Silicon Carbide MOSFETs for EVs and Renewable Energy

Technology advances are once-in-a-generation events for semiconductor businesses, and those that accept them stand to reap enormous profits.

Cree, now Wolfspeed, stands to benefit from the trend towards silicon carbide power devices. Their innovations in device design and production allow them to manufacture smaller chips with equal power ratings on each wafer – thus expanding capacity per wafer.

Power Devices

Wolfspeed silicon carbide MOSFETs are an integral component of electric vehicle power systems, offering similar high efficiency to silicon (Si) MOSFETs but with reduced voltage loss and temperature capability as well as requiring less cooling for operation in extreme environmental conditions – translating to smaller designs with lower cost per watt.

Wolfspeed Technologies was initially founded as Cree in 1987 and since has led the world in adopting silicon carbide technologies to promote efficient energy usage and ensure sustainable future. Their product lines span electric vehicle materials and devices for fast charging, renewable energy storage, storage capacity needs and more – harnessing hard work, collaboration and passion for innovation to unleash possibilities to transform our world for good.

As it completes its sale of lighting products business, RF Micro Devices Inc will focus on its core semiconductor businesses RF/GaN power semiconductors and EM. To meet anticipated demand, the company is expanding capacity with construction of new 200mm materials factory in Durham and expansion of Mohawk Valley fab in Marcy, NY.

Durham, North Carolina will soon become home to the largest silicon carbide materials fab in the world. It will specialize in producing 200mm wafers that are 1.7x larger than 150mm ones for more SiC chips on each device.

Ukládání energie

Energy storage is an indispensable technology that enables renewable energy systems like solar and wind to become more cost-efficient and power dense, as well as to decrease costs and sizes at residential, commercial and utility levels. From Schottky diodes to high-power modules such as WolfPACK series modules, Wolfspeed offers an array of SiC power devices designed to help system designers build more robust and reliable systems that comply with evolving efficiency standards.

Wolfspeed, as the world’s premier provider of silicon carbide power devices, is working closely with customers to facilitate this transition away from silicon towards SiC. Wolfspeed will expand their capacity to provide SiC wafers and semiconductors at their new John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide in Chatham County North Carolina (the “JP”) which will be 10X larger than their existing 200mm Fab in Durham NC as part of IPCEI (Industrial Research & Development Initiative) framework.

Renesas’ $2 billion deposit will help fund both its JP and ongoing capacity expansion projects, such as building the world’s largest 200mm silicon carbide materials fab at its Durham campus, currently under construction. Renesas recently also announced its strategic partnership with ZF to jointly develop and co-finance an IPCEI device fab in Saarland, Germany that will feature 200mm device production. This facility will mark Europe’s first commercial power electronics facility.

Wide Bandgap Power Electronics

Wide and ultra-wide bandgap power semiconductors are revolutionizing how electronic devices operate. Compared with standard silicon power semiconductors, wide bandgap devices are smaller and can handle higher current while reducing switching and conduction losses; enabling system designers to achieve increased energy efficiency and greater power density across high-volume applications such as electric vehicles (EV), renewable energy storage facilities, charging infrastructure infrastructures and industrial power supplies; they even benefit train and traction drives!

As an example, power modules equipped with Wolfspeed SiC MOSFETs can reduce both size and weight while increasing output by 67% for an electric vehicle inverter – helping automakers extend its range.

SiC transistors enable more compact and efficient railcar power systems by operating at higher voltages and temperatures while improving performance – leading to reduced capital and operational costs.

Wolfspeed, as the premier provider of wide-bandgap power semiconductors, holds an estimated $40 billion opportunity pipeline and continues to capture design-ins (customer commitments to purchase products used as an indicator for forecasting long-term demand and future revenue) at an increasing rate. To meet growing market needs, Wolfspeed is rapidly increasing capacity through greenfield fabs and facilities to meet customer demand.


As more automotive OEMs turn towards electric vehicles (EVs), silicon carbide power electronics have quickly been implemented to deliver higher performance, longer range and faster charging capabilities – and silicon carbide could become an integral part of their strategy.

Electric Vehicles operate with multiple voltages: propulsion system, heating/AC/window lifts/ etc all need to be powered in real-time by the DC/DC unit on board; Silicon Carbide devices in this unit allow higher voltage operation while being more energy-efficient and reliable than their silicon-based counterparts.

Global automotive leader General Motors chose Wolfspeed as its partner. In April 2023, both parties signed an Assurance of Supply ProgramTM agreement providing long-term access to Wolfspeed semiconductor products used in future EV models from General Motors’ Ultium Drive unit.

Mercedes-Benz also uses Wolfspeed’s XM3 silicon carbide power modules in their award-winning electric motors and inverters, featuring very low switching losses, minimal resistance and high power density that helps maximize efficiency while prolonging battery life. Produced at Wolfspeed’s state-of-the-art Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, New York which boasts the world’s largest 200mm silicon carbide device fabrication facility – significantly increasing their production capacity – the modules help maximize efficiency while prolonging battery life while maximizing efficiency while prolonging battery life while simultaneously increasing battery life spans while increasing efficiency – two key aspects to maximize battery performance and lengthen battery life respectively.

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