Mitsubishi doubles down on silicon-carbide with wafer fab
Mitsubishi Electric has said it will double the budget for a previously announced plan for the production of silicon-carbide power semiconductors.
Mitsubishi said it now plans to spend 260 billion yen (about US$2 billion) in the five-year period to 2026 mainly on the construction of a wafer fab. Mitsubishi said it is responding to rapidly increasing demand for SiC power semiconductors for electric vehicles.
About 100 billion yen of the increased investment will be used to construct silicon-carbide wafer fab that produces 200mm-diameter wafers. This will be within a Mitsubishi campus in the Shisui area of Kumamoto prefecture. In addition, the company will enhance its production facilities for 6-inch SiC wafers. In addition, Mitsubishi Electric plans to invest approximately 10 billion yen in a factory to consolidate existing operations for the assembly and inspection of power semiconductors.
The accepted wisdom has been that silicon-carbide was superior to pure silicon power modules and had advantages over gallium-nitride in high-power applications such as transportation. The implication of almost insatiable demand for silicon-carbide was challenged when car maker Tesla that said it would be cutting its use of silicon-carbide by 75 percent for some lower-performance cars (see Tesla moves to cut SiC use in electric vehicles shakes market).
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