Infineon to buy Wolfspeed SiC division of Cree

Infineon to buy Wolfspeed SiC division of Cree

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The deal also includes the related SiC wafer substrate business for power and RF power. 

“Joining forces with Wolfspeed represents a unique growth opportunity,” said Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies. “Wolfspeed’s and Infineon’s businesses and expertise are highly complementary, bringing together industry leading experts for compound semiconductors. This will enable us to create additional value for our customers with the broadest and deepest portfolio of innovative technologies and products in compound semiconductors available in the market. With Wolfspeed we will become number one in SiC-based power semiconductors. We also want to become number one in RF power. This will accelerate the market introduction of these innovative technologies, addressing the needs of modern society – such as energy efficiency, connectivity and mobility.”

Wolfspeed is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, and has been a part of Cree for almost three decades as a provider of SiC-based power and GaN-on-SiC-based RF power solutions. This also includes the related core competencies in wafer substrate manufacturing for SiC, as well as for SiC with a monocrystalline GaN layer for RF power applications. The copany employs over 550 people and has a strong IP portfolio of approximately 2,000 patents and patent applications, which will complement Infineon’s previous acquisition of International Rectifier in early 2015.

Power management solutions based on compound semiconductors have several advantages enabling Infineon’s customers to develop systems with higher energy-efficiency, smaller footprints and lower system costs. Combining the comprehensive portfolios of technologies, products and manufacturing capabilities, Infineon and Wolfspeed will accelerate the development of components enabling customers to develop differentiating systems. Major areas where the applications will profit from SiC are renewables and especially automotive. Both areas benefit from the increased power density and improved efficiency. In automotive it fits well with the recent increased commitment of the industry to plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles (xEV). Combining both portfolios and competencies will significantly accelerate the time-to-market for new products based on compound semiconductors.

The Wolfspeed business generated revenues of $173 m last year and Infineon will fund the transaction with debt of $ 720 m and $130 m in cash. Both boards have approved the deal wich is set to complete by the end of the year.

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