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Wolfspeed and ZF Announce Partnership for Future Silicon Carbide Semiconductor Devices

Feb 01, 2023
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Wolfspeed and ZF to establish joint R&D center in Germany to further advance global Silicon Carbide system and device innovation leadership

ZF invests in Wolfspeed to support construction of the world’s most advanced and largest Silicon Carbide device fab

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DURHAM, NC and ENSDORF, GERMANY – February 1, 2023 -- Wolfspeed, Inc. (NYSE: WOLF), the global leader in Silicon Carbide technology and ZF, a global technology company enabling next generation mobility, today announced a strategic partnership that includes the creation of a joint innovation lab to drive advances in Silicon Carbide systems and devices for mobility, industrial and energy applications. The partnership also includes a significant investment by ZF to support the planned construction of the world’s most advanced and largest 200mm Silicon Carbide device fab in Ensdorf, Germany.  Both the joint innovation lab and the Wolfspeed device fab are planned as part of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for Microelectronics and Communication Technologies framework, and are dependent upon state aid approval from the European Commission.

“These initiatives are a significant step towards a successful industrial transformation. They strengthen European supply resilience and, at the same time, support the European Green Deal and the strategic goals for Europe’s Digital Decade,” said Dr. Holger Klein, CEO of ZF.

Wolfspeed and ZF Partner on Silicon Carbide R&D Center

The strategic partnership includes a joint research facility in Germany that will focus on real world e-mobility and renewable energy system level challenges. The goal of the collaboration is to develop breakthrough innovations for Silicon Carbide systems, products, and applications, covering the full value chain from chip to complete systems. Additional collaboration partners will be invited to participate in the innovation process, establishing an end-to-end, European Silicon Carbide innovation network.

The R&D center will focus on innovation for Silicon Carbide systems and devices to meet specific requirements in all mobility segments including consumer, commercial, agricultural, and industrial vehicles as well as in the industrial and renewable energy markets. The collaboration will drive improvements such as higher efficiency, increased power density and higher performances for electrification solutions.

ZF to Invest in Wolfspeed for Next Generation 200mm Silicon Carbide Fab

As separately announced, Wolfspeed plans to construct a fully automated, highly advanced200mm wafer fabrication facility in Saarland, Germany. ZF intends to support this new construction by making a sizable financial investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for Wolfspeed common stock. As a part of this investment ZF will have a minority ownership position in the fab. Wolfspeed will maintain all operational and management control rights in the new fab. ZF and Wolfspeed previously announced a strategic partnership in 2019 to create industry-leading, highly efficient electric drivelines with a Silicon Carbide inverter, and these new initiatives represent the next generation of innovation for the partners.

“We have a strong partner by our side in ZF, which brings industry-leading experience in scaling components for electric mobility as well as the aptitude to accelerate innovation in Silicon Carbide systems and power devices. I am confident this partnership will lift Silicon Carbide semiconductor technology to a new level of global impact, supporting increased sustainability and efficiency efforts across a multitude of industries,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Wolfspeed.

“Together, Wolfspeed and ZF combine expertise in power electronics and systems with a know-how in applications that is unparalleled in the industry. Wolfspeed brings its more than 35 years in Silicon Carbide technology, and at ZF we have a unique understanding of the overall systems across all sectors - from passenger cars and commercial vehicles to construction machinery, wind power and industrial applications. The close cooperation between fab and R&D center will enable us to develop breakthrough innovations beyond state of the art for the benefit of our customers,” says Stephan von Schuckmann, Member of the ZF Board of Management.

About Wolfspeed, Inc.:

Wolfspeed (NYSE: WOLF) leads the market in the worldwide adoption of Silicon Carbide and GaN technologies. We provide industry-leading solutions for efficient energy consumption and a sustainable future. Wolfspeed’s product families include Silicon Carbide materials, power devices and RF devices targeted for various applications such as electric vehicles, fast charging, 5G, renewable energy and storage, and aerospace and defense. We unleash the power of possibilities through hard work, collaboration and a passion for innovation. Learn more at www.wolfspeed.com.

Twitter: @Wolfspeed
LinkedIn: @Wolfspeed

Wolfspeed® is a registered trademark of Wolfspeed, Inc.

About ZF

ZF is a global technology company supplying systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. In the four technology domains of Vehicle Motion Control, Integrated Safety, Automated Driving, and Electric Mobility, ZF offers comprehensive product and software solutions for established vehicle manufacturers and newly emerging transport and mobility service providers. ZF electrifies a wide range of vehicle types. With its products, the company contributes to reducing emissions, protecting the climate and enhancing safe mobility.

With some 157,500 employees worldwide, ZF reported sales of €38.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. The company is represented with 188 production locations in 31 countries.

For further press information and photos, please visit: www.zf.com

Forward Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements by Wolfspeed involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause Wolfspeed’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, including the risk that Wolfspeed does not receive receiving funding from the European Union’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) framework; that Wolfspeed may encounter delays or other difficulties in constructing and/or ramping up production in this new device factory on time, at the projected costs, with the anticipated job creation and to the extent of the anticipated production levels or at all; risks associated with the transition of high volume production from 150mm to 200mm wafers; the continued pace of the transition to using Silicon Carbide devices in electric vehicles and other industrial uses; Wolfspeed’s ability to develop and design Silicon Carbide devices that will continue to improve performance in broad markets; the risk that Wolfspeed may be unable to manufacture its products with sufficiently low cost to offer them at competitive prices or with acceptable margins; the risk that demand for Silicon Carbide will not grow as Wolfspeed expects;  the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render Wolfspeed’s products obsolete; and other factors discussed in Wolfspeed’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 26, 2022, and subsequent filings. For additional product and company information, please refer to www.wolfspeed.com.

Wolfspeed

PR contact:

Melinda Walker
+1 818-261-4585
media@wolfspeed.com

IR contact:

Tyler Gronbach
+1 919-407-4820
investorrelations@wolfspeed.com

ZF

Christoph Horn, Head of Group Communications,
phone: +49 7541 77-2705,
e-mail: christoph.horn@zf.com

Karin Markenstein, Head of Communication, Electrified Powertrain Technology Division,
phone: +49 681 920-2563,
e-mail: karin.markenstein@zf.com

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