AES Semigas


19 March 2024

Mersen gains €12m in European funding to develop polycrystalline SiC substrate manufacturing

Mersen of Courbevoie, France (which focuses on electrical power and advanced materials for high-tech industries) is to benefit from subsidies totaling over €12m under the European Commission’s Important Project of Common European Interest program in MicroElectronics and Communication Technologies (IPCEI ME/CT).

The funding is provided by the French government as part of the ‘France 2030’ plan to develop industrial competitiveness and the technologies of the future. It covers both the R&D and industrial production phases of the p-SiC (polycrystalline silicon carbide) manufacturing process.

These polycrystalline silicon carbide substrates will be manufactured at Mersen’s production plant in Gennevilliers, France, where the firm plans to invest about €85m between 2023 and 2025 and hire 80-100 staff. Already considered as part of Mersen’s 2027 strategic plan (announced in March 2023), this agreement will enable the firm to reach a potential manufacturing capacity of 400,000 wafers (150mm-equivalent) by 2027.

Combined with a monocrystalline silicon carbide active layer, the low-resistivity p-SiC polycrystalline silicon carbide substrate is used by manufacturers of SiC power semiconductors to improve production yields and transistor performance, leading to a smaller carbon footprint for the device.

Mersen says that the funding positions it as a major supplier of the new technology of engineered substrate manufacturer Soitec of Bernin, near Grenoble, France, as part of the strategic partnership signed between the two companies in 2021 to develop a new family of substrates for the electric vehicle market.

The funding “illustrates the importance of Mersen in the French semiconductor value chain ecosystem,” says Mersen’s CEO Luc Themelin. “Thanks to its expertise in advanced materials, the group is a key player in the manufacturing of silicon carbide semiconductors, one of the group’s key growth drivers for its 2027 roadmap.”

See related items:

Soitec and Mersen partner to develop poly-SiC substrates for EV market

Tags: Mersen



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