II-VI buys Swedish SiC wafer maker Ascatron

II-VI buys Swedish SiC wafer maker Ascatron

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

II-VI has bought two companies to provide end-to-end manufacturing of silicon carbide SiC devices.

It has acquired Ascatron (Kista, Sweden) which develops epitaxial wafers and devices for power electronics as well as INNOViON (Colorado Springs, CO), the world’s largest supplier of ion implantation technology and services. The deals complement the technology licensed last month from General Electric (GE) to manufacture SiC devices and modules for power electronics: II-VI LICENSES SILICON CARBIDE TECH FROM GE

The transactions are expected to close by the end of the year. II-VI saw revenues of $2.38bn in the last year, up from $1.36bn a year ago. The fourth quarter saw revenue of $746m, up from $627m the previous quarter, and expects to see up to $700m this quarter, reflecting the Covid-19 slowdown.

Ascatron produces 150mm SiC epitaxial wafers and devices that enable a wide range of high-voltage power electronics applications. Access to SiC wafers is a key capability and companies have been signing up suppliers.

INNOViON has 30 implanters across a global footprint that includes support for 300 mm wafers. The processes enable doping in a wide range of semiconductors, including silicon carbide, gallium arsenide and indium phosphide as well as silicon.

“The technology platforms of Ascatron and INNOViON are best in class and a perfect complement to our market-leading SiC substrates, our global large-scale wafer fabrication footprint, and the SiC device technology we recently licensed from GE,” said Dr Vincent Mattera, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of II-VI.

“While we continue to serve our existing customers with our advanced materials and components, we will combine these capabilities to achieve one of the world’s most advanced, in-house, vertically integrated 150 mm SiC technology platforms. This builds upon our deep expertise in SiC substrates and adds advanced SiC epitaxy, device fabrication, and module design to meet the rapidly growing demand for SiC power electronics.”

II-VI sees SiC as a disruptive technology that provides higher efficiency and energy density alongside lower total system-level cost of ownership compared to silicon-based devices. It is using its broad engineered materials and optoelectronic device technology platforms, as well as its manufacturing capabilities around the globe, to drive scale as part of its vertical integration strategy. Last year it acquired Finisar for its photonics and compound semiconductor expertise that contributed to the increase in revenue.

“In the fourth quarter, we remained and continue to remain vigilant and steadfast in ensuring the health and safety of our global workforce while striving to meet our customers’ growing expectations despite the continuation and acceleration of Covid-19. We also made great progress against our key business initiatives. The power of our vertically integrated and geographically diverse footprint and business model, allowed our employees to deliver exceptional results, including record revenues and backlog,” said Mattera.

“I am very pleased with the Finisar integration which continues ahead of expectations, as we accelerated our component strategy and are on track to exceed our first year synergy cost savings goals. Demand in the 3D-Sensing and communications market remains strong as the digital transformation continues, led by continued growth of 5G deployment and network infrastructure upgrades. Our backlog of just under $1.0B provides us with significant momentum as we enter fiscal year 2021.”

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