April 25, 2011

Cree Announces Signing of a Global SiC Materials License Agreement with Nippon Steel Corporation

DURHAM, N.C. -- Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) announces it has entered into a silicon carbide (SiC) materials license agreement with Nippon Steel Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Nippon Steel Corporation, and affiliates including Nippon Steel Materials Co., Ltd., have been given the right to manufacture and sell silicon carbide materials for electronic device applications. Over the lifetime of the agreement, Cree will receive certain financial considerations from Nippon Steel. As part of this agreement, Cree was also granted rights to Nippon Steel’s relevant SiC-related patents. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed. No technology transfer between the parties was included.

SiC is a high-performance semiconductor material used in the production of a broad range of lighting, power and communication components, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), power switching devices and RF power transistors for wireless communications.
SiC devices are used today for solar inverters, high-voltage power supplies and power conditioning in many industrial power applications.

“Cree is a pioneer in SiC materials technologies, resulting in energy-efficient power switching devices and high brightness LEDs,” said Steve Kelley, Cree chief operating officer. “We are pleased that Nippon Steel joins us in supporting the electronics device industry with licensed SiC materials.”

“Nippon Steel has been conducting intensive R&D on SiC materials over twenty years,” said Dr. Misao Hashimoto, Nippon Steel, fellow and director of the Advanced Technology Research Laboratory. “The good working relationship between Cree and Nippon Steel enabled us to achieve our commitment for growing the global SiC market.”

About Cree
Cree is a market-leading innovator of semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications, lighting-class LEDs, and LED lighting solutions.

Cree has more than 1,800 patents issued worldwide and more than 2,600 pending patent applications that address LED chip, component and lighting technology, as well as SiC materials, and RF and Power electronics.

Cree’s product families include power-switching devices and radio-frequency/wireless devices, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, and LED fixtures and bulbs. Cree solutions are driving improvements in applications such as variable-speed motors, wireless communications, general illumination, backlighting and electronic signs and signals.

For additional product and company information, please refer to www.cree.com. To learn more about the LED Lighting Revolution, please visit www.creeledrevolution.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, including uncertain demand for products using the licensed technology; and other factors discussed in Cree’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 27, 2010, and subsequent filings.