Danfoss and GE Enter SiC Strategic Collaboration

March 26, 2017 by Jeff Shepard

Danfoss Silicon Power is establishing production in the US and entering into a collaboration with industrial giant General Electric (GE). The collaboration means that Danfoss Silicon Power will become the world's leading provider of silicon-carbide (SiC) power modules.

The resulting SiC power modules will create smaller, faster, and more effective electronic devices, and are expected to revolutionize the technology within solar and wind energy as well as the future generations of electric and hybrid cars.

The transatlantic collaboration between Danfoss and GE will be part of New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC) in Utica, upstate New York. The private-public consortium and other similar programs were established in 2014 by the state of New York with a total investment of more than USD 20 billion for the creation of high-tech jobs.

By early 2018, DSP will establish SiC power modules packaging operations in Utica, and is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the coming years. GE will provide SiC chips for the modules. The new operation will occupy the entire QUAD-C facility in Utica, which includes two cleanrooms, lab and office space. In order for Danfoss to establish their facility, New York will invest $100 million to complete portions of QUAD-C, including construction, tools and equipment. Danfoss will lease both the facility and tools from New York State in return for the creation of at least 300 new jobs in Utica for the next 15 years.

“This is a very important step for Danfoss, as the US is our biggest market and essential to our business. The cooperation with GE has great strategic impact for Danfoss – it is important for our future growth plans in the US, and we have big expectations for the further developments in this highly-specialized area,” says Executive Vice President and COO in Danfoss, Kim Fausing.

"Danfoss Silicon Power is gaining a unique position as the only independent SiC module manufacturer in the US and GE has been a customer from day one. Similarly, it has opened the door to the US market, where demand for the power modules manufactured by Danfoss Silicon Power is expected to grow explosively," says Claus A. Petersen, General Manager and Vice President of Danfoss Silicon Power.

Petersen continued, "Today the US demand for power modules is mainly driven through Japanese and German imports. With this investment Danfoss will offer the US market a strong local partner, capable of providing best in class in packaging technology and high volume, high quality manufacturing."

"With Danfoss' commitment to establishing state-of-the-art manufacturing operations in Utica, we are cementing New York's role as a leader in semiconductor research and development, while creating hundreds of good-paying jobs in the region," Governor Cuomo said. "This expansion is proof positive that we are attracting 21st century companies from across the globe to Utica, and leveraging next generation technology to foster the continued growth and success of Mohawk Valley communities for years to come."

Danfoss, which is headquartered in Denmark and employs more than 24,000 staff across the globe, will occupy the entire QUAD-C facility in Utica, which includes two cleanrooms, lab and office space. This project supports and advances the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, a public-private partnership along the Upstate corridor in developing the next generation of semiconductor materials and packaging to enable the creation of smaller, faster and more efficient mobile devices.

This facility will allow Danfoss Silicon Power to better serve its US customer base and will bring cost efficiency and quality manufacturing to the fast growing Silicon Carbide industry. Danfoss Silicon Power, one of the world’s leading, independent custom power module manufacturers, serving the automotive, renewable energy and industrial sectors, chose New York for the state’s strong technology ecosystem and skilled workforce. The QUAD-C facility expands the company’s presence in the US and complements the output of its Flensburg, Germany operations.

The Power Electronics packaging facility at QUAD-C will advance New York's leadership in next-generation semiconductor research, development, and commercial fabrication to meet the global demand for mobile devices. Danfoss' presence will expand the scope of the Nano Utica initiative from computer chip commercialization into power electronics applications for industrial products such as wind turbines, utility-scale solar inverters, data centers and hybrid cars. The packaging facility at QUAD-C has the potential to lead to commercial breakthroughs in an array of applications ranging from super-computing, green energy, tablets, cell phones, EVs & HEVs, as well as a myriad of power electronics applications.

GE Global Research Vice President Danielle Merfeld said, "We're thrilled to see Danfoss joining the power electronics packaging facility at QUAD-C. They will be a key partner in advancing and commercializing the next generation of power devices with silicon carbide technology to usher in the next revolution in power. Together, we will work with the State to attract even more partners to accelerate new developments that solidify Utica and Upstate New York’s place in leading this transformational change across the energy sector."