Wolfspeed

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Wolfspeed, Inc.
TypePublic company
IndustryElectronics
Founded1987; 35 years ago (1987)
HeadquartersResearch Triangle Park, North Carolina
ProductsWide-bandgap semiconductors
RevenueIncrease $525 million (2021)
Decrease -$313 million (2021)
Decrease -$522 million (2021)
Total assetsIncrease $3.45 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease $2.12 billion (2021)
Number of employees
3,466 (2021)
Websitewww.wolfspeed.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Wolfspeed, Inc. is a developer of wide bandgap semiconductors, focused on silicon carbide and gallium nitride materials and devices for power and radio frequency applications such as transportation, power supplies, power inverters, and wireless systems. The company was formerly named Cree, Inc.[1]

History[edit]

XLamp 7090 XR-E Q4
9.5 watt 800 lumen dimmable lamp bulb, with 2700 K color temperature, introduced in March 2013

The company was founded in July 1987 in Durham, North Carolina. Five of the six founders – Neal Hunter, Thomas Coleman, John Edmond, Eric Hunter, John Palmour and Calvin Carter – are graduates of North Carolina State University.[2]

In 1983, the founders – one a research assistant professor and the others student researchers – were seeking ways to leverage the properties of silicon carbide to enable semiconductors to operate at higher operating temperatures and power levels. They also knew silicon carbide could serve as the diode in light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, a light source first demonstrated in 1907 with an electrically charged diode of silicon carbide. The research team devised a way to grow silicon crystals in the laboratory, and in 1987 founded the company to produce SiC to be used usage commercially in both semiconductors and lighting.[3]

In 1989, the company introduced the first blue LED, enabling the development of large, full-color video screens and billboards.[4]

In 1991, the company released the first commercial silicon carbide wafer.[5]

In 1993, the company became a public company via an initial public offering.[6]

In 1999, the company name was changed from Cree Research to Cree, Inc.[7]

In 2011, the company acquired Ruud Lighting for $525 million.[8]

In August 2011, the company announced the XLamp XT-E Royal Blue LED for use in remote phosphor lighting.[9]

In 2013, the company's first consumer products, two household LED bulbs, qualified for Energy Star rating by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[10]

In July 2016, Infineon Technologies agreed to acquire the company's Wolfspeed RF and power electronics devices unit for $850 million. However, the deal was terminated in February 2017 due to regulators’ national security concerns.[11]

In March 2018, the company acquired the RF Power Business Infineon Technologies AG's for €345 million.[12]

In May 2019, the company sold its Lighting Products division to Ideal Industries.[13]

In September 2019, the company announced a $1 billion investment in a semiconductor manufacturing plant in Marcy, New York to build the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility with a $500 million grant from New York State.[14][15][16]

In March 2021, the company sold its LED Business to SMART Global Holdings for up to $300 million.[17]

In October 2021, the company changed its name to Wolfspeed.[18]

In April 2022, the upstate NY facility opened.[19] NY Governor Kathy Hochul[20] and US Senator Chuck Schumer[19] spoke at the event.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Wolfspeed, Inc. 2021 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ Smith, Rick (July 2, 2007). "'50 Who Matter' Media Spotlight Shines on Cree Co-Founder". WRAL-TV.
  3. ^ Palmour, John (August 24, 2017). "30 years later: A tech founder's perspective on what it takes to disrupt markets". LinkedIn.
  4. ^ Shih, Willy (October 4, 2021). "Cree Becomes Wolfspeed, GM Deal Signals The Coming End Of The ICE Age". Forbes.
  5. ^ "SILICON CARBIDE: SMALLER, FASTER, TOUGHER". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. September 27, 2011.
  6. ^ Ohnesorge, Lauren (July 13, 2012). "Now 25, Cree Inc. closes in on $1B threshold". American City Business Journals.
  7. ^ "Cree proposes a public offering, changes name". American City Business Journals. January 3, 2000.
  8. ^ Burke, Michael (August 17, 2011). "Ruud Lighting acquired for $525 million". Racine Journal Times.
  9. ^ "Cree Launches New High-Performance XLamp® XT-E Royal Blue LED and Patent Licensing Program for Remote Phosphor Applications" (Press release). Business Wire. August 2, 2011.
  10. ^ Funk, John (October 10, 2013). "Cree's LED bulb now Energy Star, qualifies for up to $5 price cut". The Plain Dealer.
  11. ^ Armental, Maria (February 16, 2017). "Cree and Infineon Call Off Wolfspeed Deal". The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ "Cree acquires Infineon RF Power Business" (Press release). Infineon Technologies. March 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "Cree Closes on the Sale of Cree Lighting to IDEAL INDUSTRIES, Inc" (Press release). Wolfspeed. May 13, 2019.
  14. ^ Young, Liz (September 23, 2019). "$1 billion semiconductor plant to be built in Mohawk Valley". American City Business Journals.
  15. ^ Rulison, Larry (September 23, 2019). "Cree plans $1B semiconductor plant in Marcy". Times Union.
  16. ^ Moriarty, Rick (September 23, 2019). "Cree to build $1 billion silicon carbide wafer plant near Utica; state gives $500 million grant". The Post-Standard.
  17. ^ "Cree Completes Sale of its LED Business to SMART Global Holdings, Inc" (Press release). Business Wire. March 1, 2021.
  18. ^ "Wolfspeed To Transfer to the New York Stock Exchange and Trade Under New Ticker Symbol "WOLF"; To Host Investor Day in NYC on Wednesday, Nov. 17" (Press release). Business Wire. September 16, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Colon, Shayla (April 25, 2022). "Wolfspeed opens Mohawk Valley chip fab". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved May 16, 2022.
  20. ^ Zeeberg, Amos (May 16, 2022). "What's Down the Road for Silicon?". NY Times. Retrieved May 16, 2022.

External links[edit]