Silicon Carbide Semiconductors for Power Electronics

Silicon carbide semiconductors have gained in popularity thanks to their many benefits, making them ideal for power electronics due to their ability to handle higher voltages with reduced thermal expansion rates.

Infineon Technologies provides an array of semiconductor solutions. Their products help facilitate energy-efficient advancements and are created with passion and care.

Infineon Technologies

Since more than two decades, Infineon has championed silicon carbide (SiC) chips as the future of power electronics. Their latest SiC devices boast several advantages over silicon-based chips, including higher power density and efficiency. Carmakers such as General Motors (GM) and Tesla have adopted SiC as part of their electric vehicles’ batteries can travel further while charging faster.

Infineon’s latest SiC device is a 650-volt MOSFET with state-of-the-art trench design to reduce gate oxide failure and ensure high level efficiency with no degradation at high switching frequencies for system size reduction and increased power density. Furthermore, this device boasts superior thermal conductivity for quick heat dissipation thereby further decreasing component size and weight.

Infineon Technologies AG announced it is investing EUR5 billion into a 200 mm wafer SiC plant in Kulim, Malaysia that will double production capacity and begin operations by April 2024, which should help bring them closer to reaching its goal of 30 percent market share globally as well as meet Chinese demand for SiC semiconductors for solar and EV charging applications.

Ng cites several reasons for Infineon’s decision to select Malaysia as its third SiC fab location, including government support and faster approval times for construction of new facilities there than elsewhere; additionally, approval can be obtained faster for water and electricity supply approvals than elsewhere.

This two-phase facility will be constructed as sustainably as possible; Infineon plans to use waste water for cooling purposes and recycle materials within its walls in order to minimize its environmental footprint. Over 900 workers will be employed at this fab, most coming from Malaysia; many engineers will receive training at Infineon’s other plant located in Villach, Austria.

Allegro Microsystems

Allegro Microsystems produces silicon carbide semiconductor devices for motion control and energy efficient systems, used widely across both automotive and industrial applications – such as AC drives, DC motor controllers and LED lighting. Furthermore, Allegro Microsystems also provides power integrated circuits and magnetic sensor solutions – supporting multiple industry verticals including consumer, computing, telecoms, electric vehicle sectors.

The COVID-19 Pandemic took an unprecedented toll on consumer purchasing power and demand for electronic and other technology devices, negatively affecting global semiconductor markets by altering supply/demand ratios and forcing many companies to close during its course, further exacerbating supply shortages within this industry. It is anticipated this trend will have an adverse impact on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor device markets by 2024.

SiC semiconductors are increasingly being employed in power electronics applications due to their superior performance over silicon-based devices. SiC semiconductors provide greater heat resilience, wider energy bandgap, reduced power loss, high efficiency for applications like electric vehicles and renewable energy systems, making them perfect for use within these fields. As a result, this growth of SiC’s power electronics segment should accelerate.

Allegro Microsystems, Inc. is one of the key players in the global silicon carbide semiconductor devices market, along with Infineon Technologies AG, ROHM Co. Ltd., Fuji Electric CO LTD FUJI ELECTRIC CO LTD LTD STMicroelectronics N V ON Semiconductor Corp and Wolfspeed Inc. Other key players include TT Electronics plc Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Gene Sic Semiconductor etc. Pricing tools provided by Procurement Resource include price indices and historical price data to allow users to monitor changes over a given period. Furthermore, users can create customized graphs to track changes over an extended period.


Wolfspeed was established as Cree in 1987, but has since transitioned into using silicon carbide to produce semiconductor wafers used for power electronics in electric vehicles, 5G wireless infrastructure and renewable energy storage applications. They believe they’re well positioned to take advantage of any future shift away from traditional silicon chips.

Wolfspeed currently has an ambitious project underway to establish an industry-leading facility in its native North Carolina that will become the world’s largest silicon carbide production plant, projected to generate $5 billion annually in revenues and capable of producing approximately 100 million 8-inch wafers annually.

Wolfspeed recently announced it has signed an 11-year supply agreement with Renesas that could prove transformative for their company. Beginning in 2025, they will supply Renesas with 150mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers from Wolfspeed as part of an industry shift from silicon-carbide semiconductor power devices towards silicon carbide semiconductor power devices.

Wolfspeed announced at its recent Capital Market Day that they have secured over $15 billion worth of design-ins for SiC wafers, or “design-ins,” from customers providing documentation detailing capacity requirements; these do not always translate directly to revenue until the customer’s product gets built into a real device; nonetheless, Wolfspeed reports having had 43% success at turning these design-ins into design wins.

Investors should watch Wolfspeed closely as its business develops; with EV market volatility present and not fully-operational Mohawk Valley fab impacting cash flow growth this year and in the future.

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