Cree to build £803m silicon carbide device facility in New York, US

WCN Editorial Team 24 Sep 2019 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

US-based LED products and semiconductor maker Cree is planning to a build silicon carbide fabrication facility near Utica in New York, US, with an investment of $1bn (£803.4m).

Planned to be built over three years on the East Coast of the US, the plant will be equipped to manufacture silicon carbide wafers for automotive-qualified 200mm power and radio frequency semiconductors.

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2022, the project will receive $500m (£401.7m) in performance-based, capital grants from the New York State’s Empire State Development fund.

Empire State Development acting commissioner and president and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said: “We’re excited to become part of Cree’s efforts to drive the transition from silicon to silicon carbide, and this partnership will be a key part of our work to strengthen the research and scientific assets that New York State will use to attract the industries and jobs of tomorrow.”

The firm said it expects to realise approximately $280m (£224.9m) in net capital savings on previously announced $1bn (£803.4m) capacity expansion through 2024.

Cree CEO Gregg Lowe said: “This state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified wafer fabrication facility builds on our 30-year heritage of commercializing breakthrough technologies that help our customers deliver next-generation applications.

“We look forward to connecting our North Carolina and New York innovation hubs to drive the accelerated adoption of silicon carbide.”

Within eight years, the project is expected to create more than 600 direct jobs. It also expected to generate approximately 570 indirect jobs and over $4.3bn (£3.4bn) in total state-wide economic impact over the next 20 years.

The 480,000ft² facility will have room for future expansion and is expected to provide 25% increased output compared to the previously planned facility, the company said.

Cree said in a statement: “With a mega materials factory in Durham and a state-of-the-art wafer fabrication facility near Utica, Cree will establish a ‘silicon carbide corridor,’ leveraging its 30-year heritage of research and development in the Research Triangle of North Carolina and tapping into the rich technological base of resources situated in New York’s Mohawk Valley.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Image: Image: The new silicon carbide device manufacturing facility is planned to be built in New York. Photo: courtesy Cree, Inc.

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