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Wolfspeed and ZF to Open R&D Center in Nuremberg, Germany to Optimize Silicon Carbide Semiconductor Technology

May 03, 2023
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Munich – May 3, 2023 -- As part of their strategic partnership announced earlier this year, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a leading global technology company of next generation mobility, and Wolfspeed Inc. (NYSE: WOLF), the global leader in Silicon Carbide technology, today announced their plans to establish a joint European R&D center for Silicon Carbide power electronics in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region.

The new joint research facility is supported by the German federal government and the regional government of Bavaria. Like the planned Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide chip factory in Ensdorf, Saarland, funding for the new center is subject to approval by the European Commission under the EU’s Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) scheme, as well as antitrust authorities. The aim is to develop the two facilities to become the cornerstone of a new European Silicon Carbide technology network.   Construction will begin after IPCEI funding approval has been secured for both projects, which is expected later this year. The goal of the collaboration is to develop breakthrough innovations for Silicon Carbide systems, products, and applications, covering the full value chain from module to complete systems and thus reducing time-to-market significantly. The joint research center will target requirements in all mobility segments including consumer, commercial, agricultural, and industrial vehicles, as well as in the industrial and renewable energy markets. The collaboration aims to drive improvements such as higher efficiency, increased power density and higher performance of electrification solutions. Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide expertise and ZF’s access to all mobility segments allows for a fast and seamless transition of new technologies.

ZF and Wolfspeed are partnering with other leading organizations from the scientific and industrial communities to establish a comprehensive European Silicon Carbide technology network. To this end, ZF will use its membership in the European Center of Power Electronics (ECPE) and share key research results at the European level. Over time, the research center is planned to develop into an electronics and semiconductor campus.

"The research center is of outstanding importance for the energy and mobility transition in the EU and supports the strategic goals of Europe," says Dr Holger Klein, CEO of ZF.  "In addition, optimizing Silicon Carbide technology advances industrial transformation and strengthens the independence of European supply chains."

“This research facility further strengthens our partnership with ZF and underlines our long-term commitment to turn our unique know-how from more than 35 years of experience in Silicon Carbide power electronics into state-of-the-art solutions for our industry partners,” comments Gregg Lowe, CEO of Wolfspeed Inc.

The strategic partnership links ZF, one of the world's leading suppliers of electric drives, with Wolfspeed, the world's most recognized specialist in Silicon Carbide technology. "This connection is unique and will lead to enormous advances in Silicon Carbide-based electrical systems and electric drives," says ZF Board of Management member Stephan von Schuckmann. "This is made possible by the close networking of the research center and production, because fundamentally redesigned Silicon Carbide chips also require new production processes.”

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 165,000 employees worldwide, ZF reported sales of €43.8 billion in fiscal 2022. The company operates 168 production locations in 32 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 contacts:

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

Dr Michael Kambeck
BOLDT GmbH
+49 211 5421 6090
wolfspeed@boldtpartners.com

Investor relations contact:

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

ZF

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

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

Benjamin Wagener, Business and Finance
+49 751 77-963354
benjamin.wagener@zf.com

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