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   Technology StocksCree Inc.


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To: EvanG who wrote (10394)7/12/2021 9:04:16 PM
From: slacker711
   of 10478
 
Cree needed to raise $500 million in February for the current fab.

The question isn't whether they are self funding now. That is obviously not the case but whether they will be in the future. I think that decent execution on the 200mm fab will get them there.

I also don't think that they will be supplying half the capex required on their next fab.

STM is investing $1.8 billion to $2 billion in CAPEX this year, which includes pulling forward their SiC substrate efforts. Just saying that size investment barely dents their finances and they didn't need to dilute their shareholders.




STM has guided for $1 billion in SiC revenue in 2025 which will be substantially less than 10% of their total revenue. I have no doubt that they will beat that number handily but the vast majority of their capex is going to non SiC projects.

Gregg Lowe keeps making it sound like it will be early next year. Think 24 months would be a surprise to most investors.


First wafers and qualification samples in the 1st half of 2022. First revs in the 2nd half of 2022. Margins and yields will suck at the beginning of the ramp so the 1st half of calendar 2023 is when I think we can start saying anything definitive about their choice of 200mm.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10399)7/12/2021 9:17:11 PM
From: Lou Weed
   of 10478
 
Cree/Wolfspeed's disadvantage is that they are truly a one-trick pony now. With LED gone, they are completely relying on Materials, Power and RF components for revenue. Their advantage in Materials (that accounts for more than 80% of their revenues in 2020) is being slowly eroded by II-VI and a plethora of Chinese players are on the horizon. I believe Greg Lowe is prettying them up to be acquired but the only problem is their valuation is so prohibitive right now.......

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10399)7/13/2021 7:36:27 PM
From: EvanG
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STM has guided for $1 billion in SiC revenue in 2025 which will be substantially less than 10% of their total revenue. I have no doubt that they will beat that number handily but the vast majority of their capex is going to non SiC projects.

Access to capital is never a bad problem, mix will shift over time. As revenue scales OPEX does not scale linearly with it. Purchasing power also improves. A bigger company drives cost efficiencies that drives better product pricing which drives better revenue. All of those other product lines become very important to their SiC development.

It is an advantage to some of these companies for SiC to be high CAPEX, very process intensive with complicated chips. Creates barriers to entry. The size of a company and the efficiency it can generate as a result can also be a barrier.

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From: slacker7117/27/2021 9:37:46 AM
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
STM manufactures their first 200mm wafer.

They seem to imply that they will have 200mm production by 2024 but don't say it explicitly.

STMicroelectronics Manufactures First 200mm Silicon Carbide Wafers
Transition to 200m wafers marks milestone in capacity build-up to support automotive and industrial markets in the electrification of their systems and products

Geneva, Switzerland, July 27, 2021 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, today announced it has manufactured the first 200mm (8-inch) Silicon-Carbide (SiC) bulk wafers for prototyping next-generation power devices from its facility in Norrköping, Sweden. The transition to 200mm SiC wafers marks an important milestone in the capacity build-up for ST’s customer programs in automotive and industrial sectors and will consolidate ST’s lead in the disruptive semiconductor technology that allows for smaller, lighter, and more efficient power electronics with a lower total cost of ownership.

Among the first in the world, ST’s initial 200mm SiC wafers are also very high quality, with minimal yield-impacting and crystal-dislocation defects. The low defectivity has been achieved by building on the excellent know-how and expertise in SiC ingot growth technology developed by STMicroelectronics Silicon Carbide A.B. (formerly Norstel A.B., which ST acquired in 2019). In addition to meeting the quality challenge, the transition to 200mm SiC substrates requires a step forward in manufacturing equipment and the overall support ecosystem performance. ST, in collaboration with technology partners covering the entire supply chain, is developing its own 200mm SiC manufacturing equipment and processes.

ST currently manufactures its leading-edge, high-volume STPOWER SiC products on two 150mm wafer lines in its fabs in Catania (Italy) and Ang Mo Kio (Singapore) and performs assembly and test at its back-end sites in Shenzhen (China) and Bouskoura (Morocco). This milestone comes as part of the Company’s planned move to more advanced, cost-efficient 200mm SiC volume production. This transition is within the Company’s ongoing plan to build a new SiC substrate plant and source over 40% of its SiC substrates internally by 2024.

