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Led by Tesla, EVs drive chip industry's shift beyond silicon

Model 3's use of new material spurs competition for energy-efficient alternative

Smaller inverters, a key EV component, helped give Tesla's Model 3 its sleek design. Silicon carbide contributes to making smaller power components.

TOKYO/OSAKA -- Abundant, easily processed silicon has been the material of choice for decades in the semiconductor industry, but electric vehicles are helping chip away at its dominance in the pursuit of energy efficiency.

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