Showa Denko acquire silicon carbide assets from NSSMC

Showa Denko to acquire silicon carbide assets from NSSMC

7:02 AM, 7th August 2017
SiC epitaxial wafer, the semiconductor wafer for power device application.
SiC epitaxial wafer, the semiconductor wafer for power device application.

TOKYO, JAPAN: Showa Denko K K (SDK) to acquire assets regarding the sublimation-recrystallization method to manufacture silicon carbide (SiC) wafers, from Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Materials Co Ltd (NSMAT).

SiC is a chemical compound in which carbon and silicon are combined in equal quantities. It has characteristics of both diamond and silicon, being hard and having excellent heat resistance and chemical stability.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of January 2018.

When compared with the mainstream silicon-based semiconductors, SiC-based power devices can operate under high-temperature, high-voltage, and high-current conditions, while substantially reducing energy loss. These features enable the production of smaller, lighter, and more energy efficient next-generation power control modules.

On the other hand, development of full-SiC-based power modules including MOSFET (metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) requires SiC wafers with fewer crystal defects and further cost reduction.

SDK initiated research and development of SiC epitaxial wafers in 2005, and now produces and sells 3,000 epitaxial wafers per month. This time, SDK aims to improve the quality of its products through the acquisition of assets currently owned by NSSMC.

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