“The transition to 200mm SiC wafers will bring substantial advantages to our automotive and industrial customers as they accelerate the transition towards electrification of their systems and products”, said Marco Monti, President Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. “It is important in driving economies of scale as product volumes ramp. Building robust know-how in our internal SiC ecosystem across the full manufacturing chain, from high-quality SiC substrates to large-scale front- and back-end production, boosts our flexibility and allows us to better control the improvement of yield and quality of the wafers.”

Notes to Editors

Silicon Carbide is a compound semiconductor material with intrinsic properties providing superior performance and efficiency over silicon in key, high-growth power applications for electro-mobility (e-mobility) and industrial processes, among others. ST’s leadership in SiC is the result of 25 years of focus and commitment in R&D with more than 70 patents. The disruptive technology allows for more efficient power conversion, lighter and more compact designs, and overall system-design cost savings - all key parameters and factors for success in automotive and industrial systems. 200mm wafers enable a capacity increase, with almost twice the useful area for manufacturing integrated circuits compared to 150mm wafers, delivering 1.8 - 1.9 times as many working chips.

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To: EvanG who wrote (10386)7/29/2021 6:52:55 AM
From: slacker711
2 Recommendations   of 10478
 
STM says that they will be sourcing 200mm wafers from Cree with diode production in '22 and transistors in '23.

They expect their own 200mm wafer production "end of '23, '24".

Nice call Evan.


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To: slacker711 who wrote (10403)7/30/2021 12:24:53 PM
From: EvanG
   of 10478
 
STM says that they will be sourcing 200mm wafers from Cree with diode production in '22 and transistors in '23.

They made it seem like die shrinkage would help margins more than moving to larger wafers. Not sure how to reconcile that. Perhaps their thinking is not everyone will keep up with die shrinkage and as a result pricing doesn't scale with die size. That was recently proven wrong in GaAs VCSEL emitters for the next iPhone. They are just starting to ship 3rd gen, the 4th gen he was talking about should be when they move to trench.

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From: slacker7118/10/2021 9:47:44 AM
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IIVI plans on investing $1 billion into SiC over the next ten years. That covers both capex and R&D.

$20m in the next quarter into widebandgap semis with the majority in SiC.

ii-vi.com

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10381)8/10/2021 7:38:06 PM
From: EvanG
   of 10478
 
A Mega Fab with a monthly output of 30,000 6-inch silicon carbide wafers is now complete and is ready for production.

Apparently it is 15,000 wafers/month capable. Not 30,000 wafers/month and they can't say if they are selling any. At a $2.5 billion cost, wondering how this is low cost.

compoundsemiconductor.net

In June this year, China-based Hunan Sanan Semiconductor opened the nation's first vertically integrated SiC line. Located in the Changsha high-tech industrial park, the $2.5 billion investment has, so far, taken less than a year to build and handles all wafer and device fabrication steps from crystal growth to power devices, packaging and testing.

“This is phase 1 of our site,” highlights Mrinal Das, Director, Technical Marketing and Sales at Sanan IC, which alongside Hunan Sanan, is a subsidiary of Sanan Optoelectronics. “At 15,000 wafers a month, we've brought half of its full capacity online... In phase 2 we will [build] a mirror image of phase one.”

“We have an aggressive plan to get the plant fully operational - meaning equipped to deliver 30,000 wafers a month by 2024,” he adds.

From here on in, Hunan Sanan's Changsha megafab will be delivering a mix of wafers and devices to Sanan IC, as well as other domestic and international customers. Describing the site as Sanan IC's 'captive' wide bandgap power semiconductor facility, Das won't be drawn on actually supply figures right now other than to say the facility is '15K a month capable'.

Currently built to churn out six inch SiC wafers, Das also expects to see eight inch wafers being produced come 2024. As he puts it: “My vision is that during phase 2, if there is enough demand, we will work on 8 inch wafers so that in 2024 we could probably [be producing] 15,000 six inch and 15,000 eight inch wafers.”

