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   Technology StocksCree Inc.


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To: EvanG who wrote (10360)5/10/2021 12:09:01 PM
From: slacker711
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Cree seems to be betting the company on an unproven process without any pressure to do so.




Precisely.

There was no pressure from either investors or competitors to move to 200mm. They could have installed the 150mm equipment and ramped capacity while waiting on 200mm for a few years.

and yet they chose to go ahead with 200mm. We don't know what kind of yields they are seeing at their pilot line so it is nearly impossible to judge the decision except with hindsight. There is significant execution risk here but the prize is enormous. None of their competitors will have 200m for quite a while.

I don't have a great handle on Gregg Lowe but he seems to garner a huge amount of respect from investors who have met him and followed him over the years. We'll see whether he deserves it over the next few years.

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From: EvanG5/19/2021 7:35:44 PM
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II-VI says they will manufacture on 200mm in 2024. Slide deck is for a 2hr presentation Thursday at 10am EDT. There are other SiC slides in deck, but no details of wafer status so maybe in the webcast. AFRL said in paper end of last year that their remaining 200mm wafer quality issues had been resolved.

iivimain-183ff.kxcdn.com


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From: slacker7115/20/2021 7:53:48 AM
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The Ford F150 Lightning looks like a paradigm changer in the EV truck market. Instead of a premium truck aimed at a niche of the market, the Lightning is priced to sell with features and looks that should appeal to a large percentage of traditional truck buyers. It still needs to increase the range, but these specs and price are way better than most expected.

I have not found any indications about whether it has a SiC inverter or not though. If not this version, I am sure a subsequent version will have one. Also interesting, is that the Lightning will offer an option to have the EV charge your home through an inverter placed in your garage. That brings the possibility of another SiC design win.

electrek.co

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To: EvanG who wrote (10362)5/20/2021 1:34:49 PM
From: slacker711
2 Recommendations   of 10478
 
So Cree will have roughly a two and half year lead on both II-VI and On. That gives them quite a bit of time to work out issues that are bound to come up with the initial ramp of 200mm. II-VI estimates that the SiC device market will be worth $30 billion in 2030....there should be room for multiple winners.



Interesting to note that II-VI is also going the vertical integration route though it appears that they will concentrate on 1000V+ devices.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10364)5/20/2021 8:29:14 PM
From: EvanG
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
they will concentrate on 1000V+ devices.

In the webcast they said that above 1kV the market becomes almost exclusively the domain of SiC. Below is saturated with suppliers offering GaN, silicon and SiC. So that is where they think the cost/performance crossover is. Should apply to Cree also. Implies there could be a sizable market for GaN-on-Si but that seems obvious with a number of companies moving into that material platform.

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To: EvanG who wrote (10365)5/20/2021 9:32:46 PM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
Implies there could be a sizable market for GaN-on-Si but that seems obvious with a number of companies moving into that material platform.




I was more worried about this a year ago. IMO, the commentary over the last year from companies seems to have become progressively less bullish on GaN on Si competing in 650V and above applications. Maybe somebody manages to solve the various quality issues that make it difficult for GaN on Si to compete but that isn't my baseline scenario.

Yole commented on this recently....they don't see GaN on Si competing with SiC in high voltage applications.

46:30 mark



FWIW, I think it is worth watching the GaN on GaN companies because if they were to successfully commercialize the technology, it would represent an existential threat to SiC....but these are mostly science projects right now that aren't close to commercial shipments.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10366)5/20/2021 10:14:58 PM
From: EvanG
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
the commentary over the last year from companies seems to have become progressively less bullish on GaN on Si competing in 650V and above applications.

STM just introduced their GaN-on-Si products for up to 650V. They purchased a company named Exagan to accelerate their roadmap. Then partnered with TSMC for GaN. Seems bullish to me.

globenewswire.com

“The new product family aims to leverage the high-power density and efficiency of GaN to offer an industry-unique range of devices in 100V and 650V clusters that ensure scalability, compactness, and outstanding performance.”

globenewswire.com

Exagan’s expertise in epitaxy, product development and application know-how will broaden and accelerate ST’s power GaN roadmap and business for automotive, industrial and consumer applications.

investors.st.com

STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and TSMC (TWSE:2330, NYSE: TSM), the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, are collaborating to accelerate the development of Gallium Nitride (GaN) process technology and the supply of both discrete and integrated GaN devices to market. Through this collaboration, ST’s innovative and strategic GaN products will be manufactured using TSMC’s leading GaN process technology.

