Bosch starts production of SiC semiconductors in Reutlingen

Bosch starts production of SiC semiconductors in Reutlingen

After several years of development, Bosch has now started large-scale production of power semiconductors made of silicon carbide (SiC) in Reutlingen, Germany. In parallel, the further development of the semiconductors and the expansion of production capacities are already underway.

The start of production of SiC semiconductors is not a reaction to the current chip shortage, but rather due to the trend towards electromobility: semiconductors based on silicon carbide are more efficient than those made from other sulitium substrates. If they are installed in the power electronics of an e-drive, for example, the higher semiconductor efficiency increases the range of the e-vehicle without having to install a larger battery. In addition, faster charging processes are possible.

Two years ago, Bosch had already announced its intention to enter the production of SiC chips and drive their development forward - until now, Bosch has manufactured more conventional silicon semiconductors in Reutlingen. "Silicon carbide semiconductors have a great future. We want to become the global leader in the production of SiC chips for electromobility," says Harald Kröger, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

The SiC chips produced in the "highly complex" manufacturing processes developed in-house have already been manufactured since the beginning of the year as samples for testing and validation at customers. The supplier does not have to worry about sales of the series production that is now starting up. "Our order books are full. The reason for this is the booming electromobility sector," says Kröger.

For this reason, further expansion of capacity is already planned: in the future, Bosch says it intends to increase the production capacity of SiC power semiconductors to a unit volume in the triple-digit millions. This is apparently to take place primarily at the Reutlingen site, as the cleanroom area there is already being expanded, according to the announcement. 1,000 square meters have already been added in the course of 2021, and the Bosch Waferfab is to be expanded by a further 3,000 square meters by the end of 2023.