Renesas and Wolfspeed ink 10 year SiC wafer supply deal
Japanese Renesas Electronics has signed a 10-year supply agreement with Wolfspeed. A USD 2 billion deposit by Renesas will secure a supply of silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers from Wolfspeed.
The supply of SiC wafers from Wolfspeed will pave the way for Renesas to scale the production of SiC power semiconductors starting in 2025.
The decade-long supply agreement calls for Wolfspeed to provide Renesas with 150mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers scaling in 2025, reinforcing the companies’ vision for an industry-wide transition from silicon to silicon carbide semiconductor power devices. Adding to this, the deal also anticipates supplying Renesas with 200mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers once the recently announced John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide (the JP) is fully operational.
Renesas is moving quickly to address the growing demand for power semiconductors by expanding its in-house manufacturing capacity. The company recently announced the restart of its Kofu factory to produce IGBTs, as well as the establishment of a silicon carbide production line at its Takasaki factory.
“The wafer supply agreement with Wolfspeed will provide Renesas with a stable, long-term supply base of high-quality silicon carbide wafers. This empowers Renesas to scale our power semiconductor offerings to better serve customers’ vast array of applications,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, president and CEO of Renesas, in a press release. “We are now poised to elevate ourselves as a key player in the accelerating silicon carbide market.”
Compared to conventional silicon power semiconductors, SiC devices enable higher energy efficiency, greater power density and a lower system cost. Something that is highly desirable in an increasingly energy-conscious world.
“With the steepening demand for silicon carbide across the automotive, industrial and energy sectors, it’s critically important we have best-in-class power semiconductor customers like Renesas to help lead the global transition from silicon to silicon carbide,” adds Gregg Lowe, President and CEO of Wolfspeed.
Renesas' USD 2 billion deposit will help support Wolfspeed’s ongoing capacity construction projects including the JP, the world’s largest SiC materials factory in Chatham County, North Carolina. The multi-billion-dollar facility is targeted to generate a more than 10-fold increase from Wolfspeed’s current SiC production capacity on its Durham, North Carolina campus.
The facility will produce primarily 200mm SiC wafers, which are 1.7x larger than 150mm wafers, translating into more chips per wafer and ultimately, lower device costs.