Stuttgart/Munich the american corporation wolf speed builds the world’s largest plant for silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors in Saarland. The auto parts supplier takes a stake in the factory. YEAH with a minority share. The Handelsblatt learned this from circles familiar with the project.

Wolfspeed decided to build on the site of a former coal-fired power station in Ensdorf, several people familiar with the project confirmed. Serial production is scheduled to begin in four years. In addition, a common research center will be created YEAH keep most. The two companies declined to comment on the request. The Saarland state government also kept a low profile.

According to information from Handelsblatt, Wolfspeed wants to start construction work as soon as possible. However, the commitment of state subsidies is still missing. Subsidies are the prerequisite for engagement in Sarre. Semiconductor manufacturers generally use public funds to calculate 40 percent of total costs.

Wolfspeed’s latest work on the USA It cost about two billion dollars. The factory in Saarland will reportedly be significantly larger and therefore more expensive.

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It is good news, especially for the German car industry, that Wolfspeed has decided to have a factory in Germany. With the plant in the immediate vicinity of their European production sites, manufacturers can expect a reliable supply. The North Carolina group focuses on SiC chips like no other competitor. Silicon carbide is in demand around the world because it could help electromobility make a breakthrough.

Electric vehicles last longer with SiC chips

The material is more expensive than conventional silicon, but is seen as very promising. With SiC chips, electric vehicles last longer, can be charged faster and lower operating costs thanks to lower consumption. At the same time, SiC chips are smaller and lighter. Peter Fintl, semiconductor expert at technology consulting Capgeminisays: “Only by replacing the silicon with silicon carbide, the range can be increased by eight percent.”

major project

2

billion dollars

the last Wolfspeed plant in the US has cost. According to reports, the factory in Saarland will be significantly larger and therefore more expensive.

According to industry circles, the fact that Wolfspeed has chosen Saarland is mainly due to its partner ZF. With more than 9,000 employees, the automotive supplier is the largest employer in the region and can provide urgently needed staff for the new factory.

ZF has had good contacts with the Saarland state government for years thanks to its largest transmission plant based in Saarbrücken. The plant will be largely converted to electric drives. The state government is also supporting this transformation in order to preserve as many jobs as possible in the Saarland.

“Many of our European customers would like to have a plant close to them,” Wolfspeed boss Gregg Lowe told the Handelsblatt in November. “We’ve already seen a dozen locations here,” including in Germany. Now, apparently, the decision was made for Germany.

too the forest has entered into SiC chip production

A fall deal shows just how scarce silicon carbide is: auto supplier borg warner has invested half a billion dollars in Wolfspeed. Borg-Warner gets guaranteed access to SiC chips worth $650 million a year.

Many of our European customers would like to have a factory nearby. We’ve already seen a dozen locations here. Wolfspeed boss Gregg Lowe in November

Experts assume that the SiC business will recover strongly in the second half of the decade. However, customers fear that the production capacities will not be sufficient. Therefore, they enter into long-term agreements. Albert Waas, a chip expert at Boston Consulting Group, says: “It’s becoming increasingly important for companies to secure their supply chains.”

At the end of last year, the automobile company stellantis the wolf speed rival Infineon commissioned to deliver SiC chips with a total value of one billion euros as of 2025. last has Mercedes It signed an undisclosed volume supply agreement with Wolfspeed earlier this year.

Wolfspeed and ZF’s investment is also a declaration of war the forest. It was the largest car supplier in the world, except for its Japanese rival. dense, so far the only automotive supplier to produce chips itself. The Swabians also engaged in the production of SiC chips.

>> Read here: Bosch boss Hartung: “We are investing against the global semiconductor supply crisis”

At the main plant in Reutlingen, an additional 400 million euros will be invested by the end of 2025 to expand the cleanroom area from 35,000 to 44,000 square meters. Most of the expansion in Reutlingen serves to expand the production of power semiconductors made of silicon carbide.

Employees at the ZF plant in Saarbrücken

The transmission specialist from Friedrichshafen is involved in the new chip factory.

(Photo: imago images / Becker&Bredel)

With the knowledge and experience of the Americans, ZF is now picking up the pace and could even surpass Bosch in terms of fast-charging chips and range from 2027. Because Bosch manages all the technology from the integrated resources. Bosch’s goal is to become the world leader in the production of SiC chips for electromobility. The ZF-Wolfspeed combination complicates this project.

CEO Gregg Lowe only has the American authorities to thank for the fact that Wolfspeed still exists. Seven years ago, the Dax Group in Munich wanted to Infineon buy the company, the contracts were already signed. However, the US government prohibited the acquisition with reference to national security.

TSMC think of a new factory in Dresden

It would have been a very good deal for Infineon, strategically and financially. At the time, the Munich-based company wanted to pay 850 million dollars, today Wolfspeed is worth around ten billion dollars on the stock market. In the third quarter, the company had revenue of $241 million, up more than 50 percent year-over-year. The end result, however, was a loss of $26 million.

It is increasingly important for companies to secure their supply chains. Albert Waas, chip expert at Boston Consulting Group

CEO Lowe promises sales of $4 billion by 2027. By then, the American wants to spend around $6.5 billion on additional capacity.

In addition to its own SiC chips, the group also sells silicon carbide as a raw material to other manufacturers for their components. Clients include Infineon, ST Microelectronics and Onsemi.

Settling in the Saarland is important for Europe as a whole. Because the EU Commission has set itself the goal of doubling Europe’s share of global chip production to 20 percent by 2030. However, the US had recently attracted much more investment than Europe.

The largest investment in a new chip location in the EU has been so far intelligence Announced. The American group wants to spend 17 billion euros on two factories in Magdeburg. Infineon is also investing five billion in an additional plant in Dresden.

As with Wolfspeed, funding commitments for these projects are still pending; the start of construction depends on this. In addition, TSMC is considering a factory in Dresden. The Taiwanese are the world’s largest contract manufacturer and a major supplier to almost all of the leading chip companies.

More: Start of construction of Intel factories near Magdeburg delayed

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