Soitec opens new SmartSiC plant
New production facility is dedicated to SmartSiC substrates for future EVs
French firm Soitec has inaugurated its new SmartSiC plant in Bernin, near Grenoble. The new plant will have a 2,500 m2 footprint and a final production capacity of 500,000 SmartSiC wafers per year.
SmartSiC technology, developed as a response to vehicle electrification challenges, is designed to improve efficiency for energy conversion systems.
According to the company, SmartSiC enables electric vehicles to achieve ranges above 500 km, compared with an average 350 km for vehicles using silicon IGBT alternatives – while also reducing CO2 emissions during wafer manufacturing by 70 percent compared to monocrystalline SiC substrates.
Development of the technology began in 2020 in partnership with CEA-Leti and has received financial support from the French state, the region, local authorities and the European Union.
Pierre Barnabé, CEO of Soitec, stated: “More than ever we are ready to establish our SmartSiC technology as a new standard in semiconductor materials for coming generations of electric cars. This plant will enable us to meet growing demand for SiC and achieve a 30 percent market share by 2030, while helping to make electric mobility more efficient and affordable. Completed in record time, it is the embodiment of our industrial performance and our future-facing strategy, based on the expansion of our product and technology portfolio."