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Cree Releases New-Generation 50-V GaN HEMT Technology to Significantly Reduce Cellular-Network Energy Needs

Oct 29, 2012
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DURHAM, NC -- Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) introduces a range of new 50-V GaN HEMT devices enabling a significant reduction in the energy needed to power cellular networks. The world’s cellular network is estimated to consume more than 100 TWh of electricity per year (approximate value of $12 billion US Dollars) and 50–80 percent of the networks’ power is consumed by the systems’ power amplifiers and feed infrastructure. Leveraging this new, innovative Cree®technology, radio base-station power amplifiers have demonstrated performance improvements of more than 20 percent over incumbent technology at 2.6 GHz operating under the latest 4G LTE signals. This increased power amplifier efficiency could save an estimated 10 TWh per year, the equivalent power output of two nuclear power plants.

While operational cost savings from increased efficiency can be significant, additional substantial savings are also possible in the acquisition cost of the system. A higher-efficiency power amplifier can help OEMs save capital equipment costs through simplified cooling, and the higher-voltage GaN components can lower the cost of AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC converters. Overall, the impact on the total bill of materials can be as much as 10 percent, leading to significantly lower system costs. 

“We believe our 50-V GaN HEMT products can have a large impact in not only helping cellular network operators and OEMs reduce operational and capital expenses but also in helping to reduce global energy consumption,” explains Jim Milligan, business director, Cree RF. “Several tier-one telecom OEMs have already incorporated lower-voltage versions of our technology to begin realizing these benefits. To date, even at an early stage of deployment, we estimate as much as 2,400 MWh of energy have already been saved as a result. This is an equivalent carbon offset of 1,400 metric tons of CO2 and represents the offset created by planting approximately 36,000 trees. 

Cree’s 50-V GaN HEMT transistors operating at 100-W or 200-W output powers are now released for both the 1.8 – 2.2 GHz and 2.5 – 2.7 GHz frequency bands. The devices are internally matched for optimum performance, enabling wide instantaneous bandwidths. Cree 50-V GaN HEMT transistors are ideal for use in high-efficiency Doherty power amplifiers where power gains higher than 18 dB at 2.14 GHz and 16 dB at 2.6 GHz can be achieved respectively.

For additional information about Cree’s new 50-V GaN HEMT technology, please visit Visitors to the European Microwave Week (EuMW), October 28 – November 2, can learn more about the new devices at Cree’s booth 408.

The new Cree 50-V GaN HEMT transistors are available in sample quantities now, with production quantities scheduled to be available in November 2012.

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,

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 24, 2012, and subsequent filings.

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