August 2, 2023 /SemiMedia/ -- Japanese auto supplier Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. will start producing energy-efficient silicon carbide wafers for next-generation semiconductors that are expected to extend the range of electric vehicles by 10%, according to Nikkei Asia.

The report pointed out that Sumitomo Electric plans to invest about 30 billion yen (about 214 million U.S. dollars) to pay for the construction of a new factory in Toyama Prefecture, which will start mass production of silicon carbide wafers in 2027. The investment amount will also be used to expand the production capacity of the existing factory in Hyogo Prefecture.

Through investment, Sumitomo Electric hopes to produce 120,000 6-inch wafers per year. These wafers are used in electric vehicle semiconductors that control the current and voltage in the motors. In addition to electric vehicles, it can also be used in communication base stations, low-orbit satellites, energy, charging stations, and rail transit.