Leading semiconductor solution provider, Renesas Electronics Corporation and silicon carbide technology frontrunner, Wolfspeed, Inc. have reportedly entered a wafer supply agreement. Though this move, Renesas has deposited $2 billion deposit to secure a 10 year supply commitment of epitaxial wafers and silicon carbide bare from Wolfspeed.
It has been revealed that Wolfspeed’s supply of high-quality silicon carbide wafers would make way for Renesas to ramp up the production of silicon carbide power semiconductors at the start of 2025.
The agreement’s signing ceremony was held at the headquarters of Renesas in Tokyo between the President and CEO of Renesas, Hidetoshi Shibata, and the President and CEO of Wolfspeed, Gregg Lowe.
According to the ten-year supply agreement, Wolfspeed will deliver 150mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers scaling to Renesas in CY2025, supporting the businesses' ambition for a widespread switch from silicon to silicon carbide semiconductor power devices.
The deal also underscores the provision of 200mm silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers to Renesas following the completion of the newly announced John Palmour Manufacturing Centre for Silicon Carbide.
The development of EVs and renewable energy sources has accelerated the demand for more efficient power semiconductors, which deliver and manage electricity in automotive and industrial applications.
Reportedly, Renesas is increasing its internal manufacturing capability swiftly to meet the rising demand for power semiconductors. The business recently announced the reopening of its Takasaki Factory's silicon carbide manufacturing line and the restart of its Kofu Factory's IGBT production line.
The $2 billion Renesas deposit will assist Wolfspeed's ongoing capacity construction initiatives, such as the JP, the largest silicon carbide materials facility in the world, which is located in Chatham County, North Carolina.
The cutting-edge, multibillion-dollar facility is expected to enhance silicon carbide production capacity at Wolfspeed's Durham, North Carolina campus by a factor of more than ten. The plant will primarily create 200mm silicon carbide wafers, which are 1.7 times larger than 150mm wafers. This will result in more chips being produced on per wafer, which will cut device costs.