Wolfspeed, ZF to launch R&D centre for SiC technology

Wolfspeed, ZF to launch R&D centre for SiC technology

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

As part of their strategic partnership announced earlier this year, automotive supplier ZF and SiC technology specialist Wolfspeed have announced plans to establish a joint European research and development centre for SiC power electronics. The facility is to be based in the Nuremberg area.

The aim of the development and research facility is to develop it, together with the planned semiconductor factory in Ensdorf (Saarland), into the cornerstone of a European SiC technology network. The two companies intend to develop forward-looking innovations for SiC systems, products and applications there that cover the entire value chain from module to complete system and thus significantly shorten the time to market.

The research centre will address requirements in all mobility segments, including consumer, commercial, agricultural and industrial vehicles, as well as the industrial and renewable energy markets. An important development goal of the engineers and scientists is to achieve improvements such as higher efficiency, higher power density and higher performance of electrification solutions. Wolfspeed’s SiC know-how and ZF’s access to all mobility segments should enable a fast and seamless transition to new technologies.

The two partners are working together with other leading organisations from science and industry to build a comprehensive European SiC technology network. To this end, ZF will leverage its membership in the European Center of Power Electronics (ECPE) and share key research results on a European level. Over time, the research centre is to develop into an electronics and semiconductor campus.

Like Wolfspeed’s planned silicon carbide chip factory in Ensdorf (Saarland), funding for the new centre is subject to approval by the European Commission under the EU’s Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCIE) programme. The prior approval of the competent authorities, in particular the antitrust authorities, is also required.

Work will start as soon as the IPCEI funding approval for both projects is received. This is expected in the course of this year.

Related articles:

Wolfspeed, ZF plan world’s largest SiC production line

Bosch plans $ billion takeover in U.S. SiC market

Wide bandgap semiconductors make increasing inroads to electromobility

ZF signs long-term supply contract for SiC devices with STMicroelectronics


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