X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry group, today announced plans to double their 6-inch Silicon Carbide (SiC) process capacity at its fab in Lubbock, Texas in response to increased customer demand for high efficiency power semiconductor devices. In preparation for doubling capacity, X-FAB Texas has purchased a second heated ion implanter for use in manufacturing 6-inch SiC wafers. Delivery of this heated ion implanter is expected by the end of 2018, and production release is planned during the first quarter of 2019 in time to meet projected near-term demand.
X-FAB was the first wafer foundry to offer SiC manufacturing on 6-inch wafers. This doubling of X-FAB’s SiC process capacity furthers its strategy to remain the premier 6-inch SiC wafer foundry, and demonstrates the Company’s commitment to SiC technology and the SiC foundry business model.
Advantages of X-FAB’s 6-inch SiC process capabilities for power semiconductors include superior high voltage operation, significantly lower transistor On-resistance, significantly lower transmission and switching losses, extended high temperature operation as high as 400°F/204°C, higher thermal conductivity, very high frequency operation, and lower parasitic capacitance. X-FAB’s SiC process capabilities allow customers to realize high efficiency power semiconductor devices including high power MOSFETs, JFETs, and Schottky diodes.
Systems with SiC power devices benefit from reduced system size and weight, and because they dissipate less heat are significantly more efficient compared to similar power semiconductor technologies. These features are important for switching power supplies and power converters found in electric vehicles (EVs), wind turbines, and solar converters. High temperature operation improves reliability, especially in hot industrial applications such as aircraft, EV racecars, and train locomotives. Reduced system size and weight is important in portable medical equipment and Hybrid EVs (PHEVs).
According to Lloyd Whetzel, CEO of X-FAB Texas, “With the rising popularity of SiC we understood, early on, that increasing our ion implant capability would be critical to our continued manufacturing success in the SiC marketplace. This is just the first step in our overall capital plan for SiC-specific manufacturing process improvements. This step also enables X-FAB to demonstrate our commitment to the SiC industry and maintains our leadership position in the SiC foundry business.”
X-FAB’s 6-inch SiC process capabilities are available at its Lubbock, Texas manufacturing site which is certified for automotive manufacturing according to the new IATF-16949:2016 International Automotive Quality Management System (QMS).