Wolfspeed aims to chip in with hundreds of new jobs
MARCY — Since the opening of its semiconductor manufacturing facility in April 2022, Wolfspeed has proven itself to be a perfect addition to Upstate New York, helping to establish the area as a center of technological progress.
Wolfspeed is a North Carolina-based company that manufactures silicon carbide devices to power electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, data farms, and more. Wolfspeed formally announced its plans to expand into the Mohawk Valley in 2019, and then opened the world’s first, largest, and only 200 mm silicon carbide chip fabrication plant at the Marcy Nanocenter on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in April 2022.
With the arrival of the new facility, Wolfspeed has committed to creating over 600 new jobs within the first eight years of its operation. The company is also partnering with SUNY Poly by establishing a $2 million scholarship program for the next 10 years. “It’s been a pleasure to get to know our neighbors and support the Utica community through partnerships with the Boilermaker Road Race and Utica Rescue Mission!” Melinda Walker, director of communications for Wolfspeed, said.
Although 2022 was a year full of excitement and new accomplishments for Wolfspeed, the company is most proud that it has continuously stuck to its mission. “Since Wolfspeed believes that our ever-increasing portfolio of Wolfspeed products are engineered to enable our customers to deliver groundbreaking systems, in 2022 we’ve shown our commitment to diversify our partnerships and build the necessary infrastructure, through our Mohawk Valley Fab and our upcoming Siler City manufacturing facility, to create a more sustainable future for all of us — one powered by silicon carbide and our team’s passion and perseverance,” Walker said.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said that Wolfspeed is an industry leader for its “cutting-edge semiconductor innovation and job creation, with production now underway at their new billion dollar chip fab in the Mohawk Valley.”
Wolfspeed’s Marcy facility has paved the way for other technology companies to choose Upstate New York as the site for semiconductor fabrication. In October 2022, Micron announced that it would be building a memory chip fab facility in Clay, along with investing $100 billion in manufacturing over the next 20 years.
To fill the need for workers at these facilities, in January, Schumer secured $2 million to create a semiconductor and advanced manufacturing training facility at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica.
“I have long said that Upstate New York can become the heart of America’s technological future, and now with my CHIPS and Science Act as the spark, companies like Wolfspeed, Micron, and more are bringing manufacturing back to the Mohawk Valley and Central New York with the production of ‘Made in Upstate New York’ chips that will power the next century,” Schumer said.
Wolfspeed’s goal for 2023 is to continue to grow and expand its silicon carbide footprint.
“We are in the final stages prior to scaling production in Mohawk Valley, and one of our top priorities over the next few quarters is to ensure that we execute on that plan,” Walker said.
The company believes that the electric vehicle (EV) industry will continue to grow, and that Wolfspeed is positioned to meet the rapidly-growing needs of the EV industry. “We have seen this overwhelming demand play out at Wolfspeed, as our recent partnerships with industry leaders such as Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz point to the strength in the demand for EVs and our ability to take share in this space,” Walker said. “It is clear to us that the opportunity in silicon carbide technology given the pace of adoption we have experienced.”
In September 2022, Wolfspeed announced that it will be growing even more, by building a materials manufacturing facility in North Carolina, which will produce 200 mm silicon carbide wafers to supply the Marcy site.
“The construction of the John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide in Siler City is progressing well since groundbreaking in September, and we look forward to seeing this facility support our expanding device footprint at our Mohawk Valley fab,” Walker said.
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