May 14, 2015

Cree Confronts TWT Radar System Issues with Record-Breaking High-Power RF Devices

DURHAM, NC -- Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a leader in gallium nitride (GaN) RF devices, has introduced two industry-leading GaN HEMT (high-electron-mobility transistor) devices that solve a number of long-standing issues for radar systems employing traditional travelling-wave-tube (TWT) amplifiers. GaN-based solid-state amplifiers operating at 50 V are not prone to the failure mechanisms seen with high-voltage (kV) TWT power supplies, thus providing longer lifetimes. Also, such solid-state systems provide near-instant-on capability – with no warm up, longer detection ranges and improved target discrimination.

Cree RF GaN HEMTsConceived from the start to enable these system benefits, Cree’s two new GaN RF transistors were engineered to provide the highest power and efficiency housed in a small package size. The first device, a 350-W/50-Ω, fully matched GaN HEMT is the highest-power C-Band transistor available on the market. The second, a 500-W/50-Ω GaN HEMT, is the highest power S-band transistor fully matched to 50 Ω in a single-ended package of its size. Both devices will be demonstrated at the industry’s premier technical conference, the International Microwave Symposium, which will take place May 17 – 21 in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Cree’s new C- and S-band products break power records for GaN power and efficiency performance housed in a small 50-Ω package. This efficient power enables the economical combination of transistors to achieve multi-kilowatt power amplifiers required for defense, weather and air-traffic-control radar,” said Tom Dekker, director of sales and marketing, Cree RF. “If we consider the figure of merit for RF power output relative to the area of a 50-Ω package, Cree’s 350-W C-band device beats the closest commercial GaN competitor by an estimated 3.5 times. Using the same figure of merit, Cree’s 500-W S-band device raises the bar by 45 percent over other commercial S-band products.”

Offering pulsed saturated power performance typically greater than 400 watts, the CGHV59350 is most often used in ground-based defense and Doppler weather radar systems. The 50-Ω, fully matched GaN HEMT operates over a 5.2 to 5.9-GHz bandwidth, exhibits 60 percent typical drain efficiency, and is packaged in an industry-standard 0.7” x 0.9” ceramic/metal flange package.

Delivering 700 watts of typical saturated RF pulsed power, the CGHV31500F is offered for air-traffic-control-radar systems. The 50-Ω, fully matched GaN HEMT operates over a 2.7 to 3.1-GHz bandwidth, exhibits 12-dB power gain, and is packaged in an industry-standard 0.7” x 0.9” ceramic/metal flange package.

For more information about Cree’s new GaN HEMTs for C- and S-band radar applications, please visit and to access the product data sheets.

For more information about Cree’s RF GaN HEMT and MMIC devices, please visit and the Cree RF YouTube video stream, or contact Sarah Miller, marketing, Cree RF, at or 919-407-5302.

About Cree
Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, mercury-free LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting, and semiconductor products for power and radio frequency (RF) applications.

Cree’s product families include LED fixtures and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and RF devices. Cree® products are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, backlighting, electronic signs and signals, power suppliers and solar inverters.

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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 actual savings and lifetimes will vary from expectations; the risk we may be unable to manufacture these new products with sufficiently low cost to offer them at competitive prices or with acceptable margins; the risk we may encounter delays or other difficulties in ramping up production of our new products; customer acceptance of new LED 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 29, 2014, and subsequent filings.