ST manufactures first 200mm silicon carbide wafers

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STMicroelectronics has manufactured the first 200mm (8-inch) Silicon-Carbide (SiC) bulk wafers for prototyping next-generation power devices from its facility in Norrköping, Sweden.

According to ST, the transition to 200mm SiC wafers marks an important milestone in the capacity build-up for its customer programs in automotive and industrial sectors and will consolidate the company's position in the disruptive semiconductor technology that allows for smaller, lighter, and more efficient power electronics.

Among the first in the world, ST’s initial 200mm SiC wafers are also very high quality, with minimal yield-impacting and crystal-dislocation defects. This low level of defectivity has been achieved by building on the company's experience in SiC ingot growth technology developed by STMicroelectronics Silicon Carbide (formerly Norstel, which ST acquired in 2019).

The transition to 200mm SiC substrates has required a step forward in manufacturing equipment and an improved level of overall support from the broader ecosystem ST, in collaboration with technology partners covering the entire supply chain, is developing its own 200mm SiC manufacturing equipment and processes.

ST currently manufactures its STPOWER SiC products on two 150mm 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 200mm SiC volume production. This transition is within ST's ongoing plan to build a new SiC substrate plant and source over 40% of its SiC substrates internally by 2024.

“The transition to 200mm SiC wafers will bring substantial advantages to our automotive and industrial customers as they accelerate the transition towards electrification of their systems and products”, said Marco Monti, President Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. "Building robust know-how in our internal SiC ecosystem across the full manufacturing chain, from high-quality SiC substrates to large-scale front- and back-end production, boosts our flexibility and allows us to better control the improvement of yield and quality of the wafers.”