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4 June 2018

ROHM plans new building at Apollo Plant to expand silicon carbide production capacity

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Power semiconductor maker ROHM of Kyoto, Japan plans a new production building at its Apollo plant in Chikugo, Japan. The expanded production capacity is intended to meet the growing demand for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices.

The properties of SiC offer comprehensive applications in power electronics. SiC-based voltage converters have significantly less losses than conventional silicon-based converters. SiC also enables significantly smaller modules, components and systems than silicon. The increasing demand for the most energy-efficient devices possible will therefore increase demand for SiC components in the coming years, says ROHM.

The global SiC market is forecasted to exceed $1bn by 2021. The largest share comprises power supply applications, such as power conditioners, battery chargers for electric vehicles and the power grid. However, the main inverter of electric vehicles also represents a significant part of the market potential for SiC components.

In 2010 ROHM started mass production of SiC power components such as SiC Schottky diodes and MOSFETs. In addition, it claims to have been was the first supplier to produce complete SiC power modules and SiC trench MOSFETs. The firm has also introduced a vertically integrated production system throughout the group, spanning the entire manufacturing process from SiC wafers through devices to packaging.

ROHM says that it is targeting the top market share in SiC wafers and components, and hence its production capacity must be greatly increased. Production efficiency is to be improved by further increasing wafer size and using the latest equipment. Secondly, constructing a new factory or building is also necessary. The new three-storey building at Apollo will increase production area by about 11,000m2. With detailed planning having just begun, construction is scheduled to begin in February 2019 and be completed by the end of 2020.

Going forward, the ROHM Group will continue to ensure stable product supply by quickly understanding market conditions and strengthening production capacity while implementing multi-site production, inventory control, and disaster prevention activities.

Tags: Rohm SiC Schottky barrier diodes SiC power MOSFET

Visit: www.rohm.com

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