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Cree Launches Industry’s First Commercial Silicon Carbide Power MOSFET; Destined to Replace Silicon Devices in High Voltage (≥ 1

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In a move that heralds a performance revolution in energy efficient

power electronics, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in silicon

carbide (SiC) power devices, has introduced the industry’s first

fully-qualified commercial silicon carbide power MOSFET. This

establishes a new benchmark for energy efficient power switches and can

enable design engineers to develop high voltage circuits with extremely

fast switching speeds and ultralow switching losses.

The SiC MOSFET can be used today for solar inverters, high-voltage power

supplies and power conditioning in many industrial power applications.

Over the next several years, SiC power switches and diodes could also

expand into motor drive control, electric vehicles and wind energy

applications. The market for power semiconductors in these applications

is estimated at approximately $4 billion today, reaching nearly $6

billion by 2015.

The addition of the SiC power MOSFET to Cree’s world-class silicon

carbide Schottky diode family enables power electronics design engineers

to develop “all-SiC” implementations of critical high power switching

circuits and systems with levels of energy efficiency, size and weight

reduction that are not achievable with any commercially available

silicon power devices of comparable ratings.

“This introduction of our SiC power MOSFET represents many years of

materials research, process development and device design,” said John

Palmour, Cree co-founder and chief technology officer, Power and RF.

“But the end result is that the industry’s first ‘ideal’ high voltage

switching device is no longer a future technology – it is commercially

available and ready for design-in today. Together with our 600V, 650V,

1200V and 1700V SiC Schottky diodes, Cree Power has established a new

class of SiC power components that are destined to lead the power

semiconductor industry in the years to come, and eventually replace

silicon devices in the majority of critical power electronics

applications with breakdown voltage requirements of 1200V or higher.”

“Cree’s release of the SiC MOSFET represents a major step forward in

power technology and enables a new standard in performance and

reliability to be reached,” said Per Ranstad, Product Manager at Alstom

Power - Thermal Services in Sweden. “At Alstom, we have been working

with Cree to demonstrate the capabilities of this new device, in

particular seeing its impact on energy efficiency in power systems, and

we are definitely excited by the results we have achieved to date.”

Cree’s SiC MOSFET, the CMF20120D , provides blocking voltages up to

1200V with an on-state resistance (RDSon) of just 80mΩ at 25°C.

Setting Cree’s SiC MOSFET apart from comparable silicon devices, the RDSon

remains below 100mΩ across its entire operating temperature range. This

consistency of performance characteristics across operating conditions,

along with a true MOSFET device architecture (normally-off), makes it

ideal for power electronics switching circuits. Compared to commercially

available silicon MOSFET or IGBT devices of similar ratings, in tests

conducted by Cree the CMF20120D had the lowest gate drive energy (QG

<100nC) across the recommended input voltage range. Conduction losses

were minimized with forward drop (VF) of <2V at a current of


The CMF20120D SiC MOSFET provides significant advantages over silicon

devices, enabling unprecedented system efficiency and/or reduced system

size, weight and cost through its higher frequency operation. It can

meet or beat silicon MOSFET switching speeds and reduce switching losses

in many applications by up to 50 percent.

Compared to the best silicon IGBTs, the Cree device improves system

efficiency up to 2 percent and operates at 2-3 times the switching

frequencies. Higher component efficiency also results in lower operating

temperatures. Combining these lower operating temperatures with the

CMF20120D’s ultra-low leakage current (<1μA) adds significantly to

system reliability.

SiC MOSFET Applications in Power Electronics

Cree’s CMF20120D is ideal for high voltage applications where energy

efficiency is critical. Solar inverters are an example where SiC MOSFETs

can be used in both the boost and inverter sections of the DC-to-AC

converters. Switching losses are decreased by more than 30 percent using

SiC MOSFETs; and when combined with Cree’s SiC Junction Barrier Schottky

diodes, overall system efficiency has been demonstrated at >99%.

Similar efficiency benefits can be achieved in other applications that

require high blocking voltages in combination with fast, efficient

switching, such as industrial motor drives, high power DC data center

power architectures, PFC (power factor correction), boost and high

frequency DC/DC conversion circuits in industrial, and computing and

communications power systems. In addition to potential efficiency gains,

the low switching losses of Cree’s SiC MOSFETs and diodes can enable

design optimization at switching frequencies up to three times those

built with commercially available silicon devices.

Cree’s Leadership in SiC Technology

“Silicon carbide technology is critical to developing the next

generation of advanced, energy-efficient power electronic system

designs,” explained Cengiz Balkas, Cree vice-president and general

manager, Power and RF. “We believe that the addition of the industry’s

first commercial SiC MOSFET will speed the development of smaller,

faster, lighter and more efficient power devices in certain critical

power device applications, with the potential to reduce global electric

power consumption. This MOSFET is the first SiC MOSFET product that Cree

plans to release, drawing on our technology and patent base.”

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 voltage

MOSFETs ever fabricated (10kV); and numerous processing developments to

enhance SiC MOS interface quality and reliability. Cree has been awarded

more than 50 patents on SiC MOSFET technologies, with numerous patents


The CMF20120D power devices are fully qualified and released for

production. Samples are available now from Digi-Key (www.digi-key.com).

For samples and more information about Cree’s 1200V 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


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.

Cree is a registered trademark of Cree, Inc.

Cree, Inc.

Michelle Murray, 919-313-5505




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