Wolfspeed opens the world’s first silicon carbide chip factory
Wolfspeed, Inc. has opened the world’s largest silicon carbide semiconductor manufacturing facility in New York.
The business was renamed from Cree in October 2021 following a four-year transformation that saw the divestiture of two-thirds of the business and a repositioning of the overall core business strategy.
Wolfspeed has been the brand of the company’s silicon carbide materials and semiconductor devices business unit for six years, while the company itself has a 30-year heritage.
Wolfspeed hopes the 200mm wafer fabrication facility will help lead an industry-wide transition from silicon to more energy-efficient silicon carbide-based semiconductors.
These silicon carbide chips are particularly important for the growing global market for electric vehicles, as the technology they offer provides additional range for vehicles. No wonder then to see Eric Bach, Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer at Lucid Engines, during the inauguration ceremony. Lucid has signed a multi-year agreement with Wolfspeed to supply silicon carbide devices, with the Lucid Air Grand Touring having an official range of 516 miles – compared to the current industry leader Tesla Model 3 Long range model that reaches a maximum of 358 miles. This gives the Lucid 44% more range.
“We are honored to be joined by these government, community and industry leaders in celebrating Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley Fab, New York State’s economic competitiveness and American chip manufacturing,” said declared Gregg Lowe, President and CEO of Wolfspeed.
“I am incredibly proud of the team and all of our partners, who have brought this monumental fab to life in such a short time. This fab will not only deliver customers in 2022, but will also support America’s long-term competitiveness.