Semiconductor Equipment

Onsemi to build $2 billion SiC fab in Czech Republic

21 June 2024
An artist rendering of the fab that will build silicon carbide power semiconductors for use in electric vehicles, renewables and AI-based data centers. Source: onsemi

In what is called one of the largest private sector investments in Czech Republic history, Onsemi plans to construct a vertically integrated silicon carbide (SiC) fabrication facility in the country. It will produce power semiconductors used in electric vehicles, renewable energy and artificial intelligence centers.

The new fab is due to Onsemi seeing ongoing increased demands for power chips capable of optimizing energy conversion and management in these sectors. Onsemi will invest up to $2 billion in the fab as part of its long-term capital expenditure target investments.

This builds on the current operation in the Czech Republic including:

  • Silicon crystal growth
  • Silicon and SiC wafer manufacturing
  • Current silicon wafer fab

"Our brownfield investment would establish a Central European supply chain to better service our customers’ rapidly increasing demand for innovative technologies that improve the energy efficiency in their applications,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and CEO, Onsemi. “Through a close collaboration with the Czech government, the expansion would also enhance our production of intelligent power semiconductors that are essential to helping ensure the European Union is able to achieve its ambitions to significantly reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact.”

Why it matters

SiC semiconductor demand is at fever pitch due to increasing investments in renewable energy and the ongoing transition of the automotive industry to all electrified fleets in the next 10 to 15 years. Because of this, automotive OEMs and other companies playing in these markets are making long-term strategic investments to guarantee supplies of SiC chips.

This includes a 10-year deal by Onsemi and Vitesco; a $2 billion investment between Onsemi and Kempower; Infineon’s multi-year deal with Kia and Hyundai; Renesas Electronic and Wolfspeed’s SiC wafer deal; and more.

Additionally, several chipmakers are expanding semiconductor manufacturing in hopes of demand soaring, including Bosch, Wolfspeed, Texas Instruments and ST Microelectronics.

Onsemi said by expanding its production facilities in the Czech Republic it will be able to provide supply assurance for its customers and claims it is one of the few companies globally to manufacturer SiC-based semiconductors from crystal growth to advanced packaging solutions.

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