Mitsubishi Electric Begins Large-Diameter Power Semiconductors and Constructs New 12-inch Wafer Line
🟩 Mitsubishi Electric Begins Large-Diameter Power Semiconductors
Mitsubishi Electric will build a new 12-inch wafer line at its power semiconductor plant in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Conventional power semiconductor front-processing consisted of 6-inch and 8-inch lines, but the company plans to double its production capacity, including the increase in wafer diameter.
🟩 Increased demand for power semiconductors
With an orientation toward energy conservation and environmental protection, the realization of a low-carbon society has become a global theme. Therefore, the demand for power semiconductors that efficiently control power is increasing. The company will start to increase the diameter of wafers, which had been lagging behind the European market, with the aim of increasing production capacity and reducing costs.
🟩 Newly established at the Fukuyama plant acquired from Sharp
The Fukuyama plant, which was acquired from Sharp, is now switching to power semiconductor manufacturing. Production of power semiconductors is scheduled to start operations from November 2021. A pilot line for 12-inch wafers will be introduced at the Fukuyama plant. The total investment amount of the Fukuyama Plant is approximately 20 billion yen, including land and building acquisition costs.
🟩 Rivals also become 12 inches
The world share of power semiconductors is dominated by Infineon of Germany. In the second place or lower, Japanese and overseas teams are competing for market share.
Developments in Europe
As for the 12-inch wafer, Infineon of Germany is leading the way in mass production. Switzerland’s STMiC is also building a 12-inch wafer factory in Italy.
Movements of the Japanese Nation
Toshiba is promoting the introduction of a pilot line for 12-inch wafers at its plant in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Toshiba plans to start operations of its 12-inch line in the first half of fiscal 2023. In addition, while Fuji Electric will continue to develop 12-inch technologies, it intends to accelerate investment centered on 8-inch for the time being.
Mitsubishi Electric has embarked on a larger diameter of12-inch wafers to meet the demand for power semiconductors.
Since the market share of power semiconductors is balanced among each company, there is still a possibility that the market share will change significantly due to cost competition and other factors. Since 300mm wafers are widely used in areas other than power semiconductors, from a long-term perspective, costs should definitely be reduced by increasing the diameter to a larger diameter. I hope that the Japanese side will also make a solid investment so that it is not left behind by manufacturers around the world.