Infineon Taiwan discussed the company's efforts in slowing down global warming in the SEMICON Taiwan "NExT Forum".
In the major action to slow down global warming, many semiconductor manufacturers have launched products that can further reduce power consumption and carbon emissions. Among them, Infineon Technologies AG (Infineon) is one of the best.
Environmental sustainability has become an important goal of all countries and all walks of life, prompting industries to save energy and reduce carbon through a variety of methods, new techniques, and technologies, to alleviate the problems caused by global warming. Of course, the semiconductor industry, which has always been at the forefront of technology innovations, does not wish to fall behind in this major action with a common global goal. Thus, all semiconductor manufacturers have been launching products that can further reduce power consumption and carbon emissions. Infineon is one of the best in the ranks.
At the SEMICON Taiwan “NExT Forum”, Mao-Yuan Huang, President of Infineon Technologies Taiwan Co. Ltd, said that although many people and industries have been discussing how to solve global warming, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and improve energy efficiency over the past decade, they seem to have achieved only limited results. Instead, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that gave the world the largest cut in carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.
Mao-Yuan Huang, President of Infineon Taiwan, explained Infineon’s efforts in slowing down global warming in the SEMICON Taiwan “NExT Forum”
Nevertheless, the pandemic will eventually come to an end, and people will still start to pursue new technologies and more convenient life, or enterprises may forget the urgent issue of environmental sustainability again in their pursuit of profit. So, how can advanced semiconductor technology “really” make the world achieve the results of emission reduction? Mao-Yuan Huang said that, as we all know, the culprit behind global warming is excessive greenhouse gas emissions. According to statistics, two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy industry, and one-third of the world’s energy needs have been used for electricity; future population growth and digitalization trends will require more electricity.
To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency proposes ways to achieve its CO2 emission reduction targets through fuel conversion, energy efficiency improvements and the use of renewable energy. Mao-Yuan Huang further explained that in terms of fuel conversion, Infineon’s high-efficiency power semiconductors can provide support for the development of hydrogen economy; in terms of energy efficiency, Infineon’s advanced wide-band-gap (WBG) products can improve energy conversion efficiency for photovoltaics, data centers, and electric vehicles; in the field of renewable energy, Infineon’s solutions are focused on how to harvest more electricity from various natural resources such as solar and wind energy. Overall, Infineon’s silicon and WBG semiconductor solutions can provide valuable and powerful support for the entire energy industry chain.
Optimistic about the advantages and prospects of WBG semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) in the entire energy industry chain, including electric vehicles (EV), renewable energy, data centers, 5G, communications, and other applications, Infineon has invested in the related research and development for a long time and launched its first SiC products 20 years ago. Mao-Yuan Huang explained that the existing silicon, SiC and GaN have their best application fields and advantages; that is to say, depending on the power rating and switching frequency required by the application, all the components made of silicon, SiC or GaN have their own full potential.
“Silicon-based solutions are still the mainstream technology and will better meet low-power to high-power requirements in mature applications,” emphasizes Huang. While SiC can complement silicon in many applications and is more suitable for high-power and high-frequency applications, GaN can meet the needs of medium-power, high-frequency applications like consumer products and achieve the need for a smaller size. It can be said that both silicon and WBG power components can perform their respective functions in various applications.
Therefore, Infineon, in addition to continuing to promote silicon power semiconductors, is also actively deploying the WBG device market by virtue of its long-term technology accumulation in power device development.
For example, Infineon has been gradually expanding its existing silicon, SiC, and GaN production capacity to meet the rapidly growing market demand, including the setup of the world’s first 300mm power semiconductor production base in Dresden, Germany. Its second 300mm fab located in Villach, Austria has already been in operation since 2021. The Villach base will also further strengthen its role as a global competence center and innovation base for the WBG semiconductor technology and will convert the existing 6-inch and 8-inch silicon wafer production lines into production lines for SiC and GaN components.
In addition, Infineon has also invested more than €2 billion in Kulim, Malaysia, to further expand its production capacity in SiC and GaN, which is expected to be completed in 2024. Hoping to ensure the smooth acquisition of raw materials, Infineon has also signed long-term supply contracts with manufacturers such as Showa Denko, Cree, and II-VI. Huang said that the Cold Split technology obtained by Infineon through the acquisition of Siltectra Co. can greatly reduce the loss of raw materials in the production process of SiC, so that more wafers can be produced.
All kinds of investment and technology research and development to increase production capacity and stabilize supply are all strategies that Infineon has adopted to fully meet the needs of the energy market; and these plans and products will also become an important cornerstone for Infineon to lead the world towards a sustainable green energy future.
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