© Cree_wafer General | October 24, 2019
Cree, NY CREATES announce first SiC wafer demo
Cree and New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology, Engineering, and Science (NY CREATES), marked the start of their partnership with the completion of their first silicon carbide test wafers last week.
The demo, conducted at the SUNY Poly Albany campus, came less than one month after the two entities announced their collaboration and a few weeks after Cree announced plans to develop the world's-first, 200 mm SiC wafer fabrication facility near Utica at the company’s Mohawk Valley Fab, currently being prepped for construction. Until the completion of the Mohawk Valley Fab, Cree is leasing space on the SUNY Poly’s Albany campus to make use of equipment purchased as part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC). As the fab ramps up in 2022, Cree will transfer the NY-PEMC equipment and its 200 mm process to the Marcy Nanocenter, adjacent to SUNY Poly’s Utica campus. According to a press release issued by Cree, last week’s test is important to ensuring the qualification of the Mohawk Valley fab for ongoing production. Regarding the test, Cree President and CEO Gregg Lowe said in a press release, “This is a small but significant step toward a very promising future for the Mohawk Valley— signaling not only the beginning of our formal partnership with New York State, but also a preview of the groundbreaking work that is coming to the region. Together, we’re really excited to grow the silicon carbide industry as we support the automotive industry’s transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles while also training the future innovative leaders of our field in the Mohawk Valley.” The company has said it expects to have up to two dozen full-time staff working on the project at SUNY Poly by mid-November, with the first demonstration yielding 150 mm silicon carbide test wafers expected next year. Cree has plans to create more than 600 new jobs within eight years and provide internships and research opportunities for SUNY students, toward the development of an advanced manufacturing-oriented workforce development initiative across the SUNY system that will be designed to prepare a 21st century workforce for opportunities the new facility will present. SUNY has also committed to match up to USD 5 million in semiconductor-related research funding from Cree for the SUNY system. “New York State has the right pieces in place for strong business partnership—infrastructure, research expertise, and an educated workforce—so that we can help companies quickly ramp up operations,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “We at The State University of New York are proud to lend our assistance to Cree through NY CREATES and SUNY Poly, and look forward to involving more of our students and faculty in a short period of time.” Empire State Development has estimated that the project will generate approximately 570 indirect jobs and more than USD 4.3 billion in total statewide economic impact over the next 20 years.