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   Technology StocksCree Inc.


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To: Lou Weed who wrote (9920)1/8/2019 8:43:43 AM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 10451
 
Previous management certainly makes Lowe look good. I never was a fan but trying to sell Wolfspeed to concentrate on lighting has to be among the dumbest corporate decisions I have seen in a very long time.

One thing I would like is to hear more from Lowe. Cree doesnt seem to go to investor conferences so there hasnt been a ton of communication from management outside of earnings calls.

I'm a little worried about the impact of the China slowdown on lighting/LED sales, but at this point, I still downturns in Cree's stock as an opportunity to pick up shares for the long-term promise of SiC.

Slacker

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From: slacker7111/10/2019 8:22:16 AM
1 Recommendation   of 10451
 


EV's + 5G + Servers?


https://technology.ihs.com/610184/power-semiconductor-usage-in-data-centers-evolves-to-meet-power-efficiency-needs?utm_campaign=pc10030&utm_medium=social-network&utm_source=twitter&hootPostID=a404d0785087f92c6f387df035ef1184



For most data centers, the largest operation cost is electricity. In addition, many large operators are conscious of their environmental footprint as high energy users. These two factors drive DCs to seek ways to improve their energy efficiency. One means of mitigating this growing need for power is to improve the power conversion efficiency in data centers. This can take many forms including overhauling the power distribution architecture within the data center, including changing the point at which AC power is converted to DC, the DC bus voltages and DC conversion stages and the efficiency of the conversion stages at each of these processes. Efficiency is key – it is estimated that a 1% improvement in power conversion efficiency in all the world’s data centers would be equivalent to eliminating 4.6 nuclear power plants.


snip.............................


This architecture has
provided a good balance of efficiency, load response and power density. However, the limits of this design are being tested with higher efficiency demands and faster dynamic load response leading to new architecture proposals. The first is to convert the boost PFC from a full bridge design to a totem-pole design. The totem-pole architecture uses only a half bridge input stage instead of full bridge followed by synchronous rectification diodes or MOSFETs. This eliminates one diode drop and provides power conversion efficiencies at high power up to 99% (up from 97.5% for the full-bridge design). However, high power levels are only achievable with this architecture when the totem-pole switches are implemented with wide bandgap semiconductors. These devices switch faster than silicon with almost zero reverse recovery loss and provide higher power densities than full bridge designs. We believe this design will quickly catch on, especially in high power applications and drive high growth rates for wide bandgap devices such as Silicon Carbide MOSFETs and Gallium Nitride transistors.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9922)1/10/2019 8:34:50 AM
From: OldAIMGuy
   of 10451
 
.....and I thought SiC was only good for making high temp firebrick!

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From: slacker7111/10/2019 8:47:34 AM
   of 10451
 
It seems likely that the lighting portion of the business has performed worse than the estimates made in October.

digitimes.com

Epistar suspends part of production
Siu Han, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Thursday 10 January 2019 0 Toggle Dropdown
LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar has scaled down production due to low order visibility, as its December 2018 sales hit a new low since January 2013.

Epistar has reported consolidated revenues for December 2018 reached NT$1.19 billion (US$38.63 million), down 12.33% sequentially and 42.02% on year.

Epistar had consolidated revenues of NT$4.236 billion for the fourth quarter, dropping 24.99% sequentially and 28.65% on year, and those of NT$20.327 billion for 2018 fell 19.88% on year.

To cope with decreased orders, Epistar said it is extending its upcoming Lunar New Year holiday to two weeks starting from January 28 and has suspended operation of some MOCVD sets since fourth-quarter 2018.

Meanwhile, LED packaging service provider Everlight Electronics has reported consolidated revenues of NT$1.609 billion for December, the lowest since March 2013.

Everlight's consolidated revenues of NT$5.617 billion for fourth-quarter 2018, decreased 10.62% sequentially and 16.42% on year, and those of NT$24.083 billion for 2018 slipped 11.91% on year.

LED packaging service provider Advanced Optoelectronic Technology has reported consolidated revenues of NT$273.2 million for December, falling 17.71% sequentially and 41.39% on year. Its fourth-quarter 2018 consolidated revenues reached NT$975.8 million, declining 32.18% sequentially and 36.84% on year, and those of NT$4.638 billion for 2018 decreased 22.47% on year.

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From: slacker7111/10/2019 11:13:53 AM
   of 10451
 
Exclusive: VW, China spearhead $300 billion global drive to electrify cars
Paul Lienert, Norihiko Shirouzu, Edward Taylor
6 MIN READ

reuters.com

(Reuters) - Global automakers are planning a $300 billion surge in spending on electric vehicle technology over the next five to 10 years, with nearly half of the money targeted at China, accelerating the industry’s transition from fossil fuels and shifting power to Asian battery and electric vehicle technology suppliers.

