Soitec, a world leader in innovative semiconductor materials, today inaugurates its new plant in Bernin, near Grenoble, in the presence of Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Roland Lescure, French Minister Delegate for Industry.
Soitec has developed its SmartSiC™ technology as a response to vehicle electrification challenges.
The technology, based on silicon carbide (SiC), sets a new standard with improved efficiency for energy conversion systems. Thanks to its reduced energy losses, better thermal management and improved power density, the material increases the range and performance of electric vehicles.
Through the application of SmartCutTM technology, each SiC substrate can be used 10 times.
As a result, SmartSiCTM enables electric vehicles to achieve ranges above 500 km, compared with an average 350 km for vehicles using silicon IGBT alternatives while also reducing CO2 emissions during wafer manufacturing by 70% compared to monocrystalline SiC substrates.
Development of the technology began in 2020 in partnership with CEA-Leti and has received financial support from the French state, the region, local authorities and the European Union.
A New Production Facility in Step With Soitec’s Ambition
The new plant will have a 2,500 m2 footprint and a final production capacity of 500,000 SmartSiCTM wafers per year.
It will contribute to Soitec’s strategy of sustainable growth towards a threefold expansion of addressable markets by 2030, reinforcing the company’s leadership position in the strategic semiconductor materials market.
The new plant will lead to the creation of 400 direct jobs, while also reinforcing the attractiveness and dynamism of the “French Silicon Valley” ecosystem.
Pierre Barnabé, chief executive officer of Soitec, stated: “More than ever we are ready to establish our SmartSiCTM technology as a new standard in semiconductor materials for coming generations of electric cars. This plant will enable us to meet growing demand for silicon carbide and achieve a 30% market share by 2030, while helping to make electric mobility more efficient and affordable. Completed in record time, it is the embodiment of our industrial performance and our future-facing strategy, based on the expansion of our product and technology portfolio.
This is also an important day for our region, which is once again showing its dynamic and exemplary approach to industrial innovation, with technologies designed, developed, and manufactured within our ecosystem. We will create jobs and continue to showcase French and European knowhow in global semiconductor markets.”