The agreement will help meet demand for silicon carbide ICs for automotive and industrial applications.
STMicroelectronics has secured additional silicon carbide (SiC) wafer supplies by signing a new multi-year agreement with SiCrystal, a Rohm group company which said it has the highest share of SiC wafers in Europe. The agreement is for the supply of over $120 million of advanced 150mm silicon carbide wafers from SiCrystal to STMicroelectronics, to address the demand ramp-up for silicon carbide power devices.
Jean-Marc Chery, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics, said, “This additional long-term SiC substrate supply agreement comes on top of the external capacity we have already secured and the internal capacity we are ramping. It will enable ST to increase the volume and balance of the wafers we will need to meet the strong demand ramp-up from customers for automotive and industrial programs over the next years.”
SiCrystal was founded in 1996 but its roots go back to 1994 when a successful federally-funded project on crystal growth of silicon carbide bulk crystals was launched. It made its first commercial wafers in 1997. It then merged with Siemens-owned SiC-supplier Freitronics Wafer GmbH, and was then acquired by Rohm in 2010.
Dr. Robert Eckstein, president and CEO of SiCrystal, said, “We are very pleased to enter into this supply agreement with our longstanding customer ST. We will continue to support our partner to expand silicon carbide business by ramping up wafer quantities continuously and by providing reliable quality at all times.”
The adoption of power solutions with SiCs is accelerating in both the automotive and industrial markets. Hence SiC is a key strategic part of STMicroelectronics’s business, and to this end the company has been strengthening its SiC supply chain over the last year, with the acquisition of Norstel, and a doubling of its wafer supply agreement to over $500 million with Cree.