Germany’s biggest chip maker Infineon Technologies will invest €5bn over five years in building the world’s biggest 200-millimetre silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor plant in Kulim, Malaysia.
SiC is used to make wide bandgap semiconductors used in high-tech industrial applications like photovoltaics, energy storage, and electric vehicles.
Demand for them is so strong that this new plant will join a €1.6bn factory Infineon started building in Kulim only in July last year.
Infineon said the expansion was backed by pre-orders from customers worth €5bn, as well as about €1bn in pre-payments.
It expects annual revenues from SiC materials made at the Kulim factories (known in the industry as a “fabs”) and its converted fab in Villach, Austria to reach €7bn a year by the end of the decade.
By then, it wants to capture 30% of the SiC market.
“The market for silicon carbide shows accelerating growth, not only in automotive but also in a broad range of industrial applications such as solar, energy storage, and high-power EV charging,” said Infineon chief executive Jochen Hanebeck.
Malaysian prime minister Anwar Ibrahim said: “Malaysia’s continued appeal as a preferred investment destination comes with a well-established landscape for developing innovative and sustainable technologies. In this vein, Infineon’s vision on green technology and sustainability puts it right at home in Malaysia.”