To boost SiC supply, Bosch acquires US semiconductor foundry

27 April 2023
TSI Semiconductor’s Roseville, California facility where it will receive a infusion of $1.5 billion to produce 200mm SiC wafers. Source: Bosch

Citing rising demand for silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors, Bosch plans to acquire assets of Roseville, California, chipmaker TSI Semiconductors.

TSI is a foundry for application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), producing large volumes of chips on 200 mm silicon wafers. These chips are used in mobility, telecommunications, energy and life sciences applications. Bosch is targeting a 2026 start date for the first chips to be produced on 200 mm wafers based on material SiC technology.

Additionally, Bosch said it will invest more than $1.5 billion in the Roseville site and convert the TSI Semiconductors manufacturing facilities to state-of-the-art processes. However, this will be dependent upon if federal funding opportunities become available through the recently passed CHIPS and Science Act that will offer $52 billion in investments and subsidies for semiconductor companies building new fabs or extending fabs in the U.S.

Bosch said it is reinforcing its chip business and plans to significantly extend the global portfolio of SiC chips through the end of 2030. Bosch is anticipating that the transition to electrification in the automotive market will accelerate the need and demand for SiC semiconductors in the next 10 to 15 years.

International network

Beginning in 2026 and after Bosch has retooled the Roseville location, Bosch plans to reinforce its international chip manufacturing network. The first SiC chips will be produced on 200 mm wafers in a facility with about 10,000 square meters of cleanroom space.

Bosch is also expanding its Reutlingen, Germany location that will also produce semiconductors on 200 mm wafers. By the end of 2025, the Reutlingen cleanroom space will grow from 35,000 square meters to more than 44,000 square meters.

The Reutlingen campus will be expanded along with Bosch’s Dresden, Germany, facility to the tune of $3 billion. Part of the plans for the Bosch investment is in the construction of two new development centers located in Reutlingen and Dresden, Germany, with a combined investment of $171 million.

The investment comes after Bosch invested $1.2 billion in the Dresden fab last year and then announced it would further expand the Dresden fab to the tune of an additional $463 million. This expansion would be dedicated to ramping up production at the fab sooner than expected.

Demand rising

The automotive market is in the largest transition in its history as it moves to convert most of its fleet to electrified models. By 2025, Bosch expects to have an average of 25 of its chips integrated into every new vehicle with many of these chips being silicon carbide.

The market for SiC chips is growing by 30% a year on average and in electric vehicles (EVs), SiC chips enable greater range and more efficient recharging, as they use up to 50% less energy than traditional silicon semiconductors.

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