28 March 2022
Showa Denko enters mass production of 6-inch SiC single-crystal substrates
Tokyo-based wafer manufacturer Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has launched the mass production of 6-inch (150mm)-diameter silicon carbide (SiC) single-crystal wafers, for processing into SiC epitaxial wafers for power semiconductor devices as demand rises rapidly in fields including electric vehicles (xEVs), railcars, and industrial equipment.
SDK has been considering in-house production of SiC substrates, aiming to improve the quality of its SiC epiwafers and to establish a stable supply chain for them. Between 2010 and 2015, SDK took part in the project ‘Novel Semiconductor Power Electronics Project Realizing Low Carbon Emission Society’, which was coordinated initially by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and then (from 2011) by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), as a member of the ‘Research and Development Partnership for Future Power Electronics Technology’. Furthermore, in 2018, SDK took over the SiC-wafer-related assets of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Group (now Nippon Steel Group), and has since been developing technologies for the mass production of SiC wafers.
SDK says that it will continue purchasing SiC substrates from its partners so that it can respond to rapidly growing demand for SiC epiwafers for power semiconductors. The firm is hence diversifying its sourcing of SiC substrates, establishing a stable supply chain for SiC epiwafers.