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ST to make SiC substrates in Sicily

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First-of-a-kind SiC epitaxial substrate manufacturing facility in Europe

STMicroelectronics will build an integrated SiC substrate manufacturing facility in Italy to support the increasing demand from ST’s customers for SiC devices across automotive and industrial applications as they transition to electrification and seek higher efficiency. Production is expected to start in 2023, enabling a balanced supply of SiC substrate between internal and merchant supply.

The SiC substrate manufacturing facility, built at ST’s Catania site in Sicily alongside the existing SiC device manufacturing facility, will be a first of a kind in Europe for the production in volume of 150mm SiC epitaxial substrates, integrating all steps in the production flow. ST is committed to develop 200mm wafers in the next future.

This project is a key step in advancing ST’s vertical integration strategy for its SiC business. The investment of €730 million over five years will be supported financially by the State of Italy in the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and it will create around 700 direct additional jobs at full build-out.

ST’s high-volume STPOWER SiC products are currently manufactured in its fabs in Catania and Ang Mo Kio (Singapore). Assembly and test are done at back-end sites in Shenzhen (China) and Bouskoura (Morocco). The investment in this SiC substrate manufacturing facility builds on this expertise and is a significant milestone on ST’s path towards reaching 40 percent internal substrate sourcing by 2024.

“ST is transforming its global manufacturing operations, with additional capacity in 300mm manufacturing and a strong focus on wide bandgap semiconductors to support its $20+B revenue ambition. We are expanding our operations in Catania, the center of our power semiconductor expertise and where we already have integrated research, development and manufacturing of SiC with strong collaboration with Italian research entities, universities and suppliers” said Jean-Marc Chery, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “This new facility will be key to our vertical integration in SiC, reinforcing our SiC substrate supply as we further ramp up volumes to support our automotive and industrial customers in their shift to electrification and higher efficiency”.

Catania has long been an important site for innovation for ST as the home of the largest SiC R&D and manufacturing operations, successfully contributing to the development of new solutions for producing more and better SiC devices.

With an established eco-system on power electronics, including a long-term, successful collaboration between ST and different stakeholders (the University, the CNR -Italian National Research Council-, companies involved in equipment and product manufacturing) as well as a large network of suppliers, this investment will strengthen Catania’s role as a global competence centre for SiC technology and for further growth opportunities.

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