ST Microelectronics is to take a majority stake in Norstel. This acquisition is thought to secure the SiC supply for ST Microelectronics, not long after a SiC wafer supply agreement was signed between ST Microelectronics and Wolfspeed of Cree group.
ST Microelectronics is to take a majority stake in the Sweden based SiC wafer maker Norstel. ST Microelectronics already announced early January this year that they signed an agreement with Cree. This agreement guaranteed a several years long supply of SiC wafers for ST Microelectronics. It is now a new strategic move for ST Microelectronics.
The French-Italian chip maker will acquire 55% of Norstel now, and signed an agreement for a future acquisition of the 45% left.
ST Microelectronics can ben seen as a large leader of the SiC MOSFET market thanks to its second generation MOSFET used in Tesla Model 3 cars. They recently increased the production of their main Silicon Carbide devices production line from 800 wafers per week to 1000 wafers per week during Q4 2018 (source PntPower). Production volume should keep growing thanks to the need of devices for Tesla Model 3 and expected other Electric Vehicles in the future. ST Microelectronics’ strategy is to become a main leader in automotive power electronics thanks to their SiC MOSFETs product line.
Source and PntPower market analysis.