AES Semigas

IQE

5 October 2022

ST to build €730m silicon carbide wafer factory in Catania, Italy

STMicroelectronics of Geneva, Switzerland is to build an integrated silicon carbide (SiC) substrate manufacturing facility in Italy to support the increasing demand from customers for SiC devices across automotive and industrial applications as they transition to electrification and seek higher efficiency. Production is expected to start in 2023, enabling a balanced supply of SiC substrate between internal and merchant supply.

The investment of €730m over five years will be supported financially by the State of Italy in the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and it will create about 700 direct additional jobs at full build-out.

Built at ST’s Catania site in Italy alongside its existing SiC device manufacturing facility, the SiC substrate manufacturing facility will be what’s reckoned to be the first of a kind in Europe for the volume production of 150mm-diameter SiC epitaxial substrates, integrating all steps in the production flow. ST says that it is committed to developing 200mm wafers.

ST says that the Catania substrate project is a key step in advancing the vertical integration strategy for its SiC business. The firm’s high-volume STPOWER SiC products are currently manufactured in its fabs in Catania and Ang Mo Kio in Singapore. Assembly & test are done at back-end sites in China (Shenzhen) and Morocco (Bouskoura). The investment in the SiC substrate manufacturing facility builds on this and is reckoned to be a significant milestone on ST’s path towards reaching 40% internal substrate sourcing by 2024.

“ST is transforming its global manufacturing operations, with additional capacity in 300mm manufacturing and a strong focus on wide-bandgap semiconductors to support its $20bn+ revenue ambition,” says president & CEO Jean-Marc Chery. “We are expanding our operations in Catania, the center of our power semiconductor expertise and where we already have integrated research, development and manufacturing of SiC with strong collaboration with Italian research entities, universities and suppliers,” he adds. “This new facility will be key to our vertical integration in SiC, reinforcing our SiC substrate supply as we further ramp up volumes to support our automotive and industrial customers in their shift to electrification and higher efficiency.”

Catania has long been an important site for innovation for ST as the home of its largest SiC R&D and manufacturing operations, contributing to the development of new solutions for producing more and better SiC devices. With an established eco-system focused on power electronics, including a long-term collaboration between ST and various stakeholders (the University, the CNR -Italian National Research Council, companies involved in equipment and product manufacturing) as well as a large network of suppliers, the investment is intended to strengthen Catania’s role as a global competence center for silicon carbide technology and for further growth opportunities.

See related items:

Cree | Wolfspeed and ST expand 150mm SiC wafer supply agreement to over $800m

ST manufactures its first 200mm silicon carbide wafers

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

Tags: STMicroelectronics SiC substrates Power electronics

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