GaN is a wide bandgap semiconductor material which offers significant benefits over traditional Silicon-based semiconductors for power applications. These benefits include greater energy efficiency at higher power, leading to a substantial reduction in parasitic power losses. GaN technology also allows the design of more compact devices for better form factors. Additionally, GaN-based devices switch at speeds as much as 10X faster than Silicon-based devices while operating at higher peak temperatures. These robust and intrinsic material characteristics make GaN ideally suited for broad-based adoption in evolving automotive, industrial, telecom, and specific consumer applications across both the 100V and the 650V clusters.

Specifically, Power GaN and GaN IC technology-based products will enable ST to provide solutions for medium and high-power applications with better efficiency compared to silicon technologies on the same topologies, including automotive converters and chargers for hybrid and electric vehicles. Power GaN and GaN IC technologies will help accelerate the megatrend of the electrification of consumer and commercial vehicles.

“As a leader in both wide bandgap semiconductor technology and in power semiconductors for the demanding automotive and industrial markets, ST sees significant opportunity in accelerating the development and delivery of GaN process technology and bringing power GaN and GaN IC products to the market. TSMC is a trusted foundry partner that can uniquely meet the challenging reliability and roadmap evolution requirements of ST’s target customers,” said Marco Monti, President of STMicroelectronics’ Automotive and Discrete Group. “This cooperation complements our existing activities on power GaN undertaken at our site in Tours, France and with CEA-Leti. GaN represents the next major innovation in Power and Smart Power electronics, as well in process technology”.

“We look forward to collaborating with ST and bring the applications of GaN power-electronics to Industrial and Automotive Power Conversion,” said Dr. Kevin Zhang, Vice President of Business Development at TSMC. “TSMC’s leading GaN manufacturing expertise, combined with STMicroelectronics’ product design and automotive-grade qualification capabilities, will deliver great energy efficiency improvement for industrial and automotive power conversion applications that are more eco-friendly and help accelerate the electrification of vehicles.”

ST expects the delivery of first samples of power GaN discrete devices to its key customers later this year, followed by GaN IC products within a few months.

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To: EvanG who wrote (10367)5/20/2021 11:10:48 PM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
STi2GaN offering to include solutions for On-Board Chargers, LiDAR for autonomous driving, bidirectional DC-DC converters, Class-D amplifiers, and power-conversion systems




It isn't an accident that the power inverter is left off this list. Infineon is talking about GaN on Si for similar markets. It doesn't appear that GaN on Silicon hits the specs necessary right now for the largest part of the SiC EV market.


Here's a webinar for ST's GaN solutions which also fails to mention the largest market for 650V devices.

st-videos.s3.amazonaws.com




Like I said, less bullish...which is different than abandoned entirely.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (10368)5/20/2021 11:43:00 PM
From: EvanG
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
It isn't an accident that the power inverter is left off this list.

Batteries are projected to shift to 800V which will need 1.2kV SiC for inverters. Inverters are not listed because they will eventually be above 1kV where SiC will dominate.

Gregg Lowe in conference call gave examples of design wins with air conditioners, compressors, motor drives, and a robotic arm. That is potential fluff showing up in the opportunity pipeline that could get challenged by GaN-on-Si.

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To: EvanG who wrote (10369)5/20/2021 11:53:35 PM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 10478
 
Batteries are projected to shift to 800V which will need 1.2kV SiC for inverters. Inverters are not listed because they will eventually be above 1kV where SiC will dominate.




Great. You are more optimistic than I am. I have assumed that the 400V inverter market would survive for quite a while.

For some reason though, I doubt that marketing materials would leave off large markets just because they will eventually transition to higher voltages. Right now, 400V design wins are available and it doesn't look like STM is competing with GaN on Silicon.

Neither is Infineon.

Gregg Lowe in conference call gave examples of design wins with air conditioners, compressors, motor drives, and a robotic arm. That is potential fluff showing up in the opportunity pipeline that could get challenged by GaN-on-Si.



Definitely possible that different markets will need different performance requirements and that will allow GaN on Silicon to compete. I will continue to watch the progress of GaN on Silicon but like I said, I'm less worried than I was a year ago.

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