STMicroelectronics will build an integrated silicon carbide (SiC) substrate manufacturing facility in Italy. Accordingly, this new facility will support the increasing demand from ST’s customers for SiC devices. These applications range across automotive and industrial applications as they transition to electrification and seek higher efficiency.
The company expects to start production from this new plant in 2023. Thus, enabling a balanced supply of SiC substrate between internal and merchant supply.
The new SiC substrate manufacturing facility in ST’s Catania site in Italy alongside the existing SiC device manufacturing facility, will be the first of its kind in Europe. Particularly, for the production in volume of 150mm SiC epitaxial substrates, integrating all steps in the production flow. ST aims to develop 200mm wafers in the future.
This project plays a key role in advancing ST’s vertical integration strategy for its SiC business. The State of Italy, through the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, will help support the €730 million investment spread over five years. It will create around 700 direct additional jobs at full build-out.
“ST is transforming its global manufacturing operations, with additional capacity in 300mm manufacturing and a strong focus on wide bandgap semiconductors to support its US$20 billion revenue ambition.
Jean-Marc Chery, President and Chief Executive Officer of STMicroelectronics, said the operations in Catania sits at the center of the company’s power semiconductor expertise. In addition, Chery said it is where the company has integrated research, development, and manufacturing of SiC with strong collaboration with Italian research entities, universities and suppliers.
Furthermore, Chery said, “This new facility will be key to our vertical integration in SiC, reinforcing our SiC substrate supply as we further ramp up volumes to support our automotive and industrial customers in their shift to electrification and higher efficiency.”
ST’s leadership in SiC is the result of 25 years of focus and commitment in R&D with a large portfolio of key patents. Particularly, Catania has long been an important site for innovation for ST as the home of the largest SiC R&D and manufacturing operations. Hence, successfully contributing to the development of new solutions for producing more and better SiC devices.
The location has an established eco-system on power electronics, including a long-term, successful collaboration between ST and different stakeholders well as a large network of suppliers. Furthermore, the fresh investment will strengthen Catania’s role as a global competence center for SiC technology.
ST’s leading-edge, high-volume STPOWER SiC products are currently manufactured in its fabs in Catania and Ang Mo Kio (Singapore). Moreover, back-end sites in Shenzhen (China) and Bouskoura (Morocco) carry out assembly and test. The investment in this SiC substrate manufacturing facility builds on this expertise. Finally, it is a significant milestone on ST’s path towards reaching 40 percent internal substrate sourcing by 2024.