AES Semigas


6 July 2023

Renesas and Wolfspeed sign 10-year silicon carbide wafer supply agreement

Renesas Electronics Corp of Tokyo, Japan has executed a wafer supply agreement and $2bn deposit to secure a 10-year supply commitment of silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers from Wolfspeed Inc of Durham, NC, USA, which makes silicon carbide materials as well as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power-switching & RF semiconductor devices. The supply deal will pave the way for Renesas to scale production of silicon carbide power semiconductors starting in 2025. The signing ceremony was held at Renesas’ headquarters in Tokyo between Renesas’ president & CEO Hidetoshi Shibata and Wolfspeed’s president & CEO Gregg Lowe.

Renesas’ president & CEO Hidetoshi Shibata and Wolfspeed’s president & CEO Gregg Lowe.

Picture: Renesas’ president & CEO Hidetoshi Shibata and Wolfspeed’s president & CEO Gregg Lowe.

The decade-long supply agreement calls for Wolfspeed to provide Renesas with 150mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers scaling in 2025, reinforcing the companies’ vision for an industry-wide transition from silicon to silicon carbide power devices. The agreement also anticipates supplying Renesas with 200mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers after the recently announced John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide (the JP) is fully operational.

Renesas is moving quickly to address the growing demand for power semiconductors by expanding its in-house manufacturing capacity. The firm recently announced the restart of its Kofu Factory to produce silicon insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), and the establishment of a silicon carbide production line at its Takasaki Factory.

“The wafer supply agreement with Wolfspeed will provide Renesas with a stable, long-term supply base of high-quality silicon carbide wafers. This empowers Renesas to scale our power semiconductor offerings to better serve customers’ vast array of applications,” says Shibata. “We are now poised to elevate ourselves as a key player in the accelerating silicon carbide market,” he believes.

“With the steepening demand for silicon carbide across the automotive, industrial and energy sectors, it’s critically important we have best-in-class power semiconductor customers like Renesas to help lead the global transition from silicon to silicon carbide,” comments Lowe. “For more than 35 years, Wolfspeed has focused on producing silicon carbide wafers and high-quality power devices, and this relationship marks an important step in our mission to save the world energy.”

Renesas’ $2bn deposit will help support Wolfspeed’s ongoing capacity construction projects including the JP, the world’s largest silicon carbide materials factory in Chatham County, North Carolina. The multi-billion-dollar facility is targeted to generate a more than 10-fold increase from Wolfspeed’s current silicon carbide production capacity on its Durham campus. The facility will produce primarily 200mm silicon carbide wafers.

See related items:

Wolfspeed raises $1.25bn via Apollo Credit, plus $750m accordion feature

Wolfspeed’s revenue growth constrained by 200mm SiC material capacity ramp

Wolfspeed to build largest SiC materials plant in Chatham County, North Carolina

Tags: Wolfspeed Renesas