ST to build new 200 mm SiC fab in China

08 June 2023
The new fab in Chongqing, China will be a 200 mm SiC semiconductor with ST and Sanan investing about $3.2 billion over the next 5 years. Source: STMicroelectronics

European semiconductor giant STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement with Sanan Optoelectronics to build a new 200 mm silicon carbide (SiC) manufacturing joint venture (JV) in Chongqing, China.

The move comes just a few days after ST finalized a deal with GlobalFoundries to build a new 300 mm fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD SOI) semiconductor manufacturing plant in Crolles, France, adjacent to its existing facility at that location.

Sanan develops SiC, optical communications, radio frequency (RF) and gallium arsenide (GaN) semiconductors and will in parallel build and operate separately a 200 mm SiC substrate manufacturing facility to support the JVs needs using its own SiC substrate process. The facility is expected to begin production in late 2025 with the full buildout slated for 2028, ST said.

Under the agreement, the JV will make SiC devices exclusively for STMicroelectronics using its proprietary SiC manufacturing process technology. It will also serve as a dedicated foundry to ST to support demand from Chinese customers, the company said.

The full build of the 200 mm SiC JV fab will be about $3.2 billion including capital expenditures of about $2.4 billion over the next 5 years. It will be financed through ST and Sanan, the Chongqing government and loans.

Why it is important

The SiC market is on fire right now. Every company manufacturing the technology is not just rapidly expanding production, but they are securing long term supply agreements with vendors in the automotive supply chain.

SiC devices are increasingly being used in electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging stations as the technology has shown to have higher efficiency, faster charge times and enable longer battery life than silicon semiconductors. With the automotive market rapidly transitioning to electrification, SiC devices have become a hot commodity in the supply chain and companies are expanding production and agreements to meet anticipated demand.

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.

Demand expected

Companies are banking on this growth as OnSemi signed a 10-year SiC agreement with automotive electric equipment maker Vitesco Technologies. Onsemi also pledged to expand its SiC production at one of its fabs with a new $2 billion investment after making a different supply deal with EV charger maker Kempower.

X-Fab said it would expand its Lubbock, Texas, chip fab by $200 million for more SiC devices and Bosch acquired U.S. semiconductor foundry TSI Semiconductors to expand its own portfolio of SiC chips through the end of 2030. Bosch gave the anticipated automotive electrification transition as the reason for the acquisition.

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.

To contact the author of this article, email

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the GlobalSpec
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter