Showa Denko has started mass production of 6in silicon carbide (SiC) single crystal wafers.
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has launched mass production of silicon carbide (SiC) single crystal wafers with a diameter of 6in (150mm), which are used as materials for SiC epitaxial wafers to be processed and installed into SiC-based power semiconductors.
SiC power semiconductor has excellent heat-resisting property and high withstanding voltage much better than those of conventional silicon-based power semiconductor, which is currently the mainstream of power semiconductors. SiC power semiconductor contributes to improvement in power module’s energy efficiency and downsizing. Therefore, the demand for SiC power semiconductors is increasing rapidly in various fields, especially those for use in xEVs, railcars, and industrial equipment.
As an independent supplier of SiC epitaxial wafers, SDK has the global-top share in the market, and has been providing power-device manufacturers with best-in-class SiC epitaxial wafers.
SDK has been considering in-house production of SiC wafers to improve quality of our SiC epitaxial wafers and establish a stable supply system for them. From 2010 to 2015, SDK took part in “Novel Semiconductor Power Electronics Project Realizing Low Carbon Emission Society,” a project hosted and entrusted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), aimed at establishing the technology for realization of stable supply of SiC wafers with large diameters.
SDK was a member of the Research and Development Partnership for Future Power Electronics Technology, an association established as a joint organization of academy, industry, and government aiming to improve technical level concerning next-generation power electronics. Furthermore, in 2018, SDK took over SiC-wafer related assets of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Group (current Nippon Steel Group), and has been developing technologies for mass production of SiC wafers since then.
This time, SDK decided to launch in-house mass production of 6in SiC wafers because many customers have adopted SDK’s SiC epitaxial wafers made from its in-house produced 6in SiC wafers. While it will continue purchasing SiC wafers from partners in order to respond to the rapidly growing demand for SiC epitaxial wafers for power semiconductors, SDK will diversify its sources of SiC wafers to establish a stable supply chain for SiC epitaxial wafers.