Automotive Electronics

Chinese Firms to use European Wafers to Make High-Power Semis

Topsil Semiconductor Materials A/S has signed a framework agreement with Chinese company Zhouzhou CSR Times Electric Co., Ltd. (CSR) to supply 200mm silicon wafers for electric vehicles in China. The high-voltage IGBTs being fabricated by CSR will initially be targeted at high-speed rail applications. In addition, Topsil signed a framework agreement with Chinese company Xian Power Electronic Research Institute (PERI) regarding supply of ultra-pure silicon for the fabrication of power semiconductors for use in utility-scale high-voltage dc (HVDC) energy infrastructure projects in China.

CSR is one of the leading suppliers of electrical trains in China and the company has made significant investments in power semiconductor technology including the first 200mm production line in China. The agreement with CSR concerns Topsil's new 200 mm ultra-pure silicon wafers. The new fabrication facility will produce IGBTs aimed at electric vehicles, such as high-speed trains, trains, electric and hybrid cars.

The build-up of new electric high-speed train lines is considered to be key to obtaining an efficient transport infrastructure development of China while enabling a more efficient utilization of energy. Furthermore, more widespread use of electric vehicles including electric and hybrid cars will contribute to decreasing the CO2 level. Recently, China has announced its plans to double the domestic number of high speed trains in the years to come.

"Ultra-pure silicon constitute a critical part of electric high voltage components" says Topsil CEO, Kalle Hvidt Nielsen. "In respect of transport, it contributes to regulation of speed, amongst others. Moreover, silicon safeguards energy efficient transfer of electricity from overhead wires to high speed trains or from the charging station to an electric car".

"China is one of our geographical focus markets. This market is very attractive as substantial energy infrastructure and transport investments are expected in the years to come", he adds. "China is in need of high performance silicon. We supply unique technology that contributes to the build-up of a modern, reliable and more environmentally friendly transport infrastructure in China".

Chinese company PERI is a supplier of high voltage power components for the industrial and infrastructure solutions in China. This includes HVDC transmission lines, which constitute a cornerstone in China's energy infra-structure development. China is expected to invest around DKK 620 billion in its domestic energy infrastructure over the next 5 years.

"HVDC systems in particular are suitable for energy transport across long distances. These systems are capable of handling higher voltage levels than alternating current systems. They are also cheaper and more energy efficient" explains Topsil CEO, Mr Kalle Hvidt Nielsen. "High voltage levels are required for transport of electricity across long distances. The higher the voltage level, the lower the energy loss. Topsil's ultra-pure silicon forms a critical part of HV-DC systems to regulate and control electricity and is capable of handling the highest voltage levels".

"China is one of our geographical focus markets. This market is important to Topsil as substantial energy infrastructure and transport investments are expected in the years to come", he adds. "China is in need of high performance ultra-pure silicon. We supply unique technology that contributes to the build-up of a modern, reliable and more environmentally friendly energy infrastructure in China".

Topsil Semiconductor Materials A/S
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