Rohm Semiconductor announced plans to build a new production plant at the Apollo plant in Chikugo, Japan. Expanded production capacity is designed to meet the growing demand for SiC power devices.
SiC is a relatively new material whose characteristics provide comprehensive possibilities for power electronics applications. SiC voltage converters consume less loss than traditional silicon voltage converters. Compared with silicon chips, SiC can also achieve smaller modules, components and systems. Therefore, the demand for the most energy-efficient equipment is increasing, and the demand for SiC components will certainly increase in the coming years.
Experts estimate that by 2021, the global silicon carbide market will exceed $1 billion. The largest share of these are power applications such as power conditioners, battery chargers for electric cars and power grids. However, the main inverter of electric vehicles is also an important part of the market potential of SiC components.
As early as 2010, Rohm saw the potential of silicon carbide and began mass production of SiC Schottky diodes, SiC power devices such as MOSFETs. In addition, Rohm was the first supplier to manufacture complete SiC power modules and SiC trench MOSFETs.
In the future, Rohm aims to win the largest share of the global SiC wafers market. To achieve this goal, production capacity must greatly increase. For this reason, the production efficiency is increased by further increasing the wafer size and using the latest equipment. Second, new factories or buildings need to be built. For example, Apollo’s new three-story building will increase production area by approximately 11,000 square meters, and construction is expected to start in February 2019 and be completed by the end of 2020.