Showa Denko to Raise Capacity for Silicon Carbide Epitaxial Wafers
Japanese chemicals firm, Showa Denko (SDK), has announced a two-phase expansion of capacity for silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers for power devices, which are marketed under the trade name of ‘High-Grade Epi’ (HGE).
The company is currently under-taking expansion work, which is scheduled to be finished in April, and which will raise SDK’s capacity to produce HGE from current 3,000 wafers per month to 5,000 wafers per month. The second phase of expansion work, which is to be finished in September 2018, will hike the capacity to 7,000 wafers per month.
When compared with the mainstream silicon-based semiconductors, SiC-based power devices can operate under high-temperature, high-voltage, and high-current conditions, while substantially conserving energy. These features enable device manufacturers to produce smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient next-generation power control modules. In addition to the traditional use as power sources, SiC-based power devices are now replacing conventional silicon-based power devices for on-board use such as inverter modules for railcars, on-board battery chargers and rapid charging stations for EVs, in parallel with rapid expansion of the EV market. SDK said its SiC epitaxial wafer business has been achieving growth rate higher than that of the market due to “the lowest incidence of crystal defects and the highest homogeneity of wafers” that SDK’s HGE has achieved.
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