Mitsubishi Electric to Invest in Coherent's New SiC Business

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it will invest US$500 million (approx. 75 billion yen1) in a new silicon carbide (SiC) business to be carved out from Coherent Corp. Specifically, this investment aims to expand its SiC power device business by strengthening vertical collaboration with Coherent, who has been a supplier of SiC substrates to Mitsubishi Electric.

Nowadays, the electric vehicle (EV) market is expanding worldwide.  In fact, it is one of several emerging applications driving the exponential growth of SiC power devices. Specifically, these devices offer lower energy loss, higher operating temperatures, and faster switching speeds than conventional silicon power devices. Also, the high efficiency of SiC power devices will contribute significantly to global decarbonization and green transformation.

Mitsubishi Electric has been a leader in SiC power modules for high-speed trains, high-voltage industrial applications, and home appliances for many years. The company made history by launching the world’s first SiC power modules2 for air conditioners in 2010. Moreover, it became the first supplier of a full SiC power module3 for Shinkansen high-speed trains in 2015. Generally, Mitsubishi Electric has accumulated extensive expertise by meeting market needs for advanced performance and high reliability. This was accomplished by deploying superior processing, and screening for the development and manufacture of SiC power modules.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi Electric has been procuring high-quality 150mm SiC substrates from Coherent for the production of SiC power modules for many years. Also, the company develops high-quality 200mm SiC substrates with Coherent. Down the road, Mitsubishi Electric plans to invest approximately 100 billion yen to construct a new 200mm SiC wafer plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan beginning in 2026.4

By further deepening its collaboration with Coherent through this investment, Mitsubishi Electric aims to stabilize its procurement of SiC substrates for SiC power modules, in which demand is forecasted to grow rapidly. Thereby, it will expand its supply of reliable high-performance SiC power devices to meet rising global demand.

Coherent’s silicon carbide power module

Dr. Masayoshi Takemi, Executive Officer, Group President, Semiconductor & Device of Mitsubishi Electric, said, “Demand for SiC power semiconductors is expected to grow exponentially as the global market for electric vehicles increases in line with the transition to a decarbonized world. To capitalize on this trend, we decided to expand our SiC power semiconductor production capacity. This includes constructing a 200mm wafer plant in the Shisui area of Kumamoto Prefecture. We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Coherent by investing in this new SiC company. Accordingly, it will provide us with a stable supply of high-quality SiC substrates essential for our increased supply capacity.”

1Calculated at a rate of 1 USD = 149.6 yen (TTM rate as of the end of Sept. 2023)

2According to Mitsubishi Electric research as of August 24, 2010

3According to Mitsubishi Electric research as of June 25, 2015

4Announcement on March 14, 2023