DENSO CORPORATION and United Semiconductor Japan Co., Ltd. (USJC), a subsidiary of global semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) have announced a joint collaboration to produce insulated gate bipolar transistors* (IGBT), which have entered mass production at the 300mm fab of USJC.
Accordingly, the companies held first shipment ceremony to mark this important milestone. It comes just one year after the companies announced a strategic partnership for this critical power semiconductor used in electric vehicles.
As adoption of electric vehicles accelerates, automakers are seeking to boost powertrain efficiency while also increasing cost-effectiveness of electrified vehicles. For that reason, the jointly invested line at USJC supports the production of a new generation of IGBT developed by DENSO, which offers 20 percent reduction in power losses compared with earlier generation devices. Production is likely to reach 10,000 wafers per month by 2025.
The ceremony took place at USJC’s fab in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Attendees included DENSO President Koji Arima, UMC Co-President Jason Wang, Director-General of the Commerce and Information Policy Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Satoshi Nohara, Governor of Mie Prefecture Katsuyuki Ichimi, and Mayor of Kuwana City Narutaka Ito.
Koji Arima, President of DENSO, said, “We are from different cultures such as semiconductor industry and automobile industry. However, we have worked steadily with mutual respect which is a source of our strong competitiveness.”
In addition, Arima said, “DENSO, together with our trusted partners, will continue to further accelerate electrification through the production of competitive semiconductors in order to preserve the global environment and create a society full of smiles.”
Meanwhile, said Michiari Kawano, President of USJC, said, “USJC is proud to be the first semiconductor foundry in Japan to manufacture IGBT on 300mm wafers, offering customers greater production efficiency than the standard fabrication on 200mm wafers. Thanks to our dedicated teams and support from DENSO, we were able to complete trial production and reliability testing without delay and honor the mass production date as agreed with the customer,”
* Insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) is a core device that acts as a switch in inverters to convert DC current from batteries to AC current to drive and control electric vehicle motors. Battery and plug-in electric cars require significantly more IGBT units than conventional ICE cars.