US group Wolfspeed wants to build the world’s largest factory for silicon carbide semiconductors in Saarland. The German automotive supplier ZF is also said to be involved in the project. The backgrounds.
The past few years have proven how important semiconductors and computer chips are for industry. Due to delivery bottlenecks, the automotive industry was also under extreme pressure in Germany and only delivered vehicles after long waiting times.
A cooperation between Wolfspeed and ZF now harbors hope for a better future. While the German automotive supplier ZF is well known, the US group Wolfspeed is more of a blank slate in this country. To the background:
The company comes from North Carolina and has specialized in chips based on silicon carbide for years. Although the material is considered to be significantly more expensive than classic silicon, it could revolutionize e-mobility.
Saarland: ZF and Wolfspeed plan factory for silicon carbide chips
The silicon carbide chips should indirectly ensure that electric cars become more attractive. Because the semiconductors promise faster charging and more economical consumption. Initial studies by the consulting agency Capgemini indicate that the range can be increased by up to 8 percent.
The technology therefore has great potential for Germany as a car country. To date, Wolfspeed has already invested two billion US dollars in a plant in the United States. However, the new factory in Saarland could be even bigger. This should also enable cooperation with the automotive supplier ZF. Because he has the necessary specialists.
Wolfspeed: Competitors declare war on Bosch
ZF has around 9,000 employees in the Saarland region alone. The cooperation also targets the German competition. In this country, Bosch currently predominantly dominates the market. The company also manufactures its own chips based on silicon carbide, so it also takes longer to expand the corresponding capacities.
Meanwhile, experts expect that the market will grow strongly in this decade. The German automotive industry should welcome the settlement. A German branch could make urgently needed parts available much more reliably and reduce delivery times for electric vehicles.
Wolfspeed also meets an old acquaintance: A few years ago, the Munich-based Infineon group wanted to take over the Americans. But the supervisory authorities stood in the way of the project at the time.