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Nexperia to Invest $200 Million in Germany

Semiconductor manufacturer Nexperia plans to invest USD 200 million (roughly EUR 184 million) to develop the next generation of wide bandgap semiconductors (WBG) such as SiC and GaN, and to establish production infrastructure at its site in Hamburg, Germany.

At the same time, wafer fab capacity for silicon (Si) diodes and transistors will also be increased. 

To meet the growing long-term demand for efficient power semiconductors, all three technologies – SiC, GaN, and Si – will be developed and produced in Germany starting in June 2024. This means Nexperia is taking steps to support technologies in the fields of electrification and digitalisation. 

Silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors enable power-hungry applications, such as data centres, to operate with exceptional efficiency and are seen as core building blocks for renewable energy applications and electromobility. These WBG technologies are becoming increasingly important for achieving decarbonisation goals.

“This investment strengthens our position as a leading supplier of energy-efficient semiconductors and enables us to utilise available electrical energy more responsibly,” says Achim Kempe, COO and managing director at Nexperia Germany, in a press release. “In the future, our Hamburg fab will cover the complete range of WBG semiconductors while still being the largest factory for small signal diodes and transistors."

The first production lines for high-voltage GaN D-Mode transistors and SiC diodes started in June 2024 already. The next milestone will be modern and cost-efficient 200 mm production lines for SiC MOSFETs and GaN HEMTs. These will be established at the Hamburg factory over the next two years. 

At the same time, Nexperia says that the investment will help to further automate the existing infrastructure at the site and expand silicon production capacity by systematically converting to 200 mm wafers. Following the expansion of the clean room areas, new R&D laboratories are being built to continue to ensure a seamless transition from research to production in the future.

The company also says that the investments will contribute to securing and creating jobs and enhancing the European Union's semiconductor self-sufficiency – while not specifying further regarding the job creation. 

However, since its spin-off from NXP in 2017, Nexperia has invested substantially in the Hamburg site and increased the workforce from 950 to around 1,600 employees.

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June 13 2024 1:49 pm V22.4.55-2