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Cree To Establish SiC Corridor On US East Coast

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Company to build automotive-qualified 200mm power and RF wafer fabrication facility in Marcy, New York

Cree has announced plans to establish a SiC corridor on the East Coast of the United States with the creation of the world's largest SiC fabrication facility.

The company will build a brand new, state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified 200mm power and RF wafer fabrication facility in Marcy, New York, complemented by its mega materials factory expansion currently underway at its Durham headquarters in North Carolina.

The new fabrication facility, part of a previously announced project to boost capacity for its Wolfspeed SiC and GaN business, will be a bigger, highly-automated factory with greater output capability. Through a strategic partnership with the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and other state and local agencies and entities, the decision to build in New York will allow for both continued future expansion of capacity and significant net cost savings for Cree.

“SiC is one of the most pivotal technologies of our time, and is at the heart of enabling innovation across a wide range of today's most groundbreaking and revolutionary markets, including the transition from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles and the rollout of ultra-fast 5G networks,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree. “This state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified wafer fabrication facility builds on our 30-year heritage of commercializing breakthrough technologies that help our customers deliver next-generation applications. We look forward to connecting our North Carolina and New York innovation hubs to drive the accelerated adoption of SiC.”

“We're excited to become part of Cree's efforts to drive the transition from silicon to SiC, and this partnership will be a key part of our work to strengthen the research and scientific assets that New York State will use to attract the industries and jobs of tomorrow,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric J. Gertler. “The Mohawk Valley offers a unique combination of valuable high-tech and scientific assets, and this is an important next step in growing our advanced manufacturing infrastructure and investing in our upstate economy.”

As part of the partnership, Cree will be investing approximately $1 billion in construction, equipment and other related costs for the New York fab. New York state will provide a $500 million grant from Empire State Development and Cree will be eligible for additional local incentives and abatements as well as equipment and tooling from SUNY.

As a result, the company expects to realise a net capital savings of approximately $280 million on its previously announced $1 billion capacity expansion through 2024. In addition, it will provide 25 percent increased output compared to the previously planned facility. Ramping in 2022, the size of the new facility will be up to 480,000 square-feet upon completion, approximately one fourth of which will be clean room space, providing future expansion capacity as needed.

Creation of the SiC corridor

With a mega materials factory in Durham and a state-of-the-art wafer fabrication facility near Utica, Cree intends to establish a 'SiC corridor', building on it its 30-year heritage of research and development in the Research Triangle of North Carolina and tapping into the technological base of resources situated in New York's Mohawk Valley.

Cree plans to partner with local community and four-year colleges in North Carolina and New York to develop training and internship programs to prepare its workforce for the high-tech employment and long-term growth opportunities in both locations that the company's revised expansion plan presents.

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