“After that, and if demand continues to rise in the next five to ten years, we will [scale] phase one and move to 30,000 eight inch wafers every month,” he says. “Our crystal growth team has put a lot of effort into our [wafer] technology and we have a lot of innovation through our patent filings in China and the US.”

Indeed, Sanan IC has been manufacturing SiC Schottky diodes for some time now and also has SiC MOSFETs under qualification - 1200 V devices are scheduled to be released soon. According to the Sanan IC Director, the figure of merits for substrates, epitaxy and devices are all 'achieving parity' with industry-best technology.

Das is also keen to emphasize that the organization also makes GaN-on-silicon devices for lower power applications. And as his Sanan IC colleague, Raymond Biagan, Senior Director, Sales and Marketing Communications - North America and Europe, highlights: “Our business model is to offer our entire manufacturing platform to the worldwide market.”

In the interim, Sanan Hunan will hire engineers locally and from further afield. “Engineers will predominantly come from a pool of domestic talent but there will also be a portion of technologists from Taiwan, China, Japan and internationally,” says Biagan.

Still, Sanan IC and Hunan Sanan are hardly operating in a vacuum. Recently, Cree, US, has poured $1 billion into its 200 mm SiC fabrication facility in Mohawk Valley, New York, while Rohm of Japan has just finished building its $190 million SiC wafer and device fab in Chikugo, Japan. US-based II-VI also intends to plough up to $50 million into its China SiC substrate manufacturing capacity and Infineon of Germany is set to increase SiC epitaxy wafer production.

However, Das - who worked at Cree and Wolfspeed for more than 16 years - reckons Sanan's China-based megafab gives the organisation an edge. “Wolfspeed, for example, has the biggest news on capacity expansion so far with their materials supply stretching from North Carolina to upstate New York, and with packaging typically at various Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test companies across Asia,” he says.

“But while the company is vertically integrated there is still this logistical challenge of moving their product through various stages globally, whereas we have a nice, compact, single site that is doing everything,” he adds.

Both Das and Biagan believe the Changsha site also sets up their company to more easily target the all-important electric and hybrid electric vehicle markets, in China.

“Analysts indicate that the hockey stick for wide bandgap materials will be automotive markets so it's been natural to headquarter in China where we can cater for its large automotive market in terms of logistics and quick time to market.” says Biagan. “Our parent company is already a major supplier of LED car lamps to the automotive industry here, and we can further appeal to that marketplace by delivering SiC and GaN domestically.”

Das and Biagan are also confident the burgeoning SiC industry has enough room for everyone. According to Das, the only competitor for all SiC players is silicon, and he and colleagues at Sanan IC and Hunan Sanan hope to work alongside the competition to enable the widespread adoption of wide bandgap materials.

Still as Biagan puts it: “Our aspiration is to be considered a major market shareholder in the SiC space that is today served by companies such as Wolfspeed and STMicroelectronics, and to be known as a brand globally.”

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To: EvanG who wrote (10406)8/11/2021 7:12:36 AM
From: slacker711
   of 10478
 
Apparently it is 15,000 wafers/month capable. Not 30,000 wafers/month and they can't say if they are selling any. At a $2.5 billion cost, wondering how this is low cost.



Subsidies from the state probably make it low cost to the company but you still need decent yields for the economics to work.

We are getting headlines about SiC capex plans almost every day but I'm not sure any of these new players are doing anything beyond shipping samples. The idea that a company is going to start shipping their first 6" wafers in '21 and then have commercial 8" wafers in '24 seems extremely unlikely.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10405)8/12/2021 7:29:49 PM
From: EvanG
2 Recommendations   of 10478
 
IIVI plans on investing $1 billion into SiC over the next ten years. That covers both capex and R&D.

II-VI had a conference call today. Clarified that the $1B included $200-$250 million in OPEX (a good portion manufacturing engineering and design for manufacturability) with the remainder in CAPEX mainly in a 3 year intensity with some followup in remaining years.

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