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12 November 2018

Infineon acquires wafering technology firm Siltectra

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

Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG has acquired wafering technology start-up Siltectra GmbH of Dresden, Germany for €124m in an agreement with the main shareholder, venture capital investor MIG Fonds.

Siltectra was founded in 2010 and has been growing an IP portfolio with more than 50 patent families. The start-up has developed Cold Split technology for splitting crystalline materials efficiently and with minimal loss of material compared with common sawing technologies. The technology can be applied to silicon carbide (SiC), for which rapidly rising demand is expected in the coming years. SiC products are already used in very efficient and compact solar inverters, and in the future SiC is expected to play an increasingly important role in electro-mobility. Cold Split technology will be industrialized at the existing Siltectra site in Dresden and at the Infineon site in Villach, Austria. The transfer to volume production is expected to be completed within the next five years.

Infineon aims to use Cold Split technology to split silicon carbide wafers, doubling the number of chips that can be made from one wafer.

“Our system understanding and our unique know-how on thin wafer technology will be ideally complemented by the Cold Split technology and the innovative capacity of Siltectra,” says Infineon’s CEO Dr Reinhard Ploss. “The higher number of SiC wafers will make the ramp-up of our SiC products much easier, especially regarding further expansion of renewable energies and the increasing adoption of SiC for use in the drive train of electrical vehicles,” he adds.

“We are glad to become part of the team of the global market leader in power semiconductors,” comments Siltectra’s chief technology officer Dr Jan Richter. “Having shown that the Cold Split technology can be used at Infineon in principle, we will now work together to transfer it to volume production,” he adds.

“Since we invested in Siltectra more than eight years ago, we have always believed in the Cold Split technology and the great team,” comments Michael Motschmann, general partner of MIG Fonds’ administrator MIG AG. “We are very pleased that we found Infineon as a buyer who fits perfectly technologically as well as culturally to the company.”

Infineon offers a broad product portfolio of power semiconductors based on silicon as well as silicon carbide and gallium nitride substrates. It is claimed to be the only company worldwide with volume production on 300mm silicon thin wafers, and is positioned to apply the thin wafer technology to SiC products too. It is expected that Cold Split technology will help it to secure a supply of SiC products, especially in the long term. Over time, further applications of Cold Split could emerge, such as boule splitting or application to materials other than silicon carbide, it is reckoned.

See related items:

SILTECTRA prepares to launch outsourced wafering services business

SILTECTRA reports application of COLD SPLIT wafer thinning technology to GaAs

Siltectra’s new patents extend SiC process to split substrates with sub-100μm material loss

SILTECTRA validates twinned SiC wafer produced using COLD SPLIT laser-based wafer thinning technique

Tags: Infineon SILTECTRA SiC GaAs substrates

Visit: www.SILTECTRA.com

Visit: www.infineon.com

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