Saturday, May 18, 2024

Marking a New Era in Semiconductor Industry: Wolfspeed’s John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide Construction Reaches a Milestone


Wolfspeed Tops Out Construction of John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide

In a significant milestone for both the semiconductor industry and local economy, Wolfspeed Inc, based in Durham, North Carolina, celebrated a key phase in the development of a monumental project. The company recently hosted a ‘last beam’ ceremony, marking the topping out of construction at the $5 billion John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide, nestled in Siler City, Chatham County, NC. This event, attended by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) alongside other dignitaries, local officials, community partners, and Wolfspeed employees, signifies a leap towards the future of semiconductor manufacturing.

The center, named in honor of John Palmour, is on a sprawling 445-acre site and is poised to revolutionize the semiconductor industry. With Phase one of construction anticipated to conclude by the end of 2024, the facility heralds a new age in technology and manufacturing excellence.

At the heart of the celebration, Wolfspeed’s President & CEO, Gregg Lowe, highlighted the transformative impact of the John Palmour Manufacturing Center. “The establishment of this center will unlock significant benefits for our community, enhancing North Carolina‚Äôs economy by more than $17.5 billion over the next two decades and generating 1,800 high-paying jobs by 2030,” Lowe explained. The collaborative effort involving $5 billion in total investment, backed by a mix of public and private support, aims to catalyze the transition from silicon to silicon carbide, marking a significant stride in semiconductor technology.

Senator Thom Tillis voiced his support for the project and its alignment with national interests, “I was proud to vote in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act, which provides critical support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing. I applaud Wolfspeed’s commitment to developing technology right here in North Carolina that upholds our national security and bolsters our economic interests.”

The focus of the John Palmour Manufacturing Center will be on the production of 200mm silicon carbide wafers. These wafers, significantly larger than the standard 150mm wafers, are a critical step forward in enhancing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of semiconductors. Wolfspeed, already accounting for more than 60% of the global silicon carbide materials produced at its headquarters in Durham, N.C, is amid an ambitious $6.5 billion capacity expansion. This strategic move is set to ramp up production volumes dramatically, echoing the company’s long-term growth strategy and commitments to sustainability and energy efficiency.

The expansion is not only a testament to Wolfspeed’s industry leadership but also supports recently inked customer agreements with global giants such as Renesas and Infineon, among others. This capacity expansion and strategic partnership align seamlessly with Wolfspeed’s vision of spearheading the transition towards silicon carbide semiconductors, paving the way for a new era of energy efficiency across various end-markets.

Wolfspeed’s ambitious project and its substantial investment in the John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide set the stage for significant advancements in semiconductor technology and manufacturing. It underscores a broader vision of propelling the industry forward, bolstering local economies, and fostering a more energy-efficient future.

Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett is a seasoned business journalist with over a decade of experience covering the global economy, finance, and corporate strategies. With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Journalism from Columbia University, Alexandra has built a reputation for her insightful analysis and ability to break down complex economic trends into understandable narratives. Prior to joining our team, she worked for major financial publications in New York and London. Alexandra specializes in mergers and acquisitions, market trends, and economic

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