Soitec: Let’s go to the construction of Bernin 4

Soitec announced on March 11 that it intends to build a new production plant on the premises of its headquarters in Bernin. Twenty days later, 2,150 employees (including 1,700 in Bernin, 300 in Singapore, 150 in Meylan and dozens of CEA-Leti site in Grenoble) laid the first stone for formal work. have started. Existence of locally elected officials and partners.

400 job creation

“We are gathering today to share the historic moments of Soytech’s journey.Soitec CEO Paul Boudre said. This new factory, called Bernin 4, opens a new chapter in our history. It will play a driving role in regional and subsequent economic development by creating hundreds of new jobs … “

Bernin’s Soitec site before the new Bernin 4 factory was established © Soitec
Soytech’s burnin site with the new Bernin 4 plant (photomontage). © Soitec

Future site with a total area of ​​20,000m2 2,000 meters of it2 The clean room, which will be inserted between the current factory and the logistics platform built a year ago, will be operational from April 2023. It operates with 400 employees (1/3 operator, 1/3 technician, 1/3 engineer). In job creation. “The launch of this new plant also reaffirms the central role of our region, France and Europe in the currently highly strategic semiconductor sector.”Paul Boudre was added.

This new production line is relevant to Soitec’s current major market (70%), not smartphones, but the new application sector, electric vehicles. “” I’m confident that within two years we can say that an electric car wouldn’t exist without Soitec. “Paul Boudre commented.

Equipped with 10 million electric vehicles annually

Specifically, what is it? “This new factory will manufacture SmartSIC, which is a combination of two wafers with a very thin layer of silicon carbide (SIC) and substrate.This enables the manufacture of power electronics components. For tomorrow’s car

Emmanuel Sabonnadière, Vice President of Silicon Carbide Strategy Program at Soitec, explains. Therefore, Smart SIC increases the autonomy of electric vehicles and reduces battery charging time. “In terms of production, the factory will reach up to 1 million smart S-ICs annually and will be able to equip 10 million vehicles annually. »» When it comes to competition, Soitec seems to be leading the competition.

“We may have a Japanese man we’re trying to do, but he doesn’t have 30 years of experience with Soytech’s smart-cut technology in Grenoble.” Emmanuel Savonadier says. Financially, Soitec is waiting for state aid under the new Nano program.“” Last year we announced that we would triple our sales in five years. Says Cyril Menon, Director of Industrial Operations at Soitec.

To do this, we will invest more than € 1.1 billion, including € 220 million in Smart SIC. Announced to build two new factories, including Bernin 4. “

The company, which plans to build a parking lot in the reservoir to optimize the land, didn’t want to tell the cost of building Bernin 4. This substrate (polysilicon carbide) is manufactured by a partner, not Soitec.

(**) According to Emmanuel Sabonnadière, power electronics are: “The block between the battery that supplies direct current and the traction motor that requires alternating current and allows this direct to alternating current conversion. For electric vehicles, the battery-conversion-motor unit costs about 10,000 euros. , Of which 1,500 euros is equivalent to the cost of conversion parts. ”