News | May 29, 2014

Cree Introduces New Low Cost, High Power GaN RF Transistors To Enable Higher Data Rate Telecom Systems

DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) introduces a new family of high power GaN RF transistors based on an innovative plastic package design, which leverages the superior RF performance of GaN in a low-cost platform. Initial products include the industry’s first 300W plastic packaged transistor operating at 2.7 GHz, delivering unparalleled Psat efficiency of 65 percent and broadband capability at nearly half the price of the same GaN transistor housed in an industry-standard ceramic package. Scalable to high power levels and capable of operating in all cellular telecom bands up to 3.8 GHz, the new GaN transistors are expected to enable the deployment of smaller, lower-cost macrocell radio units capable of supporting the growing data demands of today’s cellular LTE networks.

“The RF transistor market for wireless telecom infrastructure is approaching $1 billion annually,” said Lance Wilson, research director, ABI Research. “Silicon LDMOS has been the dominant technology for the past 20 years but recently GaN RF power devices have captured meaningful market share based on performance; however, acceptance has been limited thus far due to its higher cost. Cree’s newest family of high power plastic products will drive down the cost of GaN transistors to a point that is nearing Si LDMOS levels and will accelerate broader adoption in telecom applications. This will make GaN transistors a principal choice for next-generation wireless networks.”

The new broadband GaN transistors from Cree have the flexibility to operate across multiple cellular bands, helping network operators deploy carrier aggregation solutions that join different bands of spectrum and create larger data pipes to support faster download speeds and enable additional network capacity. Cellular base station OEMs can also leverage this flexibility to speed their time to market by addressing market requirements with fewer band-specific amplifiers.

Additionally, Cree’s proven GaN technology provides unrivaled efficiency that improves a system’s thermal design and reduces cost. More efficient solutions allow for smaller and lighter radio units, which alleviates loading on already overcrowded cellular towers. Increased efficiency also creates significant savings on utility costs necessary to run the networks.

“Our new low-cost line of high performance plastic packaged transistors will transform the way telecom OEMs approach base station platform design, providing greater flexibility and networking options for cellular operators to serve their customer base,” said Jim Milligan, RF business director, Cree, Inc. “Our new packaging platform allows us to break a significant cost barrier that has prevented telecom infrastructure providers from fully exploiting the full performance capability of GaN technology. By delivering broadband and high efficiency performance in a cost-effective solution, we believe GaN is poised for rapid adoption by setting a new standard for performance and price.”

Available at power levels of 60, 100, 150, 200 and 300 watts, the new plastic GaN HEMT RF transistors can operate at frequencies up to 3.8 GHz. In addition, the family offers transistors pre-matched to cellular bands at either 690 – 960 MHz, 1800 – 2300 MHz or 2300 – 2700 MHz. Cree® GaN plastic packaged transistors used in Doherty amplifiers have demonstrated 80W average power at 2.6 GHz with 50 percent drain efficiency under 7.5dB PAR LTE signals at 50V, with 17dB of gain at rated output power. The entire family of 50V plastic GaN transistors is verified to meet moisture sensitivity level (MSL-3) and JEDEC environmental standards.

Visit www.cree.com/telecom for more product information, or stop by Cree’s booth (#433) at the International Microwave Symposium, June 1 – 6 in Tampa Bay, Fla.

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.

Please refer to www.cree.com for additional product and company information.

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 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 our 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 30, 2013, and subsequent filings.

Cree® is a registered trademark of Cree, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2014

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