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Renesas' $2B Investment Will Keep on Giving

Paying billions of dollars for semiconductor component supplies is not new. Apple does it frequently. But $2 billion downpayment for 10 years of supplies breaks the mold. What is Renesas playing at and why did Wolfspeed say “Yes”?
Renesas and Wolfspeed sign a SiC wafer supply agreement.
Renesas and Wolfspeed sign a SiC wafer supply agreement. Hidetoshi Shibata, President and CEO of Renesas (left), and Gregg Lowe, President and CEO of Wolfspeed (Photo: Business Wire)

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By Bolaji Ojo

What’s at stake:
The $2 billion Renesas is paying to Wolfspeed will guarantee supply of the silicon carbide the Japanese chipmaker would require over the next decade, but this looks like the beginning of a deeper relationship. SiC is the future of power computing and securing supplies as well as financing for fabs is key to success for everyone. So, which direction will Renesas and Wolfspeed next take their relationship?

Wolfspeed Inc. CEO Gregg Lowe is going to have fewer sleepless nights now. Money is pouring in for the US company’s growing fabs capex splurge.

Over in Japan, Hidetoshi Shibata is celebrating scoring a coup, too. Renesas Inc.’s boss will have an easier time answering probing questions that investors, customers and reporters have been asking about his company’s silicon carbide (SiC) strategy.

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