AES Semigas


28 July 2021

ST manufactures its first 200mm silicon carbide wafers

Semiconductor device maker STMicroelectronics of Geneva, Switzerland has manufactured the first 200mm (8-inch) silicon carbide (SiC) bulk wafers for prototyping next-generation power devices from its facility in Norrköping, Sweden.

The transition to 200mm SiC wafers marks a key milestone in the capacity build-up for ST’s customer programs in automotive and industrial sectors. Silicon carbide allows for more efficient power conversion, lighter and more compact designs, and lower overall system-design costs – all key parameters and factors for automotive and industrial systems, the firm notes.

ST says that its initial 200mm SiC wafers have minimal yield-impacting and crystal-dislocation defects. The low defectivity has been achieved by building on the expertise in SiC ingot growth technology developed by Norrkoping-based STMicroelectronics Silicon Carbide A.B. (formerly Norstel A.B., which ST acquired in 2019).

In addition to meeting the quality challenge, the transition to 200mm SiC substrates requires a step forward in manufacturing equipment and the overall support ecosystem performance. In collaboration with technology partners covering the entire supply chain, ST is hence developing its own 200mm SiC manufacturing equipment and processes.

ST currently manufactures its high-volume STPOWER SiC products on two 150mm wafer lines in its fabs in Catania (Italy) and Ang Mo Kio (Singapore) and performs assembly & test at its back-end sites in Shenzhen (China) and Bouskoura (Morocco). The latest milestone comes as part of the firm’s planned move to more advanced, cost-efficient 200mm SiC volume production. This transition is within the firm’s ongoing plan to build a new SiC substrate plant and source over 40% of its SiC substrates internally by 2024.

“The transition to 200mm SiC wafers will bring substantial advantages to our automotive and industrial customers as they accelerate the transition towards electrification of their systems and products,” says Marco Monti, president of STMicroelectronics’ Automotive and Discrete Group. “It is important in driving economies of scale as product volumes ramp,” he adds. “Building robust know-how in our internal SiC ecosystem across the full manufacturing chain, from high-quality SiC substrates to large-scale front- and back-end production, boosts our flexibility and allows us to better control the improvement of yield and quality of the wafers.”

See related items:

ST to design, develop and make SiC- and GaN-based transistors, packages and modules for Renault

ST acquires remaining 45% stake in silicon carbide wafer maker Norstel AB

Tags: STMicroelectronics Power electronics



Book This Space