How ST strategizes SiC to power the future of EVs

An article by Anne-Françoise Pelé for EETIMES – STMicro sees SiC technologies as the accelerator for the electrification of road transport.

The electrification of road transport is a necessary step for achieving carbon-neutrality objectives. As the demand for silicon carbide (SiC) wafers accelerates, STMicroelectronics (ST) has applied recent investments in its manufacturing facilities and expanded its partnership with Soitec on SiC substrate manufacturing technology.

Silicon carbide, a wide-bandgap semiconductor, has been a technology accelerator for electric vehicles (EVs), increasing the power density of EV electronics systems while reducing the vehicles’ overall weight, size and cost.

Tesla kicked off the SiC power device market in 2018, when it became the first carmaker to use SiC MOSFETs in its Model 3. Supplied by ST, the device was integrated with an in-house–designed inverter. SiC is now the material of choice for EVs, and market research firm Yole Group predicts that the EV/hybrid-vehicle market will represent more than 70% of the SiC market, equating to $4.7 billion, in 2027.

The sustained demand for SiC wafers is such that IDMs like ST, Infineon and onsemi are adjusting their strategies to meet the requirements of automotive OEMs. And the adjustments are paying off. The French-Italian group generated about $700 million in SiC revenue in 2022, with a plan to be above $1 billion in 2023.