X-FAB to Offer High-Volume Manufacturing to Meet Growing SiC Demands

March 27, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

X-FAB expands its SiC capacity and adds new in-house epitaxy capabilities

X-FAB is one of the largest providers of advanced analog and mixed-signal process technologies. The group manufactures analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for fabless semiconductor companies, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and solutions for high voltage applications. Recently, X-FAB shared it is the first pure-play foundry to add internal silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxy capabilities to its offering.

The foundry is driving the adoption of SiC technologies by delivering them at the scale of silicon. X-FAB aims to produce high-quality cost-effective products by integrating the production of silicon and SiC technologies using the same manufacturing line. To meet the growing demand of their customers, X-FAB endeavors to increase their SiC capacity. The foundry’s Lubbock, Texas, facility, is already at a capacity of 26,000 wafers per month. 


Image courtesy of X-FAB. 


X-FAB's SiC Epitaxy Capabilities 

X-FAB offers SiC epitaxy with the option for a dual-epilayer. This will enable the foundry to achieve higher uniformity of the epitaxial layer and subsequently increase device performance parameters and significantly increase overall yield.

Other SiC capabilities include high-temperature implant, high-temperature implant anneal, SiC wafer thinning, backside metal deposition (Ti/Ni/Ag), backside laser anneal, and Ni deposition and Etch. Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) tools produced by X-FAB have been converted to support SiC processing. These include Photolithography, Deposition, Etch, Implant, and Thermal Processing.  

In a recent news release, CFO Ed Pascasio said X-FAB’s commitment to wide-bandgap technology is unmatched.

"We have already demonstrated our SiC onboarding credentials, with numerous high-volume projects for diodes, MOSFETs and JFETs all currently running, and these are paving the way towards mass-market adoption," Pascasio said. "By making even more capacity available for SiC, we will be able to keep up with demand requirements as this technology matures. Also, with all the necessary epitaxy expertise now located internally, X-FAB is in a unique position to control every aspect of SiC production. Our engineering team has direct influence across the whole process, and this will translate into best-value performance and quality as well as more attractive price points."


What SiC Means for X-FAB

The increased output of SiC technologies by X-FAB is intended to cater to key applications such as electric vehicles and advanced power management systems. Electric motors alone are said to contribute to 45% of global electricity consumption. Silicon semiconductor technology was once the mainstream choice for manufacturers in the electronic industry, but it is no longer able to support the need for reduced energy consumption and maintained systems productivity.

By using SiC-based technologies and solutions, power devices are better able to handle electrical loads, switching rates and other capabilities that are essential to reducing energy consumption.

According to the statement, X-FAB's SiC wafer technology will offer a wide bandgap, improved thermal conductivity, high electron mobility, and high electrical breakdown field. The integration of SiC in X-FABs armament of products will ensure swift market adoption and overall cost-effectiveness for their customers.