Wolfspeed makes NC history, announcing $5 billion investment in new semiconductor plant

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                                                               City of Burlington

Economic Development Department

On September 9, 2022, Wolfspeed announced plans for a new semiconductor factory in Chatham County. The project will create 1,805 jobs with a total of $5 billion in private investment – ranking as the largest economic development project in North Carolina history! Prior Wolfspeed Siteto its announcement, the largest project based on investment was VinFast at $4 million. Wolfspeed will receive a total of $160 million in state incentives, including a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) of $86 million.

The new semiconductor factory will be at the Chatham Advanced Manufacturing site near Siler City. Wolfspeed expects to “increase materials capacity by more than 10x” according to the press release, primarily producing 200mm silicon carbide wafers, to supply the Mohawk Valley Fab in New York. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024 for the 445-acre site. 

Image Source: Business Wire via Associated Press

Wolfspeed – formerly Cree – is a manufacturing company headquartered in Durham specializing in silicon carbide and gallium nitride chip technologies. The silicon carbide semiconductors are commonly used in a variety of electronics, such as smartphones,semiconductor telecommunications, and electric vehicles. Silicon carbide is one of the main competing semiconductors in power electronics, which specifically focuses on power sources – solar, AC, battery, etc.

The recent expansions into multiple manufacturing facilities – the Chatham site in addition to a chip fabrication facility in New York, announced this past spring – is in response to the increasing demand for silicon carbide semiconductors for related electrification and transportation technology projects. The Wolfspeed facility comes promptly after the passage of the CHIPS Act, which incentivizes domestic chipmaking companies with over $52 billion in subsidies to expand operations. Company CEO Gregg Lowe was at the White House for the signing of the CHIPS Act; as one of the world’s top silicon carbide semiconductor manufacturers, Wolfspeed is primed and ready for demands in upcoming markets, such as electric vehicles (Toyota and VinFast) and aviation (Boom Supersonic).

Image Source: Wolfspeed 

Isabella DeLaGarza, EYOS Fellow

City Contact
Isabella DeLaGarza
425 S. Lexington Ave. 
Burlington, NC 27215