14-07-2016 | | By Paul Whytock
Infineon Technologies is buying the Wolfspeed Power and RF division (Wolfspeed) of Cree for approx €740 million in cash. The deal includes the SiC wafer substrate business for power and RF power.
Wolfspeed has been a part of Cree for three decades and is a provider of SiC-based power and GaN-on-SiC-based RF power solutions. This includes related core competencies in wafer substrate manufacturing for SiC, as well as for SiC with a monocrystalline GaN layer for RF power applications.
Infineon says these competencies coupled with 550 skilled employees and an IP portfolio of approximately 2,000 patents and patent applications complement the firm’s previous acquisition of International Rectifier in 2015.
Power management solutions based on compound semiconductors have several advantages enabling the development of systems with higher energy-efficiency, smaller footprints and lower system costs.
Major areas where the applications will profit from SiC are renewables and automotive. Both areas benefit from the increased power density and improved efficiency. In automotive the acquisition fits well with the recent increased commitment of the industry to plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles (xEV).
Next-generation cellular infrastructure standards such as 5G and beyond will use frequencies up to 80 gigahertz. Only advanced compound semiconductors can deliver the required efficiencies at these high frequencies.
GaN-on-Si allows higher levels of integration and offers its advantages at operating frequencies of up to 10 gigahertz. GaN-on-SiC enables maximum efficiency at frequencies of up to 80 gigahertz. Both technologies are crucial for next generation cellular infrastructure standards.