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Cree To Invest Up To $1 Bln To Expand Silicon Carbide Capacity - Quick Facts

Cree Inc. (CREE) said Tuesday that as part of its long-term growth strategy, it will invest up to $1 billion to expand its silicon carbide capacity.

The company will develop a state-of-the-art, automated 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility and a materials mega factory at its U.S. campus headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. The investment is company's largest to date in fueling its Wolfspeed silicon carbide and GaN on silicon carbide business.

Cree noted that upon completion in 2024, the facilities will substantially increase its silicon carbide materials capability and wafer fabrication capacity, allowing wide bandgap semiconductor solutions for the automotive, communications infrastructure and industrial markets.

"This investment in equipment, infrastructure and our workforce is capable of increasing our silicon carbide wafer fabrication capacity up to 30-fold and our materials production by up to 30-fold compared to Q1 of fiscal year 2017, which is when we began the first phase of capacity expansion. We believe this will allow us to meet the expected growth in Wolfspeed silicon carbide material and device demand over the next five years and beyond," said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree.

According to Cree, the plan delivers additional capacity for its Wolfspeed silicon carbide business with the build out of an existing structure as a 253,000 square-foot, 200mm power and RF wafer fabrication facility as an initial step to serve the projected market demand.

The new North Fab is designed to be fully automotive qualified and will provide nearly 18 times more surface area for manufacturing than that existing currently, initially opening with the production of 150mm wafers. The company will convert its existing Durham fabrication and materials facility into a materials mega factory.

The expanded campus will also create opportunity for high-tech jobs. Cree said it plans to partner with state and local community as well as four-year colleges to develop training programs to prepare its workforce for the long-term, high-quality employment and growth opportunities the new facilities will present.

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