DURHAM, NC—Wolfspeed Inc. will build a state-of-the-art, multi-billion-dollar factory in Chatham County, North Carolina, to produce wide-bandgap semiconductors made from silicon carbide. The new factory will increase the company’s manufacturing capacity by more than 10 fold.
“Wolfspeed is the industry leader in supplying the materials required to meet the accelerating demand for next-generation semiconductors and creating a more sustainable future for all,” says Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Wolfspeed. “Demand for our products continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the industry continues to be supply constrained. Expanding our materials production will further our market leadership and allow us to better serve the growing needs of our customers.”
The facility will primarily produce 200-millimeter silicon carbide wafers, which are 1.7 times larger than 150-millimeter wafers, translating into more chips per wafer and ultimately, lower device costs. These wafers will be used to supply Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley Fab, which opened earlier this year as the world’s first, largest and only fully automated 200-millimeter silicon carbide fabrication facility.
Phase one construction is anticipated to be completed in 2024 and cost approximately $1.3 billion. Between 2024 and the end of the decade, the company will add additional capacity as needed, eventually occupying more than 1 million square feet on the 445-acre site.
State and local funding, including a Job Development Investment Grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, will support the development of the facility’s first phase and represents an approximately $1 billion incentive package from state, county and local governments. In addition, the company hopes to apply for and obtain federal funding from the CHIPS and Science Act to accelerate the construction and build-out of the facility. Over the next eight years, the company intends to continue to invest, looking to create roughly 1,800 jobs.The company’s talent development strategy is complemented by its continued partnership with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. In 2020, Wolfspeed committed $4 million over five years to the university to create the Wolfspeed Endowed Scholars Program. The two entities aim to establish comprehensive education and training curricula and cutting-edge research and innovation programs. This partnership will open opportunities for undergraduate and graduate credentials in silicon carbide semiconductor manufacturing, as well as training and career advancement programs for existing semiconductor manufacturing workers