May 19, 2011

Cree’s New Z-FET™ Silicon Carbide MOSFET Delivers Superior Energy Efficiency to an Expanding List of Power Applications

NUREMBURG, GERMANY -- Providing power electronics design engineers with a way to increase the efficiency of high-volume power inverters for alternative energy and other power electronic applications, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) has extended the product range of its industry-first Z-FET™ family with a lower amperage 1200V SiC MOSFET. The new MOSFET device complements Cree’s existing 1200V SiC MOSFET and features a smaller current rating that enables the device to be included in a wider range of applications at a lower price point or used in parallel to optimize system cost and performance.

The new device is designed to replace the silicon transistors (IGBTs) that are currently used in power inverter designs between 3 and 10kW. Applications include high-voltage power supplies and auxiliary power electronics circuits, especially those designed for conversion of 3-phase input power, solar power inverters, industrial motor drives, high-power DC data center power architectures, and PFC (power factor correction) circuits.

“The addition of this new switching device to our Z-FET SiC power MOSFET family gives our customers a greater range of flexibility in matching the price/performance requirements to their applications,” said Dr. John Palmour, Cree co-founder and chief technology officer, Cree Power & RF. “The smaller die size provides a lower price point, yet still delivers all the benefits of silicon carbide switching performance at 1200V. It’s further evidence that we’re committed to establishing a comprehensive range of SiC MOSFET products that we believe will eventually replace silicon devices in many high volume power electronics applications, especially those with 1200V and higher breakdown voltage requirements.”

“By using the new Z-FET SiC MOSFETs in conjunction with Cree’s silicon carbide Schottky diodes to implement ‘all-SiC’ versions of critical high power switching circuits and power systems, power electronics design engineers can achieve levels of energy efficiency, size and weight reduction that are not possible with any commercially available silicon power devices of comparable ratings,” Palmour explained.

Cree’s new SiC MOSFET is rated for 12A at its operating temperature of 100°C and delivers blocking voltages up to 1200V with a typical on-state resistance (RDS(ON)) of just 160mΩ at 25°C. Unlike comparably-rated silicon switching devices, Cree’s new SiC MOSFET exhibits an RDS(ON) value that remains below 200mΩ across its entire operating temperature range. This reduces switching losses in many applications by up to 50 percent, increasing overall system efficiencies up to 2 percent while operating at 2 – 3 times the switching frequencies when compared to the best silicon IGBTs. As a result of this improved efficiency, SiC devices have lower operating temperatures and fewer thermal management requirements, which combine with their ultra-low leakage current (<1µA) to reduce system size and weight and increase reliability.

Expanding Cree’s SiC Leadership
“The new 1200V Z-FET is the latest in what we anticipate to be a comprehensive range of SiC MOSFETs with both higher and lower amperage/voltage ratings,” explained Dr. Cengiz Balkas, Cree vice-president and general manager, Power & RF. “By providing our customers a wider selection of devices and ratings, we are expanding the range of power electronics applications that can benefit from the unique efficiencies of SiC technology. Compared with commercially-available silicon devices, SiC power devices enable higher energy efficiency, faster switching speeds and improved device reliability that simplify system design while enabling unprecedented performance and, ultimately, at a cost advantage. In addition to the discrete packaged devices, we anticipate increased customer demand for MOSFET die for use in the development of power modules and microcircuit assemblies.”

Cree has been a recognized leader in SiC MOSFET process and design development for more than 20 years, demonstrating the first vertical SiC MOSFET devices; the first SiC MOSFETs at >600V; the highest announced voltage MOSFETs ever produced (10kV); and numerous processing developments to enhance SiC MOSFET interface quality and reliability. Cree has been awarded more than 50 patents on SiC MOSFET technologies, with numerous patents pending.

Designated the CMF10120D, the new SiC MOSFET is housed in an industry-standard TO-247 package.
CMF10120D power devices are fully qualified and released for production. To locate a distributor, please visit www.cree.com/products/power_distr.asp. For more information about Cree’s 1200V SiC MOSFET devices or any of Cree’s 600V, 1200V and 1700V SiC Schottky diodes, visit www.cree.com/power.

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

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.

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 the risk that we may be unable to manufacture these products with sufficiently low cost to offer them at competitive prices or with acceptable margins; the risk that we may be unable to develop and commercialize additional SiC power MOSFET products necessary to serve all of the market opportunities identified in this release; the risk we may encounter delays or other difficulties in ramping up production of our new products; customer acceptance of the new products; the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render Cree’s products obsolete; 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.

Z-FET is a trademark and Cree is a registered trademark of Cree, Inc.