GT Advanced Technologies to Supply Infineon with Silicon Carbide Boules
German semiconductor manufacturer, Infineon, signed an agreement with GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) last week for the supply of silicon carbide (SiC) boules.
The contract, which has an initial term of five years, will see Infineon expand its offering of SiC semiconductors in consumer and automotive applications.
The new products will join Infineon’s CoolSiC portfolio.
CrystX silicon carbide crystal. Image used courtesy of Cryst.
Infineon CoolSiC series
SiC devices are widely grouped under the wide bandgap semiconductor category.
SiC materials offer a series of advantages for applications related to high voltage power semiconductors when compared to commonly used silicon (Si).
Perhaps the most relevant is the much higher breakdown field strength and thermal conductivity achievable by SiC, which allows the creation of devices with far superior performance.
Infineon CoolSiC series includes a variety of products, such as MOSFET modules and discretes, Schottky diodes, and hybrid modules. Infineon’s hybrid technology combines a fast silicon-based switch with a SiC diode, and the company has already deployed such solutions in solar and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) applications.
"We are seeing a steadily increasing demand for SiC-based switches, especially for industrial applications," commented Peter Wawer, President of Infineon’s Industrial Power Control Division. "However, it has become clear that the automotive sector is quickly following suit.”
Peter Wawer. Image used courtesy of Infineon.
In fact, electric vehicles show a substantial potential for SiC applications, including the main inverters for the drive train and onboard battery charging units.
“GTAT’s high-quality boules will provide an additional source for competitive SiC wafers fulfilling the best-in-class material standards now and in the future,” Wawer explained.
The new agreement with GTAT will now allow Infineon to meet the increasingly growing demand with a diversified supplier base.
GT Advanced Technologies’ CrystX
GTAT is a firm that has been working with high-quality crystal materials for decades.
The company has recently its CrystX silicon carbide for power electronics applications such as electric vehicles.
The form factor of the CrystX silicon carbide boules is 150mm in diameter, while its resistivity is 20 mΩ-cm ±5. GTAT also offers to tune it to a 2 mΩ-cm range upon request.
CrystX silicon carbides offer usable height (UH) of 25 mm or greater and fewer than 0.5 micropipes per square centimeter.
The company will now add Infineon to its list of customers.
“We are very excited to enter into a long-term supply agreement with Infineon,” says Greg Knight, President, and CEO of GT Advanced Technologies.
According to the executive, the partnership will now enable Infineon to achieve a secure high-quality internal SiC wafer supply by applying its proprietary thin-wafer technology to GTAT’s crystal.
“The growth of SiC device adoption is tied largely to the aggressive cost down of the substrate,” Knight explained, “and this agreement is a significant step towards achieving that goal.”