As supply chain bottlenecks and materials shortages continue to challenge both the U.S. and the world, companies in the semiconductor industry are working hard to meet high-quality standards, achieve strong technological innovations and keep up with the growing demand.
To meet these goals, chip producers as well as all their suppliers are continuously investing time and funds into new products, technologies and facilities.
SGL Carbon, a global manufacturer of products derived from carbon and graphite, is part of this supply chain for chip producers.
Heavily invested: The company, which has its North American headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been investing significantly in its semiconductor-related production while working hard to meet demand and keep pace with the ever-shifting market.
- Over the past four years, SGL Carbon invested approximately €30 million into enhancing its production capacities and a modern clean-room environment in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, the home of its main North American operations related to the semiconductor industry.
Smaller size, bigger impact: The semiconductor market is a dynamic and future-oriented sector, and its applications are now more essential than ever to everyday life, according to SGL Carbon Vice President of Marketing and Sales Doug Garda. As chips get smaller, their efficiency and performance are getting bigger—and so is the global appetite for them.
- “We’re seeing more and more demand globally, and the infrastructure that exists in the industry isn’t sufficient to meet those demands,” Garda said. “Especially with the Internet of Things, e-mobility, LED lighting and automated production, there are so many more applications and high-performance variants of chips required for the future. We need to meet that very steep demand curve.”
Global shortages: While in development, semiconductor chips can cross international borders 70 times before the end product reaches a consumer, fueling significant complexity in the manufacturing process and supply chains.
- With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, labor challenges, shifts in consumer needs and general unpredictability have fed worldwide supply issues.
High demand: In the midst of these shortages, the market for silicon-based wafers, used for regular chips, is expected to grow annually by 5% over the next five years. However, the market for special silicon-carbide-based wafers, used for high-performance chips, is expected to grow annually by 30% or more over the same period.
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