Soitec & Applied Materials Collaborate on Next-Generation SiC Substrates

Soitec, a manufacturer of innovative semiconductor materials, has announced a joint development program with Applied Materials on next-generation silicon carbide substrates. Demand for silicon carbide-based chips has been rising, particularly in electric vehicles, telecommunication, and industrial applications; however, adoption has been limited due to challenges related to supply, yield and cost of silicon carbide substrates. Soitec will be working with Applied Materials to develop substrates that can overcome these challenges and bring increased value to the industry.

The development program will combine Soitec’s leadership in engineered substrates with that of Applied Materials, the leader in materials engineering solutions. Whilst Soitec will leverage its proprietary Smart CutTM technology - currently, in use for the manufacture of Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) products largely adopted by chipmakers, Applied Materials will bring process technology and equipment expertise.

Under the development program, the companies will install a silicon carbide engineered substrate pilot line at the Substrate Innovation Center located at CEA-Leti. The line is expected to be operational by the first half of 2020, with the goal of producing silicon carbide wafer samples using Soitec’s Smart CutTM technology in the second half of 2020.

Soitec’s Smart CutTM technology and 30 years of experience, together with Applied Materials’ great leadership in materials engineering, can enable the development of robust technology and boost the silicon carbide supply chain.

Electric vehicles are a key focus for Audi. The future of mobility will be electric – based on technology innovations beginning at the semiconductor material and substrate level. Silicon carbide can enable higher power density and better efficiency semiconductors in these electric vehicles.