Japan’s Showa Denko (SDK) will further expand the production capacity for high-quality-grade silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers for power semiconductors – marketed as ‘High-Grade Epi ‘ (HGE) – following the current expansion work on HGE production facilities. When the current work is finished in September, HGE production capacity will have increased from 5,000 wafers to 7,000 wafers per month. After the additional expansion work, scheduled for completion in February 2019, capacity will have increased to 9,000 wafers per month.
Compared with conventional silicon-based semiconductors, SiC-based power semiconductors operate under higher-temperature high-voltage and high-current conditions, while substantially conserving energy. These features enable smaller, lighter and energy-efficient next-gen power control modules which allow dispersion type power sources to utilize new energy sources. Used in power modules for servers in data centers and inverter modules for railcars, SiC-based power semiconductors are also replacing conventional semiconductors in on-board battery chargers and rapid charging stations for EVs, with the rapid expansion of the EV market.
SDK’s SiC epitaxial wafer business is rated by power semiconductor manufacturers for the lowest incidence of crystal defect and the highest wafer homogeneity in the world. In the last two years, SDK started expansion of its HGE production facilities twice, in September 2017 and January 2018. SDK has decided to further expand its HGE production facilities in order to respond to the growing needs of customers for HGE, resulting from rapid growth in the market for SiC-based power semiconductors.
SDK will continue improving the quality of its SiC epitaxial wafer products and supply them to the rapidly growing SiC power semiconductor market in a timely and stable manner, while securing top-level market share.