The unprecedented level of spending - much of it by Germany’s Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) - is driven in large measure by government policies adopted to cut carbon dioxide emissions, and will extend technological advances that have improved battery cost, range and charging time to make electric vehicles more appealing to consumers, according to an exclusive Reuters analysis of public data released by those companies.

For a graphic showing planned EV spending by country, click on tmsnrt.rs/2Azl09N

China for decades played catch-up to German, Japanese and American automakers, which dominated internal combustion vehicle technology. Now, China is positioned to lead electric vehicle development, industry executives say.

“The future of Volkswagen will be decided in the Chinese market,” said Herbert Diess, chief executive of VW, which has decades-old joint ventures with two of China’s largest automakers, SAIC Motor (600104.SS) and FAW Car (000800.SZ).

Speaking earlier this week to a small group of reporters in Beijing, Diess said China “will become one of the automotive powerhouses in the world.”

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“What we find (in China) is really the right environment to develop the next generation of cars and we find the right skills, which we only partially have in Europe or other places,” he said.

Diess added, “We have very clear policies established here in China. Policymakers and regulators are requiring” a shift to electric vehicles.


As China and other countries place more restrictions on conventional gasoline and diesel engines, auto companies have accelerated the shift to electrification. A year ago global automakers said they planned to spend $90 billion on electric vehicle development.


The $300 billion that automakers have earmarked to put electric vehicles into mass production in China, Europe and North America is greater than the economies of Egypt or Chile.

Almost one-third of the industry’s EV spending total, about $91 billion, is being committed by the Volkswagen Group, which is aggressively trying to distance itself from the Dieselgate scandal, which has cost it billions in penalties and legal settlements.

VW’s sweeping electrification plan envisions capacity on three continents to build up to 15 million electric vehicles by 2025, including 50 pure electric and 30 hybrid electric models. Eventually, VW plans to offer electrified versions of all 300 models in its 12-brand global portfolio, which includes Audi and Porsche.

VW’s staggering EV budget dwarfs that of its closest competitor, Germany’s Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), which has committed $42 billion. In comparison, General Motors Co (GM.N), the No 1 U.S. automaker, has said it plans to spend a combined $8 billion on electric and self-driving vehicles.

Roughly 45 percent of the global industry’s planned EV investment and procurement spending, more than $135 billion, will occur in China, which is heavily promoting the production and sale of electric vehicles through a system of government-mandated quotas, credits and incentives.

As a result, EV spending by major Chinese automakers from SAIC to Great Wall Motor (601633.SS) could be matched or even exceeded by multinational joint-venture partners such VW, Daimler and GM, as they dramatically expand their electric vehicle portfolios in China and ramp up battery purchases from Chinese suppliers.

Reuters analyzed investment and procurement budgets made public over the past two years by 29 of the world’s top automakers, based primarily in the United States, China, Japan, Korea, India, Germany and France. The figures do not reflect planned investments and purchases that have not yet been made public.

Actual spending by vehicle manufacturers on research and development, engineering, production tooling and procurement likely will be much higher. The analysis also does not include related spending by automotive suppliers, technology companies and large corporations in other industries, from energy and aerospace to electronics and telecommunications.

“There has been a rush” to invest in electric vehicles and batteries, said Alexandre Marian, AlixPartners managing director and co-author of a 2018 study that forecast total EV spending of $255 billion through 2023 by global automakers and suppliers.

Marian said the industry has increased spending budgets on electric vehicles and batteries, while seeking more alliances and partnerships to help spread the higher investment costs.

Job cuts hit Jaguar Land Rover, Ford in Europe
Alliances, such as those between VW and its Chinese partners, will be among the greatest spurs to innovation, especially in the global rollout of electric vehicles.

CEO Diess said VW is “evolving from the model where we have been developing and bringing European technology into this market to a new phase where we will co-develop part of the automotive technology in China for the rest of the world. I think this is a significant step change.”

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9925)1/10/2019 12:07:00 PM
From: ggamer
   of 10451
 
Hi Slacker,

Thanks for sharing all this fantastic news.

Exclusive: VW, China spearhead $300 billion global drive to electrify cars
Paul Lienert, Norihiko Shirouzu, Edward Taylor
6 MIN READ

I was thinking of investing in Tesla because they seem to be far ahead of others in electrical car and autonomous driving technology. Do you think investing in companies like CREE and Nividia is a better way of getting into the game?
Thank You!

