aforementioned advantages, Taiwan is further aided by policies that promote domestic material supply, design, and technological development. Taiwan is therefore well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming a center of advanced semiconductor fabrication that derives its strength from a gradually maturing front-end substrate and epitaxy industry chain, as well as mid- and back-end competencies in chip design, manufacturing, and packaging. Currently, two major strategic alliances, led by Hermes-Epitek (with subsidiaries EPI and EPISIL), and SAS (with subsidiaries GW, AWSC, CWT, and ATC) are attempting to maximize their efforts in Taiwan’s lacking substrate industry. Furthermore, TAISIC, jointly funded by KENMEC and TAINERGY, has submitted 4-inch SiC substrates for qualification and is actively investing in 6-inch SiC substrate R&D.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms. Latte Chung from the Sales Department at

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