7 February 2020
LPE’s PE108 8-inch SiC epi reactor undergoing preliminary tests, while power semis drive 6-inch PE106 orders
LPE SpA of Milan, Italy, which designs and makes epitaxial reactors for power electronics applications, says that purchase orders for its PE106 silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxy reactor are maintaining strong momentum in the growing SiC market.
The firm also confirms that its new PE108 – the first 8” SiC single-wafer epitaxial reactor – is undergoing preliminary tests. Shipments to various countries are expected to be made during 2020.
As silicon carbide epitaxy quality is becoming increasingly challenging, the PE108 has been designed to meet customers demand in terms of performance, throughput and cost. The PE108 is a fully automated cassette-to-cassette tool, maintaining full compatibility with existing 150mm substrates.
Founded in 1972 LPE introduced the first epi reactor capable of growing very thick epitaxial layers, and the firm has subsequently contributed to the European semiconductor industry’s development of discrete power semiconductor device production. Today, more than 400 silicon reaction chambers are in operation, and nearly 30 SiC reactors have been sold, to a worldwide customer base via a global sales & service organization.
LPE says that 20 years ago it identified silicon carbide as the material bound to play a key role in power applications. The SiC device market is expected to grow to several billion dollars by 2030. The firm’s existing SiC product range includes PE106 and 106A single-wafer reactor technology which, with multiple gas injection, ensures what is claimed to be matchless epi quality, combined with the most space-efficient design.
LPE says that it supports customers in the development of epi processes for power application, is partner in several European Union (EU)-funded R&D projects, and works closely with several European universities on processes and materials for power electronics.