Infineon details plans for Wolfspeed takeover

July 18, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Infineon recently announced the intention to acquire compound semiconductor expert Wolfspeed. But how are the perspectives for Wolfspeed, its product range and its staff? During a conference call, Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss shed light on his plans.

The product ranges of Infineon and its takeover target Wolfspeed complement each other ideally, said Ploss during the conference call. “Compound semiconductors have a strong future, and we are just at the beginning”, Ploss said. Infineon intends to benefit from the Wolfspeed takeover in three market segments: Electromobility, Internet of Things and RF power amplifiers. “We see a rising demand for compound power semiconductors in the automotive markets,” Ploss said. “From 2020, we expect that Wolfspeed’s growth will be driven significantly by the automotive markets”.

The Infineon CEO also said Wolfspeed will continue to supply wafers to third parties. Examples are customers in the market for mobile network base stations.

The Wolfspeed takeover will enable Infineon to expand its production depth – with Wolfspeed on board, the company will cover the entire value chain from raw wafer production and epitaxy to traditional lithography and chemical processing and to packaging.

Though Infineon will play “an active role in integrating Wolfspeed”, Ploss seeked to alleviate concerns regarding the jobs at Wolfspeed. “Wolfspeed is an excellent fit to Infineon, we have pretty much the same innovation and quality consciousness, Ploss said. “The teams will collaborate well”. However, Ploss did not explicitly guarantee that Wolfspeed will continue as separate entity in the long run. “We cannot yet say much about the integration process. Our concept is that in the first phase Wolfspeed will be associated (to Infineon), in the long run we aim at a complete integration.”

Ploss also said he expects significantly lower integration cost compared to the takeover of International Rectifier (IR) in 2015. “Currently we are seeking to sell an IR production site – this is not the case with Wolfspeed,” Ploss said, adding that Wolspeed, having only recently completed its spin-off from Cree, has much slimmer structures that IR.

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