Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has agreed with Coherent Corp. to invest USD 500 million in a new silicon carbide (SiC) business to be carved out from Coherent, aiming to expand its SiC power device business by strengthening vertical collaboration with Coherent, who has been a supplier of SiC substrates to Mitsubishi Electric.
The electric vehicle market is expanding worldwide and is one of several emerging applications driving the exponential growth of SiC power devices, which offer lower energy loss, higher operating temperatures and faster switching speeds than conventional silicon power devices. The high efficiency of SiC power devices is expected to contribute significantly to global decarbonization and green transformation.
Mitsubishi Electric has been a leader in SiC power modules for high-speed trains, high-voltage industrial applications, and home appliances for many years. The company made history by launching the world’s first SiC power modules for air conditioners in 2010, and became the first supplier of a full SiC power module for Shinkansen high-speed trains in 2015. Mitsubishi Electric has also accumulated extensive expertise by meeting market needs for advanced performance and high reliability by deploying superior processing, screening, etc. for the development and manufacture of SiC power modules.
Mitsubishi Electric has been procuring high-quality 150mm SiC substrates from Coherent for the production of SiC power modules for many years. In addition to developing high-quality 200mm SiC substrates with Coherent, Mitsubishi Electric plans to invest approximately 100 billion yen to construct a new 200mm SiC wafer plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan beginning in 2026.
By further deepening its collaboration with Coherent through this investment, Mitsubishi Electric aims to stabilize its procurement of SiC substrates for SiC power modules, for which demand is forecasted to grow rapidly, and thereby expand its supply of reliable high-performance SiC power devices to meet rising global demand.
Dr. Masayoshi Takemi, Executive Officer, Group President, Semiconductor & Device of Mitsubishi Electric, said: “Demand for SiC power semiconductors is expected to grow exponentially as the global market for electric vehicles increases in line with the transition to a decarbonized world. To capitalize on this trend, we have decided to expand our SiC power semiconductor production capacity, including by constructing a 200mm wafer plant in the Shisui area of Kumamoto Prefecture. We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Coherent by investing in this new SiC company, which will provide us with a stable supply of high-quality SiC substrates essential for our increased supply capacity.”
Original – Mitsubishi Electric