Soitec, a world leader in semiconductor materials, has inaugurated its new plant in Bernin, near Grenoble. The plant was inaugurated in the presence of Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, and Roland Lescure, French Minister Delegate for Industry. The new plant focuses on Soitec's SmartSiC™ technology, which addresses the challenges of vehicle electrification.

SmartSiC™ technology is based on silicon carbide (SiC) and sets a new standard in energy conversion systems. It offers improved efficiency, reduced energy losses, better thermal management, and increased power density. These features enhance the range and performance of electric vehicles. Through the application of SmartCut™ technology, each SiC substrate can be used 10 times, further optimizing the material's usage.

Compared to vehicles using silicon IGBT alternatives, electric vehicles employing SmartSiC™ technology can achieve ranges above 500 km, while also reducing CO2 emissions during wafer manufacturing by 70% compared to monocrystalline SiC substrates.

The development of SmartSiC™ technology began in 2020 in partnership with CEA-Leti and has received financial support from various entities, including the French state, local authorities, the region, and the European Union.

The new plant occupies a space of 2,500 square meters and has a production capacity of 500,000 SmartSiC™ wafers per year. This expansion aligns with Soitec's growth strategy and ambition to expand its addressable markets threefold by 2030, reinforcing its position as a leader in the semiconductor materials market.

The establishment of the new plant will also create 400 direct jobs, contributing to the development of the "French Silicon Valley" ecosystem and enhancing the attractiveness and dynamism of the region.

Pierre Barnabé, Chief Executive Officer of Soitec, stated that the new plant will enable them to meet the rising demand for silicon carbide, aiming for a 30% market share by 2030. The company's goal is to make electric mobility more efficient and affordable. The rapid completion of the plant demonstrates Soitec's industrial performance and future-focused strategy, aimed at expanding its product and technology portfolio.

Barnabé also emphasized the significance of the new plant for the region, highlighting its dynamic and innovative approach to industrial innovation. The new plant showcases the region's capabilities in designing, developing, and manufacturing technologies within its ecosystem. It will create job opportunities and further promote French and European expertise in global semiconductor markets.