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Monolith and X-FAB to cut SiC power device costs

The firms have begun mass producing 150mm silicon carbide. They aim to dramatically lower the cost, improve reliability and expand the availability of SiC power diodes and MOSFETs
Monolith Semiconductor, a supplier of SiC diodes and MOSFETs, has formed a strategic manufacturing partnership with X‐FAB Texas to manufacture 150mm SiC wafers in a high‐volume production line.

Currently, the high cost of SiC devices has limited the widespread adoption of SiC power diodes and MOSFETs. The partnership between Monolith Semiconductor and X-FAB will dramatically lower the cost, improve reliability and expand availability of SiC diodes and MOSFETs, enabling their widespread adoption in high-performance and high‐efficiency power electronics systems.

“Monolith’s revolutionary SiC MOSFET design and silicon compatible processes enable manufacturing of high‐performance and highly reliable SiC MOSFETs in a cost‐effective CMOS fab,” says Monolith Semiconductor CEO, Sujit Banerjee.

“X-FAB Texas has long history of delivering high-quality semiconductor products to automotive and industrial customers and we are excited to partner with them. We have already transitioned Monolith’s SiC technology into X-FAB’s CMOS fab and have demonstrated 1200V SiC devices manufactured on 150mm SiC wafers.“

Monolith Semi’s development of SiC devices is partially supported by the ARPA‐E SWITCHES program.

“By using existing silicon manufacturing infrastructure, we dramatically reduce the overhead costs to manufacture Monolith’s SiC devices, and we reap the advantage of the high‐yield manufacturing systems at X‐FAB,” highlights Kevin Matocha, President of Monolith Semiconductor.

“The aggressive cost goal of the ARPA‐E SWITCHES program has driven us to find new ways to dramatically reduce the production cost of SiC power MOSFETs.”

“The SWITCHES program is designed to develop new wide bandgap semiconductor devices promising increased switching frequency, enhanced high temperature operation, and reduced power losses at substantially lower cost relative to today's solutions," says SWITCHES Program Director Tim Heidel.

"With SWITCHES just over six months under way, we're excited to see our project teams already beginning to show positive signs toward reaching their technical and market goals."

In addition to the advanced SiC device developments under the ARPA‐E SWITCHES program, Monolith Semiconductor and X‐FAB are anchor partners of the newly-formed PowerAmerica manufacturing nstitute centred at North Carolina State University and funded by US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

“We are excited to be part of the institute which will further improve the manufacturability and cost of SiC power devices,” says Andy Wilson, X‐FAB Director of Strategic Marketing.

“With X‐FAB’s high quality TS-16949 manufacturing capability, we are poised to support SiC power device manufacturing for Monolith Semiconductor. We are fabricating SiC power devices using our existing 150mm silicon production facility, and this will break the primary cost barriers and allow proliferation of SiC power devices.”

Monolith Semiconductor will offer 900 ‐1700V SiC diodes and MOSFETs and is preparing for SiC power device sampling in early 2015.



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