STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer serving customers in a variety of electronic applications, and Soitec (Euronext Paris) an innovator in developing and manufacturing cutting-edge semiconductor materials, today announce the next phase of their partnership regarding Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates that will see the testing for the Soitec SiC substrate technology through ST scheduled in the next 18 months.
The aim of this collaboration is to enable the use of ST and Soitec of its SmartSiC(tm) technology for its upcoming 200mm substrate manufacturing, which will be used to feed its modules and devices manufacturing operations, with the first volume production scheduled for mid-term. “The switch into 200mm SiC wafers will provide significant benefits to our automotive and industrial customers, as they accelerate the process of electrification of their products and systems. It’s important to create economies of scale when product quantities increase,” said Marco Monti president of the Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. “We have selected the vertically integrated model in order to make the most of our expertise throughout the entire production chain, from top-quality substrates, to large-scale production in the back and front.
The objective of the technology partnership in partnership with Soitec is to to improve our manufacturing efficiency and the quality of our products.” “The automobile industry is undergoing a major change due to the introduction electronic vehicles. Our innovative SmartSiC(tm) technology which adapts our unique SmartCut(tm) method to the silicon carbide semiconductors will play an important role in helping to accelerate their use,” said Bernard Aspar as Chief Operating Officer at Soitec. “The integration of the Soitec SmartSiC(tm) substrates and STMicroelectronics leading silicon carbide technology and experience will be a game changer for manufacturing of automotive chips that will create the new standard.” Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a novel semiconductor with unique properties that offer greater efficiency, performance and reliability than silicon in crucial applications of high-growth power for industrial processes and electric mobility and other industries.
It provides better power conversion efficiency which is lighter and compact design, as well as overall cost savings . These are all crucial aspects and elements that are essential to success in industrial and automotive systems. Moving between 150mm and 200mm-sized wafers will allow significant capacity increases and will provide nearly twice the amount of space needed to manufacture integrated circuits. It will deliver 1.8 or 1.9 times as many active chip per wafer. SmartSiC(tm) is a unique Soitec technology that makes use of Soitec exclusive SmartCut(tm) technology to divide a thin layer an extremely high-quality SiC “donor” wafer and then affix it on over a low resistance “handle” polySiC. The engineered substrate is then improved in production yields and performance of the device. The highest quality SiC Donor wafer is reusable multiple times, drastically reducing total energy required to make it.