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25 March 2008


Norstel attracts €15m in financing

Norstel AB of Norrköping, Sweden, which span off from Finnish silicon wafer manufacturer Okmetic Oyj in February 2005, has raised €15m from a consortium including Nordic venture capital firms Northzone Ventures, Eqvitec and Creandum together with the Sixth AP Fund (Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund) and other international investors. “We received excellent support from our current investors, but also attracted a lot of new interest,” said CEO Iain Jackson.

Norstel says that the financing round is a significant event for it as the firm evolves to become a supplier of silicon carbide (SiC) substrates and epiwafers. In particular, Norstel plans to supply wafers for use in power electronics, where devices implemented with SiC can reduce energy loss by up to 50% compared to the same device manufactured with conventional silicon technology. Jackson hailed the new investment as “a very positive reaction from the investment community for the potential of silicon carbide as an energy-saving material”.

“This round of funding provides Norstel with the drive to move to the next level in its development,” said Jackson. “In addition to continuing to fund our strong R&D progress, it provides us with additional needed capital to expand our capacity in our Händelo facility.” Sited 4km from the center of Norrköping, the plant was opened in August 2006 and has floor space of 2000m².

“Norstel have a pivotal role to play in the future of power electronics,” added Hasse Johansson, chairman of the board. “The automotive industry is extremely receptive to energy-saving solutions for power electronics, especially in all classes of hybrid vehicles.”

See related items:

Compound semiconductor substrate market to top $1bn by 2009-2010

SiC electronics market to reach $800m by 2015

Norstel and ETRI/AIST collaborate on SiC materials development

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