DURHAM, NC and ENSDORF, GERMANY – Wolfspeed, a global leader in Silicon Carbide technology, and ZF, a global technology company, have entered into a strategic partnership that includes the creation of a joint innovation lab in Germany and a significant investment by ZF for the construction of the world’s largest 200mm Silicon Carbide device fab in Ensdorf, Germany. The joint innovation lab will focus on real-world e-mobility and renewable energy challenges to develop breakthrough innovations for Silicon Carbide systems and devices. The device fab, which will be fully automated, is planned as part of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for Microelectronics and Communication Technologies framework.
The joint research facility will focus on the full value chain from chip to complete systems, with an emphasis on innovation for Silicon Carbide systems and devices for various mobility segments, including consumer, commercial, agricultural, and industrial vehicles as well as in the industrial and renewable energy markets. The collaboration aims to drive improvements in efficiency, power density, and performance of electrification solutions.
As part of the partnership, ZF will make a sizable financial investment in Wolfspeed in exchange for common stock, giving ZF a minority ownership position in the new fab. Wolfspeed will retain operational and management control rights in the facility. The partnership between the two companies combines Wolfspeed’s expertise in Silicon Carbide technology with ZF’s expertise in power electronics and systems.
“We have a strong partner in ZF, which brings industry-leading experience in scaling components for electric mobility as well as the aptitude to accelerate innovation in Silicon Carbide systems and power devices,” said Gregg Lowe, President and CEO of Wolfspeed. “I am confident this partnership will lift Silicon Carbide semiconductor technology to a new level of global impact, supporting increased sustainability and efficiency efforts across a multitude of industries.”
“Together, Wolfspeed and ZF combine expertise in power electronics and systems with a know-how in applications that is unparalleled in the industry,” said Stephan von Schuckmann, Member of the ZF Board of Management. “The close cooperation between fab and R&D center will enable us to develop breakthrough innovations beyond state of the art for the benefit of our customers.”