BAY CITY, MI—SK Siltron CSS, a semiconductor wafer manufacturer, recently announced plans to invest $300 million over the next three years to provide manufacturing and R&D capabilities of advanced materials for electric vehicles in a new facility here. The new site will more than double the company's Michigan employee base and complement SK's existing site in nearby Auburn, MI.
SK Siltron manufactures a specialty wafer made of silicon carbide (SiC) that can be used in the semiconductor power components of electric vehicles. SiC wafers are more efficient at handling high powers and conducting heat than normal silicon. When used in EV system components, this characteristic can allow a more efficient transfer of electricity from the battery to the motor, increasing the driving range of an EV by 5 to 10 percent.
"The rise in popularity of electric vehicles has the auto industry searching for new innovative technologies to meet customer demand," says Jianwei Dong, CEO at SK Siltron. "Our Michigan expansion will allow us to manufacture advanced materials that can enhance the performance of an EV and support the growth of a more sustainable automotive future."
The expansion, pending state and local approvals, is part of a new domestic supply chain forming to provide the components required to support new environmentally friendly vehicles. SK Siltron will work closely with state and local partners to recruit and train potential employees. Of the new employees, 70 percent will be skilled workers while 30 percent will be professional engineers.
SK Siltron CSS is the U.S. subsidiary of SK Siltron, based in South Korea. Since 2019, SK Siltron CSS has doubled its employee base in Michigan, with 130 skilled workers and professional engineers currently being employed.