STMicroelectronics has announced it has manufactured the first 200-mm (8-inch) Silicon-Carbide (SiC) bulk wafers for prototyping next-generation power devices from its facility in Norrköping, Sweden. The transition to 200-mm SiC wafers marks an important milestone in the capacity build-up for ST’s customer programs in automotive and industrial sectors and will consolidate ST’s lead in the disruptive semiconductor technology that allows for smaller, lighter, and more efficient power electronics with a lower total cost of ownership.
Among the first in the world, ST’s initial 200-mm SiC wafers are also very high quality, with minimal yield-impacting and crystal-dislocation defects. The low defectivity has been achieved by building on the excellent know-how and expertise in SiC ingot growth technology developed by STMicroelectronics Silicon Carbide A.B. (formerly Norstel A.B., which ST acquired in 2019). In addition to meeting the quality challenge, the transition to 200-mm SiC substrates requires a step forward in manufacturing equipment and the overall support ecosystem performance. ST, in collaboration with technology partners covering the entire supply chain, is developing its own 200-mm SiC manufacturing equipment and processes.
ST currently manufactures its leading-edge, high-volume STPOWER SiC products on two 150-mm wafer lines in its fabs in Catania (Italy) and Ang Mo Kio (Singapore) and performs assembly and test at its back-end sites in Shenzhen (China) and Bouskoura (Morocco). This milestone comes as part of the company’s planned move to more advanced, cost-efficient 200-mm SiC volume production. This transition is within the company’s ongoing plan to build a new SiC substrate plant and source over 40% of its SiC substrates internally by 2024.