Yes Power Technix said on Thursday that it has received 26.8 billion won in funding from SK Holdings, the holding company of SK Group.
SK Group will gain a 33.6% take in Yes Power Technix through the deal.
Yes Power Technix, an affiliate of YEST, is the only company in South Korea that can design and manufacture silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors.
SiC has higher power efficiency compared to silicon. It maintains 98% efficiency, even in high-temperature and high-voltage environments. The chip is gaining grounds on electric vehicle application as it saves power for the cars. Tesla first applied SiC power semiconductors on the Model 3 back in 2018.
Infineon, STMircroelectronics and Rohm are the dominant companies in SiC power semiconductors.
Yes Power Technix has researchers that worked in SiC power semiconductors for over ten years and has 23 related patents.
The company has production facilities in both 100mm and 150mm wafers that can together produce at a rate of 14,400 wafers per year. This is enough chips for around 140,000 units of electric vehicles.
Yes Power Technix CEO Kim Do-ha said the company expects synergy with SK Holdings from the investment. The new funds will be spend on equipment such as ion implanter and layer annealing kit to expand the company’s production capacity.
SK Holdings said it will iron out how its own affiliates SK Hynix and SK Siltron can collaborate with Yes Power Technix.
YEST owns a 29% stake in Yes Power Technix. YEST’s majority shareholder Jang Dong-bok owns a 35% stake in Yes Power Technix as well. Despite SK’s recent investments, Jang and YEST will together own over 50% of Yes Power Technix.
SK Hynix and Yes Power Technix will likely collaborate in SiC power semiconductor foundry, while SK Siltron and Yes Power Technix can collaborate in procuring SiC wafers, a person familiar with the matter said. Last year in March, SK Siltron acquired Dupont’s SiC wafer business for US$450 million.
According to IHS Markit, SiC power semiconductor market is expected to grow 32% on average per year from 2020 to 2030. The market will be worth US$10 billion by 2030, the firm said.