Development of an SiC Epitaxial Wafer Manufacturing Facility
Widetronix Semiconductors, Inc.
Web Address: www.widetronix.net
Based on more than $1 million in research funded by the Office of Naval Research and completed at Cornell University, Widetronix Semiconductors, Inc. is commercializing a patent-pending manufacturing process for producing low-defect, high-quality silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers. This process significantly improves the reliability, lifetime, and energy efficiency of power devices (i.e. transistors and diodes) that are made from this material. Sales will initially focus on wafers but will evolve toward power devices by year two that use the company's proprietary materials platform.
Widetronix SiC wafers, and the devices, are an enabling platform for several clean energy technologies. SiC transistors and diodes will enhance power management in hybrids and clean energy generation systems (wind and photovoltaic), resulting in significant improvements to system performance and reductions in operating cost. Such technical enhancements to clean energy technology will increase market access through improved ROI, resulting in improvements to environment and human health.
As a semiconductor material, SiC is projected to replace $3 billion of the $10 billion silicon (Si) power electronics market, which includes sales of SiC epitaxial wafers and power devices fabricated using this material. While there are applications for SiC across all sectors, Widetronix Semiconductors, Inc. will focus on enabling more efficient switches and converters in the automotive (hybrid cars), utility switches, industrial power supplies industries. Estimates for the size of these market sub-sectors is more than $1 billion by 2012 including SiC epitaxial wafers (a $12 million market growing to $50 million in 2010) and power devices ($100 million growing to $950 million by 2015).
Widetronix Semiconductors Inc., a minority-owned corporation founded in 2003, proposes to use the $50,000 grant from Metropolitan Development Foundation to bring the company's wafer manufacturing process online at a new facility in Ithaca, NY. Widetronix will match this grant with cash and in-kind contributions of labor from the company and its partner, Structured Materials Industries. The company is currently funded under a Navy Phase II STTR grant with a budget of $300,000 with another $400,000 in matching funds available.
Currently Widetronix Semiconductors, Inc. employees three full time and two part time employees at its Ithaca facility. Once the company's new manufacturing facility is online, the company anticipates revenues of $200,000 and four employees in year one growing to $42 million and 25 employees by the end of year five. Revenue growth for the first five years should result in taxable income of more than $25 million. In total, Widetronix Semiconductors, Inc. estimates the percentage cost of goods sold manufactured in New York to be 48% on wafers and 50% for power devices.
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