South Korea’s SK Siltron, a global maker of semiconductor wafers, has acquired DuPont’s silicon carbide wafer unit for $450 million. The primary site for the unit is in Auburn, west of Bay City. DuPont is headquartered in Delaware. The acquisition closed on Saturday.
Joe Guy Collier, head of communications in the U.S., says the acquisition will help SK Siltron meet the demand from consumers and governments for sustainable energy and environmental solutions. He says the company plans to continue to invest in related fields, and the acquisition is expected to increase the unit’s production and create more jobs in the U.S.
Collier says demand for power semiconductors is increasing as automakers enter the electric vehicle market and telecommunication companies are expanding 5G networks. Because the silicon carbide wafers have high hardness, heat resistance, and the ability to withstand high voltages, they are seen as a material to produce power semiconductors for electric vehicles and 5G networks.
“As global carmakers are scrambling to enter the electric vehicle market and telecommunication companies expand their high-speed 5G supply, demand for power semiconductors is rapidly increasing,” says Yong-ho Jang, CEO of SK Siltron. “…More than two-digit percentage growth is expected every year in these markets. SK Siltron will invest in Michigan and continue to invest in the region to keep pace with demand and grow into a global player.”
SK Siltron is South Korea’s only producer of semiconductor silicon wafers. It has overseas subsidiaries in the U.S., Japan, China, Paris, and Taiwan. The U.S. subsidiary was established in 2001 and sells silicon wafers to eight customers, including Intel and Micron.
The company is an affiliate of SK Group, which has investments in the U.S. in electric vehicle batteries, biopharmaceuticals, materials, energy, chemicals, and information and communications technology, reaching $5 billion in investments in the U.S. over the past three years.