Foxconn enters SiC power chip business

August 05, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Foxconn enters SiC power chip business
The world’s largest contract manufacturer is to enter the market for silicon carbide (SiC) power chips through a $900m deal with Macronix in Taiwan.

Hai Hon Technology, which trades as Foxconn, is to buy a 150mm (6in) wafer fab in Hsincu, Taiwan, from memory maker Macronix for NT$2.52bn (US$900m). The fab will be repurposed for SiC power devices after the deal closes by the end of 2021.

“The acquisition of the 6-inch wafer fab in Hsinchu Science Park officially signals Foxconn’s entry into the manufacture and development of wide band gap semiconductors, especially SiC, paving the way for a long-term commitment to semiconductor development,” said Young Liu, Chairman and CEO of Foxconn.

This will be key for the company’s ambitions to make electric vehicles for customers in the same way it makes PCs and Apple iPhones. The deal follows Texas Instruments buying Micron's memmory fab in Utah, also for $900m, to boost its power and analogue device capacity. The deal will also put Foxconn in direct competition with STMicroelectronics in both sale of SiC devices and for SiC wafers.

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“The manufacturing of SiC is in line with Foxconn’s 3+3 strategy (EV, digital health, Robotics + AI, semiconductor, advanced communication). SiC MOSFET is an important device for EV, while EV occupies the No.1 position in Foxconn’s 3+3 strategy,” said Liu at Foxconn. “The 6-inch wafer fab will function as S Business Group’s headquarters in Hsinchu, the world famous semiconductor cluster, enabling closer partnership with the semiconductor companies based in the Hsinchu Science Park.” This includes TSMC which is a major supplier to Foxconn.

The deal will see Macronix focus on its 300mm (12in) wafer capacity for memory devices.

“To enhance advanced technology and global competitiveness, Macronix will focus on 12-inch wafer business, especially R&D and manufacturing of the advanced 3D NAND Flash and NOR Flash products after capacity expansion,” said Miin Wu, Chairman and CEO of Macronix.

“Macronix is pleased to see the subject 6-inch wafer fab continue to make its contribution to Taiwan as Foxconn commits to have the fab be used as an important base for Foxconn to reinforce its semiconductor development plan and to meet the demand of electric vehicles. Considering that Macronix is advancing to take the lead in the global automotive electronics market, a closer collaboration between Macronix and Foxconn in the near future may be anticipated”, said Wu.

In addition to SiC power MOSFET, Foxconn confirmed that the fab will manufacture silicon wafer products, such as MEMS, for electric vehicles and digital health.

www.macronix.com; www.honhai.com

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