Press Release

Wolfspeed hits construction milestone at Siler City facility

Wolfspeed celebrated a significant construction milestone at its new multi-billion dollar John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide in Siler City.

The topping out ceremony, held on March 26, marked the completion of the facility’s structural framework and was attended by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), local officials, community partners and Wolfspeed employees.

The 445-acre facility, named after the company’s co-founder, is expected to be operational by the end of 2024. Funding for the facility was supported by the CHIPS and Science Act, signed into law in August 2022, that provides significant support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, research and development.

The act’s provisions played a crucial role in enabling the construction of Wolfspeed’s facility, which will produce 200mm silicon carbide wafers to meet the growing demand for semiconductors used in the energy transition and AI industries.

Tillis, who voted in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act, emphasized the importance of Wolfspeed’s investment, saying in a press release, “Wolfspeed’s $5 billion investment in Chatham County underscores North Carolina’s status as a premier business location. The CHIPS and Science Act, which I supported, plays a crucial role in enhancing our national security and economic prosperity through initiatives like this.”

“This facility embodies our dedication to the community and the domestic workforce, reinforcing our leadership in the global silicon carbide market,” said Wolfspeed President and CEO Gregg Lowe. “The [center] is set to propel America forward in energy innovation and bring about substantial economic growth and job creation in North Carolina.”

The company expects to create 1,800 jobs here by 2030 and contribute an estimated $17.5 billion to the state’s economy over the next two decades.

The investment, augmented by a blend of public and private support, is a critical component of the national strategy to transition from traditional silicon to more efficient silicon carbide, a material deemed essential by the U.S. Department of Energy for the future of energy technology.

The shift to 200mm wafers from the smaller 150mm wafers is expected to yield higher efficiency and reduced production costs, aligning with Wolfspeed’s vision of fostering silicon carbide semiconductor adoption across various sectors for enhanced energy efficiency.

Wolfspeed currently produces over 60% of the world’s silicon carbide material at its Durham, N.C. headquarters and is engaged in an extensive $6.5 billion capacity expansion initiative aimed at significantly increasing production to meet global demand.

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