10 January 2022
A*STAR’s IME and Soitec to co-develop silicon carbide for EVs and high-voltage electronics
The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and engineered substrate manufacturer Soitec of Bernin, near Grenoble, France have announced a research collaboration to develop silicon carbide (SiC) devices to power electric vehicles (EVs) and advanced high-voltage electronic devices. Specifically, Soitec’s proprietary technologies such as Smart Cut and IME’s pilot production line will be leveraged to create 200mm-diameter SiC substrates.
The joint research aims to contribute towards developing a holistic SiC ecosystem and boosting semiconductor manufacturing capabilities in Singapore and the region. The research collaboration is planned to run until mid-2024, and aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- develop SiC epitaxy and metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) fabrication processes for Smart Cut SiC substrates to produce higher-quality microchip transistors with ewer defects and enhanced yield during the manufacturing process;
- establish a benchmark for SiC power MOSFET devices fabricated on Smart Cut SiC substrates and demonstrate the advantages of the process with conventional bulk substrates.
“This joint research between A*STAR’s Institute of Microelectronics and Soitec to develop next-generation semiconductor devices using innovative technologies is made possible by both organizations’ deep capabilities in R&D,” says IME’s executive director Terence Gan. “We look forward to working together with Soitec to add value to the local R&D ecosystem and the growing pool of silicon carbide players in the semiconductor industry,” he adds.
“This is a great opportunity for us to partner with Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics and demonstrate SmartSiC substrate’s scalability to 200mm,” says Christophe Maleville, chief technology officer & senior executive VP at Soitec. “The collaboration paves the way for the development of advanced epitaxy solutions to produce higher-quality SiC wafers with energy-efficient characteristics, given the exciting potential of this material. As the main beneficiaries of this new process, the semiconductor ecosystem in Singapore will be given the opportunity to validate the superior energy efficiency of the SiC wafers produced through our collaboration.”