June 13, 2012

Cree Releases Breakthrough, GaN-Based, Solid-State Amplifier Platform

Breakthrough Technology Delivers Twice the Efficiency over Conventional Solutions
DURHAM, NC -- Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) introduces the new 40-volt, 0.25-um, GaN-on-SiC HEMT process die product family to deliver revolutionary power and bandwidth capabilities through Ku Band. The innovative product family enables the replacement of travel-wave tubes with solid-state amplifiers for improved efficiency and reliability. Cree will showcase its innovative performance capabilities at the 2012 IEEE International Microwave Symposium to be held June 17-22 in Montreal, Canada.  

“Cree’s 0.25-um GaN HEMT die product family offers significant improvements in gain, efficiency and power density compared to GaAs transistors over the same frequency range,” said Tom Dekker, director RF sales and marketing, Cree. “The higher gain allows for more effective power combining schemes and enables solid-state power amplifiers to be produced with hundreds to multi-kilowatts at C-Band, X-Band and Ku Band.”  

Market applications include marine radar, medical imaging, industrial and satellite communication. Compared to GaAs transistors, solid-state amplifiers can improve reliability, reduce costs and boost efficiency while shrinking the size of not only the power amplifier but also the power supply. The higher efficiency of GaN HEMT power amplifiers can result in reduced transmitter power consumption.

“Cree’s 0.25-um GaN HEMT products demonstrate breakthrough performance in improved efficiency and bandwidth by enabling new classes of transistor operation not achievable with GaAs-based transistors,” explained Ray Pengelly, RF business development manager, Cree. “Good examples are switch-mode HPAs, which have been reported to offer greater than 80-percent power-added efficiency at microwave frequencies.  GaN HEMT HPAs have been produced with instantaneous bandwidths from 6 to 18 GHz at power levels exceeding 10 W. These 0.25-um GaN performance levels provide system engineers leapfrog advantages to re-invent their GaAs and tube transmitters.”

The new GaN HEMT die products (CGHV1J006D, CGHV1J025D and CGHV1J070D) are rated at 6 W, 25 W and 70 W of output power at 40 V of drain voltage with an operating frequency range through Ku Band. 

This latest die family release is supported by Cree’s proprietary, scalable large-signal device models that are compatible with Agilent’s Advanced Design System and AWR’s Microwave Office simulator platforms, enabling RF design engineers to accurately simulate advanced RF amplifier circuits, which can significantly reduce design cycle times – a most desirable requirement for the higher microwave frequencies. The 0.25-um GaN-on-SiC HEMT process has been qualified to operate up to a drain voltage of 40 volts with industry-leading reliability. The mean-time-to-failure exceeds more than one million hours at channel temperatures up to 225 degrees C.

For additional information about Cree’s new 0.25-um GaN-on-SiC HEMT die family, please visit www.cree.com/rf

About Cree

Cree is a market-leading innovator of semiconductor products for power and radio-frequency (RF) applications, lighting-class LEDs and LED lighting solutions.

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, electronic signs and signals, power supplies and solar inverters.

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 customer acceptance of products; the risk that 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; the risk that actual savings may vary from expectations; 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 26, 2011, and subsequent filings.