Further electrification of everything in the world will be accompanied by an increase in the efficiency of converters, otherwise the losses will negate all the benefits of the transition. The leading role in this process will be played by the so-called wide-gap semiconductors, which include silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). TSMC has already entered the production of solutions based on these materials and aimed into five areas where demand is expected to grow significantly.
According to Taiwanese sources, TSMC sees growth opportunities for designated semiconductors in the next ten years, with a focus on five sectors: fast chargers for electric vehicles, data centers, photovoltaic inverters, 48V DC inverters and on-board electric car chargers.
An additional incentive for the Taiwanese manufacturer to delve deeper into this area is the growing efforts of Chinese companies to catch up with the West in the production of wide-gap semiconductors. TSMC is not going to lose the initiative, and willingly goes to cooperate with industry veterans. In particular, last year TSMC entered into a partnership agreement with the European company STMicroelectronics and will produce for it both discrete and integrated power solutions based on gallium nitride.
At the same time, TSMC is developing its own production technologies. She has been doing this since the early 2000s and has already achieved some success. In 2014, TSMC began manufacturing GaN components at its 150mm wafer plant, and in 2015, it began manufacturing GaN components for low and high voltage applications. In 2017, the company began mass production of GaN-on-Si components. Cooperation with STMicroelectronics in 2020 further strengthened TSMC’s position in a new market for it. Obviously, new successes lie ahead, and the growing demand for efficient power electronics will keep it on track.