STMicroelectronics to Establish World’s First Fully Integrated Silicon Carbide Facility in Italy

STMicroelectronics, a global leader in semiconductors serving diverse electronics applications, announces the establishment of a new high-volume 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) manufacturing facility in Catania, Italy. This facility will produce power devices and modules, and will also handle testing and packaging. Together with the SiC substrate manufacturing facility being prepared on the same site, these facilities will form ST’s Silicon Carbide Campus, realizing the company’s vision of a fully vertically integrated manufacturing facility for mass SiC production on one site. This development marks a key milestone in supporting customers across automotive, industrial, and cloud infrastructure applications as they transition to electrification and seek higher efficiency.

The fully integrated capabilities unlocked by the Silicon Carbide Campus in Catania will significantly enhance ST’s SiC technology leadership for automotive and industrial customers over the coming decades, said Jean-Marc Chery, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “The scale and synergies offered by this project will enable us to innovate with high-volume manufacturing capacity, benefiting our European and global customers as they transition to electrification and seek more energy-efficient solutions to meet their decarbonization goals.

The Silicon Carbide Campus will serve as the center of ST’s global SiC ecosystem, integrating all steps in the production flow, including SiC substrate development, epitaxial growth processes, 200mm front-end wafer fabrication, and module back-end assembly. It will also encompass process R&D, product design, advanced R&D labs for dies, power systems and modules, and full packaging capabilities. This will be a first in Europe for the mass production of 200mm SiC wafers, using 200mm technologies for enhanced yields and performance.

The new facility is targeted to start production in 2026 and ramp up to full capacity by 2033, aiming for up to 15,000 wafers per week at full build-out. The total investment is expected to be around five billion euros, with approximately two billion euros of support provided by the State of Italy within the framework of the EU Chips Act. Sustainable practices are integral to the design, development, and operation of the Silicon Carbide Campus to ensure the responsible consumption of resources, including water and power.

Additional Information

Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a key compound material consisting of silicon and carbon, offering several advantages over conventional silicon for power applications. The wide bandgap of SiC and its intrinsic characteristics – better thermal conductivity, higher switching speed, and low dissipation – make it particularly suitable for manufacturing high-voltage power devices (notably above 1,200V). SiC power devices, in the form of SiC MOSFETs sold as bare die and full SiC modules, are especially useful in electric vehicles, fast-charging infrastructure, renewable energy, and various industrial applications, including data centers. They offer higher electric currents and lower leakage than traditional silicon semiconductors, increasing energy efficiency. However, SiC chips are more difficult and costly to manufacture than silicon chips, posing many challenges in the industrialization of the manufacturing process.

ST’s leadership in SiC is the result of 25 years of dedicated R&D, boasting a large portfolio of key patents. Catania has long been an important site for innovation for ST, housing the largest SiC R&D and manufacturing operations, and contributing to the development of new solutions for producing more and better SiC devices. With an established ecosystem in power electronics, including a long-term collaboration between ST, the University of Catania, and the Italian National Research Council (CNR), as well as a large network of suppliers, this investment will strengthen Catania’s role as a global competence center for SiC technology and further growth opportunities.

ST currently manufactures its flagship high-volume SiC products on two 150mm wafer lines in Catania, Italy, and Ang Mo Kio, Singapore. A third hub, a joint venture with Sanan Optoelectronics, has a 200mm facility under construction in Chongqing, China, dedicated to serving the Chinese market. ST’s wafer production facilities are supported by automotive-qualified, high-volume assembly and test operations in Bouskoura, Morocco, and Shenzhen, China. SiC substrate R&D and industrialization are undertaken in Norrköping, Sweden, and Catania, where ST’s SiC substrates manufacturing facility is ramping up production, and where most of ST’s SiC product R&D and design staff are based.

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