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SiC ready: X-Fab offers 6in SiC from Texas foundry

Posted: 17 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SiC? X-Fab? wafer? fab?

X-Fab Silicon Foundries is now "SiC-ready."

The company recently upgraded the manufacturing process at its wafer fab in Lubbock, Texas, in order to start supplying 6in SiC wafers.

For its upgrade, X-Fab added new tools such as high-temperature anneal furnace, backgrind equipment for thinning SiC wafers, backside metal sputter, and backside laser anneal tools, while a high-temperature implanter is scheduled for installation later this year.

As a result, X-Fab can already fully leverage the economies of scale that are already available in its established 30K wafer per month silicon line, thereby presenting the market with the means to produce large volumes of SiC devices on 6in wafers.

Aside from the 6in wafer capabilities, other key differentiators need to be factored into the SiC equation. Among these will be higher yields and accelerated ramp-up to full scale production, plus the company's decades of experience in manufacturing semiconductor devices which adhere to the most stringent quality standards, such as those for automotive applications. Not only will X-FAB supply fabless semiconductor vendors, the company will also be well positioned to serve as a second source solution for IDMs with their own SiC manufacturing.

"Current SiC offerings are either IDMs creating their own products or relatively small foundry operations using 4-inch production facilities," Andy Wilson, X-Fab's director of Strategic Business Development, said in a statement. "X-Fab is bringing something different to the market, with a SiC capacity of 5k wafers/month ready to utilise and potential to raise this further. We can thus offer a scalable, high quality, secure platform that will enable customers to cost-effectively obtain discrete devices on SiC substrates and also safely apply vital differentiation."

The market for silicon carbide, a key element in the production of semiconductors, is expected to drive the overall SiC demand around the world. According to Grand View Research, the global demand for SiC is growing at a CAG rate of 15.3 per cent from 2014 to 2020.

Asia-Pacific was the major market for SiC, with revenue exceeding $870 million in 2013. The presence of major end-user industries, such as automotive and steel, is projected to boost the SiC demand in the region, according to the study.

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