Acreo Spins Off New Company Ascatron for Fabrication of Silicon Carbide Semiconductors

September 13, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

The CEO of the Swedish research institute Acreo, Mårten Armgarth, announced the foundation of a new company, Ascatron. Based on the silicon carbide (SiC) technology developed at Acreo, Ascatron will specialize on the manufacturing of energy efficient SiC semiconductors. Target customers are suppliers of power devices and modules to the power electronic industry.

"Now is the right time to build up production capacity for SiC devices. The demand for our epi service has increased significantly and we have run our two R&D reactors at a maximum capacity over the last two years" said Mårten Armgarth CEO at Acreo. "The commercialization of our SiC process technology is in line with our mission, to transfer research results to industry. When a technology is mature enough and the market demand is identified our strategy is to look at the possibilities to start a new company."

Ascatron is the first independent "pure play" SiC foundry offering the complete fabrication service from device epitaxy to diced wafers.

"With our know-how in development of different types of SiC devices Ascatron can optimize the fabrication process to the design and specifications required by the customer" said Adolf Schöner, Manager of the SiC group at Acreo and Co-Founder of Ascatron. "We will focus on fast delivery of small series for market verification, followed by a production ramp-up in accordance with the customer needs."

Ascatron is starting to scale-up the SiC fabrication technology, developed at Acreo, during September. In the beginning Ascatron will use the established 4" wafer SiC process line at the Electrum Laboratory in Kista, Sweden. In the roadmap to serve the growing SiC industry Ascatron plans to build up a dedicated large volume SiC device production fab, capable of handling more than 50 000 6" wafers per year.

Acreo will continue the R&D activities in the field of SiC-semiconductors, focusing on device and module design of energy efficient power electronics. To accelerate the implementation of efficient power electronics Acreo will start the SiC Power Center; a platform for application-oriented R&D activities in a collaboration between industry, research institutes and universities.