AES Semigas


3 December 2021

Nexperia using Aixtron equipment as it enters silicon carbide power electronics market

Nexperia BV of Nijmegen, Netherlands - which manufactures diodes, bipolar transistors, ESD protection devices, MOSFETs, gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) and analog & logic ICs - is using production technology from deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany to enter the high-performance silicon carbide (SiC) device market. For volume production of silicon carbide epitaxial wafers for SiC power devices, Nexperia requires consistently high epiwafer quality, even at high volumes. At the same time, costs in the production of SiC devices can be reduced due to the high throughput.

“Wide-bandgap semiconductors such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide have unique physical properties. They enable high power density and efficiency at lower system and operating costs,” says Mark Roeloffzen, general manager of the Bipolar Discretes Group at Nexperia. “SiC technology is also now advanced enough to meet the stringent requirements for mass production of devices for modern consumer and industrial products. Therefore, it is now time for Nexperia to take our next strategic step, the expansion of our portfolio to include power semiconductor devices based on silicon carbide,” he adds.

“In the future, we will also cover the value-added stage of epiwafer production in the field of high-performance components. For this important milestone, we know that Aixtron is the right partner for Nexperia,” he adds.

For decades, Aixtron has been working with leading institutes and industry partners worldwide to exploit the benefits of new compound semiconductor material classes such as SiC and GaN for power electronics and is also opening up the use of 200mm wafers with the latest production technologies.

Designed specifically to meet the demands of SiC power electronics, Aixtron’s latest-generation fully automated AIX G5 WW C Planetary Reactor is said to ensure the necessary quality of epitaxial layers and has therefore been qualified by market leaders in silicon carbide for the production of SiC devices.

“Nexperia is positioning itself at the right time in one of the most exciting growth markets in the semiconductor industry. We are pleased that Nexperia has chosen us as a partner in this important strategic step into a new market of the future,” says Aixtron’s CEO & president Dr Felix Grawert. “The performance characteristics of the silicon carbide and gallium nitride material classes, with their high efficiency, offer highly attractive potential for energy savings, heat reduction, weight and system size reduction, and thus lower overall system costs,” he adds.

“SiC and GaN semiconductors offer higher energy efficiency in applications compared to conventional power electronics based on silicon and thus contribute significantly to lower CO2 emissions,” continues Grawert. “The properties of the materials predestine them in particular for applications in electric vehicles and their charging stations, data centers or in the field of renewable energies such as solar and wind power plants.”

At the beginning of the year, Nexperia had already begun a significant investment program both in the expansion of its production capacities and in R&D worldwide. As part of its global growth strategy, planned investments in Europe this year include production efficiency improvements and the implementation of new 200mm technologies at its European wafer fabs in Hamburg, Manchester and Newport. In particular, in Hamburg the firm is investing in new technologies for the expansion of its portfolio of wide-bandgap SiC power devices.

See related items:

Nexperia to expand production and increase R&D spend

Nexperia enters GaN FET market

Tags: Aixtron



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