Littelfuse, Inc. today announced it has made an incremental $15 million investment in Monolith Semiconductor Inc., a Texas-based start-up company developing silicon carbide technology. SiC is a rapidly emerging semiconductor material that enables power devices to operate at higher switching frequencies versus conventional silicon. This allows inverters and motor drives to operate with significantly improved energy efficiency and reduced system cost.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Monolith’s experienced team of silicon carbide and power semiconductor experts,” said Ian Highley, senior vice president and general manager, semiconductor products and chief technology officer for Littelfuse. “With the increasing needs to make power electronic devices that will be stronger and more efficient, we are excited about the opportunities this game-changing technology provides.”
“Littelfuse has been a great partner with us as we move closer to the commercialization of our technology,” said Sujit Banerjee, PhD, CEO of Monolith Semiconductor. “We are working closely with Littelfuse to position our combined portfolios to develop innovative solutions for our customers.”
As a result of this additional investment, Littelfuse now has a majority ownership position in Monolith and will begin including Monolith in its operating financial results. Littelfuse previously announced that its first quarter 2017 earnings per share guidance included $0.03 of expense to fund development activities with Monolith Semiconductor. This additional investment is expected to reduce earnings per share by $0.09 across the second through fourth quarters of 2017.
Under the terms of its agreement with Monolith Semiconductor, Littelfuse has committed to add to its investment once Monolith has achieved certain milestones.