“The transition to 200mm SiC wafers will bring substantial advantages to our automotive and industrial customers as they accelerate the transition towards electrification,” said ST president of automotive Marco Monti.
The company is claiming high quality with minimal crystal-dislocation defects through expertise in SiC ingot growth technology developed by STMicroelectronics Silicon Carbide (formerly Norstel, acquired in 2019). Teaming up with supply chain partners, it is also developing other manufacturing equipment and processes for 200mm SiC production.
“It is important in driving economies of scale as product volumes ramp,” said Monti. “Building know-how in our internal SiC ecosystem across the full manufacturing chain, from substrates to large-scale front and back-end production, boosts our flexibility and allows us to better control the improvement of yield and quality of the wafers.”
At the moment ST manufactures SiC products on two 150mm wafer lines, one in Catania Italy and the other in Ang Mo Kio Singapore. Back-end sites are in Shenzhen and Bouskoura Morocco. It plans to build a new SiC substrate plant and source over 40% of its SiC substrates internally by 2024. Moving from 150 to 200mm substrates almost doubles the component count per wafer.
The initial Norrköping wafers are to be used for prototyping power devices.