17 February 2022
Infineon investing €2bn in third module at Malaysia front-end fab for wide-bandgap power semiconductors
Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany is investing more than €2bn to add significant manufacturing capacities in wide-bandgap power semiconductors by building a third module at its site in Kulim, Malaysia. Once fully equipped, the new Kulim 3 module should generate €2bn in additional annual revenue from products based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN).
Picture: Aerial view of Infineon’s front-end fab in Kulim, Malaysia.
Following the company’s long-term manufacturing strategy, the expansion will benefit from the economies of scale already achieved for 200mm manufacturing in Kulim, complementing Infineon’s position in silicon, based on 300mm manufacturing in Villach and Dresden, Germany.
“Renewable energies and electro-mobility are major drivers for a strong and sustainable rise in power semiconductor demand,” says chief operations officer Jochen Hanebeck. “The expansion of our SiC and GaN capacity is readying Infineon for the acceleration of wide-bandgap markets,” he adds. “We are creating a winning combination of our development competence center in Villach and cost-effective production in Kulim for wide-bandgap power semiconductors.”
Two sites with high-volume wide-bandgap capabilities for supply chain resilience
Infineon already provides more than 3000 customers with SiC-based products, which offer better system performance in terms of efficiency, size and cost compared with silicon-based solutions. Focus applications are industrial power supply, photovoltaic, transportation, drives, automotive and electric vehicle (EV) charging.
Infineon is targeting revenue of $1bn with SiC-based power semiconductors by the middle of the decade. The GaN market is also predicted to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 76% from $47m in 2020 to $801m in 2025 (according to Yole’s ‘Compound Semiconductor Quarterly Market Monitor Q3 2021’).
Construction of Kulim 3 will begin in June and the fab will be ready for equipment in summer 2024. The first wafers will leave the fab in second-half 2024. Once fully loaded, Kulim 3 will create 900 jobs. The investment in Kulim will comprise significant value-added steps, in particular epitaxial processes and wafer singulation.
“Malaysia is one of Infineon’s main regional hubs and this further investment truly attests to our conducive ecosystem and the capability of our local talent to support long-term growth,” says Malaysia’s Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. “The Government, through Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), will continue working closely with our strategic investors to solidify Malaysia’s prominence as a key semiconductor hub in the region.”
Villach to strengthen role as global competence center for wide-bandgap technology
The Villach site will continue to serve as the innovation base and global competence center for wide-bandgap technology by converting existing silicon facilities over the next few years. 6” and 8” silicon lines will be converted to SiC and GaN manufacturing by repurposing non-specific silicon equipment. The Villach site is currently preparing for further growth opportunities.