Last week, major power semiconductor manufacturer Infineon announced plans to invest up to 5 billion euros over the next five years to construct the world’s largest 8-inch SiC power wafer factory in Kulim, Malaysia. This expansion will raise the total investment in the Kulim plant from 2 billion euros to 7 billion euros.
Interestingly, in February of this year, Wolfspeed announced its own plans to build what is touted as the world’s largest 8-inch SiC factory in the Saarland region of Germany. Infineon’s significant investment in the Malaysian 8-inch SiC factory sets the stage for potential competition with Wolfspeed, sparking an impending battle for Silicon Carbide production capacity.
In fact, driven by the rapid growth of industries like electric vehicles, the space for SiC power devices is expanding, attracting both Chinese companies and international enterprises to ramp up production.
According to statistics from TrendForce, aside from Wolfspeed, the first half of this year saw numerous companies, including STMicroelectronics, Mitsubishi Electric, Rohm, Soitec, and ON Semiconductor, expanding their production capacities. STMicroelectronics, for instance, announced a $4 billion investment in January to expand 12-inch wafer production. In June, they partnered with San’an Optoelectronics to establish a joint venture for 8-inch SiC device manufacturing, with an estimated total investment of around $3.2 billion.
On the Chinese front, there have been seven expansion projects related to Silicon Carbide. CRRC is investing 11.12 billion yuan to establish a project for the industrialization of medium and low-voltage power devices. YASC is also planning to construct a Compound Semiconductor power device production project, encompassing epitaxial growth, wafer manufacturing, packaging, and testing lines. Upon completion, the facility will have an annual production capacity of 360,000 6-inch SiC wafers and 61 million power device modules.
Additionally, BYD plans to invest 200 million yuan to establish a SiC epitaxial trial production and mass production project at its automotive production base in Shenzhen. The expansion will add 6,000 SiC epitaxial wafers per year, bringing the total capacity to 18,000 wafers per year.