EVs Are Switching To Silicon Carbide Power Electronics

Silicon carbide power electronics market is booming as new electric cars and charging equipment need to be more efficient.

The necessity to make electric cars even more efficient is one of the major forces behind the transition from silicon to silicon carbide power electronics.

Just recently we heard about Tesla introducing the new Model S and Model X with silicon carbide power electronics in the drive unit, and BorgWarner announced new on-board chargers.

This month also Volkswagen has shown serious interest in silicon carbide, selecting Cree for Volkswagen Group FAST Program to secure silicon carbide supplies for upcoming EVs.

“The use of silicon carbide accelerates the automotive industry’s transformation to electric vehicles, enabling greater system efficiencies that result in electric cars with longer range and faster charging, while reducing cost, lowering weight and conserving space.”

“The Volkswagen Group and Cree will be working with tier one and power module suppliers to engineer silicon carbide-based solutions for future Volkswagen Group vehicles.”

Silicon Carbide Power Electronics

Cree is currently investing $1 billion in silicon carbide production capacity expansion by up to 30-times (between 2017 Q1 to 2024) in Durham, N.C.

“As part of its long-term growth strategy, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) announces it will invest up to $1 billion in the expansion of its silicon carbide capacity with the development of a state-of-the-art, automated 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility and a materials mega factory at its U.S. campus headquarters in Durham, N.C. It marks the company’s largest investment to date in fueling its Wolfspeed silicon carbide and GaN on silicon carbide business. Upon completion in 2024, the facilities will substantially increase the company’s silicon carbide materials capability and wafer fabrication capacity, allowing wide bandgap semiconductor solutions that enable the dramatic technology shifts underway within the automotive, communications infrastructure and industrial markets.”

“The plan delivers additional capacity for its industry-leading Wolfspeed silicon carbide business with the build out of an existing structure as a 253,000 square-foot, 200mm power and RF wafer fabrication facility as an initial step to serve the projected market demand. The new North Fab is designed to be fully automotive qualified and will provide nearly 18 times more surface area for manufacturing than exists today, initially opening with the production of 150mm wafers. The company will convert its existing Durham fabrication and materials facility into a materials mega factory.”


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