X-Fab to expand Texas facility

16 May 2023

X-Fab plans to expand its Lubbock, Texas, semiconductor manufacturing facility by $200 million to help keep pace with demand for silicon-carbide (SiC) integrated circuits.

The Texas fab manufactures semiconductors for the automotive, medical and consumer industries, three of the hottest markets for chips.

X-Fab first established the Texas facility nearly 25 years ago and this new expansion will help to create up to 250 new jobs, the company said.

According to X-Fab, the SiC market is expected to grow about 35% per year over the next decade. There is currently not enough SiC capacity in the world right now to support that growth leading to the company expanding its fab in Texas.

According to market research firm TrendForce, the market for SiC power devices alone is set for significant growth this year to $2.28 billion, an increase of 41.4% from last year. By 2026, TrendForce forecasts SiC semiconductors to be worth about $5.33 billion.

SiC heating up

Not surprisingly, X-Fab is not the only company looking to expand SiC operations. Last month, Bosch acquired U.S. semiconductor foundry TSI Semiconductors to expand its own portfolio of SiC chips through the end of 2030.

One of the acquisition reasons Bosch gave was the anticipated transition to electrified models in the automotive market that will accelerate the need and demand for SiC semiconductors over the next 10 to 15 years.

In February, Wolfspeed Inc. said it would build its first semiconductor fab in Europe, a 200 mm wafer factory for SiC devices. The fab will be built in Saarland, Germany, and is part of Wolfspeed’s broader $6.5 billion capacity expansion effort that will also see the company expand its other SiC operations in the U.S.

Other companies like Texas Instruments and Skyworks are also accelerating plans to develop SiC semiconductors primarily for the automotive market but will play in other hot markets.

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