LED and semiconductor manufacturer Cree will invest up to $1 billion to expand its silicon carbide materials capability and wafer fabrication capacity. Slated for completion in 2024, the expansion will entail the development of an automated 200 mm silicon carbide fabrication facility and a materials factory in Durham, North Carolina.
The plan includes the buildout of an existing structure into a 253,000 square-foot facility, which will offer the company 18 times more surface area. Cree will convert its existing fabrication facility into a materials factory.
Cree CEO Gregg Lowe said, “This investment in equipment, infrastructure, and our workforce is capable of increasing our silicon carbide wafer fabrication capacity up to 30-fold and our materials production by up to 30-fold compared to Q1 of fiscal year 2017, which is when we began the first phase of capacity expansion.”
He continued, “These silicon carbide manufacturing mega-hubs will accelerate the innovation of today’s fastest growing markets by producing solutions that help extend the range and reduce the charge times for electric vehicles, as well as support the rollout of 5G networks around the world. By using existing facilities and installing a majority of refurbished tools, we believe we will be able to deliver a state-of-the-art 200 mm capable fab at approximately one-third of the cost of a new fab.”