|Cree said that they have north of 65% of the current SiC wafer market right now.|
Rohm aims for top notch of SiC component market
Roger Huang, Kyoto; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES Tuesday 30 October 2018 0 Toggle Dropdown
Rohm Semiconductor is expanding its production capacity for SiC (silicon carbide)-based wafers and components as it aims to become the world's largest supplier of SiC power components with a 30% share by 2025, according to Mineo Miura, manager of high power device division of product planning department of the Japan-based semiconductor company.
By March 2025, Rohm will have invested at least JPY60 billion (US$535.86 million) for capacity ramps, mainly including JPY20 billion for expanding the capacity of its SiC component manufacturing plant in Chikugo, Fukuoka, and JPY40 billion for ramping up SiC wafer output, Miura said.
With its properties including resisting to high temperature and high pressure, less losses for power conversion and enabling smaller module form factors, the adoption of SiC-based power components is proliferating in a number of segments, including electric vehicles, industrial-control equipment, energy and server/datacenter and therefore the potential growth of SiC power components is highly regarded, Miura stated.
Based on the company's data, Rohm started mass production of SiC power components such as SiC Schottky diodes and MOSFETs in 2010 and has also since then maintained a leading position for the production of SiC power modules and SiC trench MOSFETS.
Citing data from market research firms, the global SiC market is forecast to exceed US$2.3 billion by 2025, Miura said. But he added that the market could expand to as much as NT$3.4 billion by 2025 if the pace of SiC replacing IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) products accelerates.
To meet future demand, Rohm will continue to adhere to its established business model: running its own fab to minimize the crystal defects of SiC and leveraging its patented double-trench structure to enhance the reliability of its SiC components.
Rohm's acquisition of SiC wafer supplier SiCrystal in 2009 has now become an advantage for the company, not only making Rohm (SiCrystal) the world's second largest supplier of SiC wafers, trailing after only Cree's Wolfspeed, but also enabling Rohm to have steady supplies of SiC wafers.
Rohm is currently fabricating SiC wafers of up to 6-inch size, as the SiC industry is beginning to develop 8-inch wafers.
The expansion project of the Chikugo plant is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020 with volume production to start in 2021. The packaging processes of SiC components will be carried out in Koyto, Korea and Thailand, Miura revealed.