Infineon is Building World’s Largest 200mm SiC Fab in Malaysia

The construction of Kulim 3 is expected to create 900 jobs, with a focus on hiring local talent.

Introduction:

In the dynamic landscape of semiconductor manufacturing, the race to enhance capacity is fervent, and companies are strategically positioning themselves to meet the escalating demand for innovative technologies. A noteworthy player in this arena is Infineon, the power-electronics giant, which is on track to unveil the world’s largest 200 mm Silicon Carbide (SiC) fab – Kulim 3 – in the third quarter of this year in Malaysia.

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Background:

The SiC industry is witnessing a surge in in-house manufacturing, particularly driven by the soaring sales of electric vehicles (EVs). SiC power devices play a pivotal role in on-board chargers and DC-DC converters in these vehicles.

Infineon’s response to this demand includes the construction of Kulim 3, a state-of-the-art SiC fab in Kulim, Malaysia.

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Key Features of Kulim 3:

1. Size and Capacity:

Boasting the title of the world’s largest 200 mm SiC fab, Kulim 3 is a testament to Infineon’s commitment to expanding its production capabilities.

With a footprint and capacity unmatched in the industry, the facility is positioned to meet the burgeoning demand for SiC power devices.

2. Investment and Funding:

Initially supported by €2 billion in internal funding, the plans for Kulim 3 received a substantial boost last summer with an additional €5 billion injection for building and equipment.

This financial commitment underscores Infineon’s dedication to staying at the forefront of SiC manufacturing.

3. Timeline:

The construction of Kulim 3 is progressing according to schedule, with the completion of the first phase anticipated in the third quarter of 2024.

Over the subsequent five years, the second phase will be undertaken to further enhance the facility’s capabilities.

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4. Strategic Location:

Situated adjacent to two of Infineon’s existing 200 mm silicon fabs, Kulim 3 strategically capitalizes on the company’s long-standing investment in Malaysia.

The country, particularly through Siemens, has been a manufacturing hub for Infineon for almost 50 years.

5. Collaboration with Government:

Infineon’s positive relationship with the Malaysian government, particularly with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), has facilitated swift approvals for water and electricity supply to the site.

The company’s strong presence in Malaysia is a result of continuous collaboration and support.

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6. Employment and Training:

The construction of Kulim 3 is expected to create 900 jobs, with a focus on hiring local talent. To bridge the skills gap, Infineon engages in partnerships with local universities and polytechnics, offering internships and final year projects.

A mentorship program ensures that graduating engineers prepare well for the specific requirements of SiC manufacturing.

7. Technology Advancements:

The incorporation of Cold Split technology, acquired from Siltectra in 2018, contributes to increased margins in the SiC manufacturing process.

This technology enables the reduction of losses in raw material, further enhancing the efficiency of the production process.

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Future Outlook:

Design wins totaling €5 billion, evenly distributed between the electric vehicle and industrial sectors, reinforce Infineon’s investment in Kulim 3.

The company aims to secure a 30 percent share of the SiC power market, valued at around €20 billion, by the end of the decade.

Furthermore, Kulim 3 is set to contribute to the advancement of Gallium Nitride (GaN) products, broadening the facility’s range of semiconductor offerings.

Conclusion:

The construction of Kulim 3 signifies more than just an expansion in manufacturing capacity for Infineon; it represents a strategic move to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving semiconductor industry. The collaborative efforts with the Malaysian government, focus on local talent development, and the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies position Infineon as a key player in shaping the future of SiC manufacturing in Malaysia and beyond.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
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