SMC Diode Solutions, an American-led semiconductor design and manufacturing company, celebrated the opening of its second power discrete fab in Nanjing, China. The new facility realized volume production only 21 months after groundbreaking in September of 2022, and will begin shipments to customers in Q4 2024 for high power and high voltage rectifiers and MOSFET 6-inch and 8-inch wafers.

This new fab marks a milestone in SMC’s growth as they further invest in the China market and the growing renewable energy sector. The new 300,000 square foot facility is set to produce 1.2 million silicon wafers and 60,000 silicon carbide wafers per year, increasing SMC’s total production by over four times. SMC’s current fab in Lukou, Nanjing currently produces 300,000 silicon wafers per year. The $3 billion RMB investment in the new fab will allow SMC to handle the end-to-end production of silicon carbide products for the first time and has created three hundred new jobs.

“As the world moves towards using more and more renewable energy, we are thrilled to now be able to participate in the sector and be part of the solution to increase green energy usage and protect our Earth. We are very excited to have our new fab up and running and we look forward to servicing our customers’ needs better with the increased capacity.” – Dr. Yunji Corcoran, SMC chairwoman and chief executive officer.

As Nanjing is also home to SMC’s current fab, the city was an advantageous choice for the new fab location. With their experienced management team, starting up the new fab was a seamless process, allowing production to begin not long after breaking ground. The city is also home to abundant resources and engineering talent, making it an ideal place for SMC to grow and expand.

Power Semiconductors Weekly team had pleasure to interview Dr. Yunji Corcoran on this occasion:

  • The company history dates back to 1997. Can you tell us about some of the major milestones and your semiconductor journey so far?

Certainly. In the early stages of our company, from 1997 until about 2014, we focused on the US and South Korean markets. We were growing steadily, but remained focused on the quality of our products. From 2014 to 2019, we began to focus on active growth, but I consider this more of a preparation stage for our company’s expansion. We investigated ways to create better products and put more of our R&D efforts into new silicon and Silicon Carbide (SiC) products. We also began strengthening our salesforce globally. From 2019 on, we started shipping our new products, both silicon and SiC. Now, we have reached our most significant milestone to date: opening our second fab and quadrupling our production capabilities. We are beginning a new phase that will focus on growing our presence in the power semiconductor market. 

  • Today we see many semiconductor companies investing a lot of energy into the automotive, renewables, and AI applications. With a wide product line and a new wafer fab to support further expansion, what are your major areas of interest and how do you see them evolve in the coming years?

Automotive, renewables, and AI are extremely relevant markets for both our company and the overall semiconductor industry right now. AI requires a lot of power supply, so we plan to grow our power supply products in that area alongside our existing customers. Automotive and renewables are newer segments for us and the semiconductor market, but ones with incredibly high demand right now. The market is growing rapidly, so we are growing with aims to successfully compete in those areas as well. 

Our plan is to focus on our growth within the power supply market and naturally expand into the sustainable energy market. As the world continues to prioritize clean energy, the demand for EV and renewable energy products will also grow. Since SiC products in particular meet the specific power needs of those applications, a rise in the use of SiC products seems likely. I suspect the semiconductor industry will play a crucial role in providing more clean energy globally, which we are excited to be a part of. 

  • With the new fab you plan to address both silicon and silicon carbide markets? What is your view on the growing demand for SiC and how SMC Diode Solutions plan to correspond to it?

Yes, our new fab will produce both silicon and SiC products. Our current fab produces approximately 300,000 silicon wafers per year, but our new fab has the capability to produce a total of 1,260,000 wafers per year – 1,200,000 silicon and 60,000 SiC. We are very much focused on our silicon power products and view our SiC line as a natural extension of that. 

The growing demand for SiC products makes perfect sense. SiC is a material with remarkable properties. It is considered a “wide bandgap” material, which means that it requires more energy to excite electrons from the valence band to the conduction band compared to standard silicon semiconductors. As a result, it offers superior performance characteristics including higher reverse voltage capabilities and greater stability at high temperatures.

Overall, SiC-based products offer improved efficiency and reliability compared to traditional silicon counterparts. For a lot of newer applications, particularly in the sustainable energy sector, these capabilities have become more and more necessary. We see our new fab opening as a natural response to this demand, ande are increasing our capabilities to grow alongside the market.  

  • Today you have four major locations in China, South Korea, Germany and the USA. Do you plan to expand your network further?

Yes, definitely. We consider SMC to be a global company, and have a range of operations throughout the world, including our headquarters in China and other offices in the US, Germany, South Korea, the UK, and India. As we grow and gain customers throughout the world, we will continue to establish more locations, whether they are R&D, manufacturing, packaging, or sales offices. 

  • Speaking of the network and future growth opportunities. Both of your fabs are located in Nanjing. With many companies in the US already taking advantage of the CHIPS and Science Act, do SMC Diode Solutions have any considerations to join the rest and use this chance to strengthen the US presence?

It is exciting that governments are recognizing the importance of semiconductors through initiatives like the CHIPS and Science Act, and I think this will really bolster the industry as a whole. Right now, we’re focused on our manufacturing efforts in Asia, but are open to the possibility as we continue to grow. 

  • With the rise of the Chinese semiconductor industry and a very competitive landscape, how do you position your company and differentiate from the growing number of new entrants?

The key thing is our products. Our products stand out for their high quality and outstanding performance. Our team’s commitment to customer service really sets us apart as well. 

Our company also approaches the semiconductor market from a unique perspective. As a business with global locations and leadership, we deeply understand the needs of the international market. We prioritize high quality standards that the international market demands while benefiting from relatively low overall production costs, creating an ideal product for our customers. 

  • We see many companies in China, Europe, the US, shifting to the vertical structure and full integration of all processes – from growing the semiconductor boules to the packaging of the final product. What are your thoughts on such an approach and do you see it applicable for your company in the future as well?

I’ve also noticed this trend in the industry. While I can see the benefits of this approach for some, I would not anticipate applying it within SMC. I believe in focusing our efforts on what we’re able to do best. We have specialized in design and manufacturing for over 25 years and plan to continue that. 

We do have an existing silicon module line, so we are considering expanding into SiC modules in the future. However, for our company we believe it’s best to stay focused on the functions we currently have and prioritize delivering the highest quality product. 

  • And lastly, after the announcement of a new fab opening, many of your partners would be willing to engage in discussions to find out more. What trade shows or conferences in the second half of 2024 can they meet the company at?

We would love to engage in those discussions as well. You can find us with our own booth at Electronica 2024 this September in Munich, Germany and the Anaheim Electronics & Manufacturing Show (AEMS 2024) in Anaheim, California this October. We will also be attending ISCRM 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina this fall. 

More often than not, you will find someone from our company at any major semiconductor event. Feel free to contact us at for any questions or check our website updates to see where you can find us next.

Original – SMC Diode Solutions