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9922)1/10/2019 1:19:32 PM
From: Lou Weed
2 Recommendations   of 10451
 
SiC diodes have been in server supplies for more than 10yrs now. It was really the first market segment to adopt the technology given the instant efficiency increase by simply dropping in the SiC device into the boost diode slot in the PFC circuitry. Bridgeless PFC technology is the next step for efficiency increase and that will involve using SiC and GaN FETs i.e. more $$ for the wide bandgap device suppliers :-)

BB

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9889)1/24/2019 12:38:58 PM
From: slacker711
2 Recommendations   of 10451
 
Lots of SiC commentary from STM.

seekingalpha.com



Second, the expansion of our installed capacity for Silicon Carbide and the start of production ramp-up for Gallium Nitride for RF devices. Here, our early investments in wideband gap compounds have already resulted in over $100 million of Silicon Carbide revenues in 2018, and we have over 30 active Silicon Carbide projects with many players around the globe, both in Automotive and Industrial applications.


Also, earlier this month we announced a multi-year supply agreement with Cree, our partner. These investments support our goal to sustain an important share about 30%- of the Silicon Carbide market, which is estimated to be over $3 billion in 2025.


snip....


What I would like to simply confirm you that our expected growth in 2019 is completely consistent with expected market growth of the silicon carbide application, which I repeat that, for the time being, people - they plan to have a US$3 billion in 2025, and if my memory is still very up, US$600 million in 2020. So our revenue grow will follow totally this pattern.




snip......


Related to our company, clearly, again, automotive will accelerate in the second half, thanks to the acceleration of our growth on silicon carbide, so this is what I just said two minutes ago,


snip....



So about silicon carbide. On top of - I have already answered, let's add some additional color. Again, I repeat that when we met at our Capital Market Day in 2018 May, we mentioned 20 major programs won. But now we have 30, more than 30. And I have to say that in the course of Q4, we won 4 major award, okay, with the really rather important carmaker or Tier 1 associated to carmaker, which should make us, okay, really, really pleased about our success in power MOSFET.


Now about competition, clearly, we acknowledge that the competition is working out. We have a lot of respect for our competitor. They prepare themselves to address this huge market. We - I am, and we are totally convinced that silicon carbide, power MOSFET and diode will grab important market share to traditional high-voltage power MOSFET or ICBT. And you know that the Q1 consensus from the industry and analysts are seeing a market, okay, close to above US$3 billion in 2025, and then beyond 2025, okay, can go well above US$10 billion.


So clearly, the industry will need a multi-source, so the competition is preparing itself to address this market. But again, I confirm that our mission, our plan, our determination is to keep minimum 30% market share address in this market. Today, we have the unique, let's say, semiconductor bundle in mass production addressing automotive.


So we are accumulating mass production huge volume with technologies addressing automotive mission profile, which is, let's say, an OTG, and of course it is providing to ST a unique competitive advantage in front of the other carmaker of Tier 1 which want to adapt this technology as early as possible because, okay, we will be able to offer same automotive profile quality.


So again, what is important, ST is ambition to sustain minimum 30% market share addressing this market. We are preparing ourselves. Competition is preparing itself. We respect that a lot because we know they are good, but today, we are the leader.

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From: slacker7111/29/2019 10:46:16 AM
1 Recommendation   of 10451
 
Wolfspeed: From Strength To Strength
Monday 28th January 2019

compoundsemiconductor.net

Since joining Cree, chief executive, Gregg Lowe, has bolstered its power and RF business beyond belief. Where next for Wolfspeed, asks Rebecca Pool?

When Gregg Lowe joined Cree as chief executive in September 2017, he decided to make more of Wolfspeed.

At the time, the power and RF subsidiary was still smarting from its failed sale to Infineon, while at $220 million, yearly revenues paled compared to the incomes of $700m and $550m from Lighting and LED businesses.

Fast forward to 2019, and Cree has reported stronger than expected financial results, driven by revenue growth from Wolfspeed. The company has also acquired Infineon's RF business and announced a $250m SiC wafer supply agreement with STMicroelectronics.

As Lowe tells Compound Semiconductor: "Our entire Wolfspeed business was worth a little over $200m in 2017 and here we are now, announcing a deal that's actually bigger than that."

"When I arrived at Cree, we re-evaluated strategy and looked for the company's key differentiators," he adds. "Thanks to its SiC and GaN capability, Wolfspeed nailed it. We set out to quadruple Wolfspeed revenues to $850m by 2022, and we are well on the way to achieving this ambitious goal."

Gregg Lowe: "This is the first time I've been at the heart of such a dramatic industry transition."

Lowe's confidence in Wolfspeed is linked to the huge potential for silicon carbide growth in key markets. Demand for SiC inverters in photovoltaics is gaining traction while the use of SiC in, say MHz switching, is set to prove instrumental to the rollout of 5G infrastructure.

But for the Cree chief executive, electric vehicles is where the real excitement lies. "In terms of growth, the electric vehicle market is exploding right now," he says.

Lowe reckons that since joining Cree, he has seen car manufacturers such as Volvo, BMW, GM and Toyota invest more than $170 billion in electric vehicles, with SiC destined for inverters, onboard chargers and charging stations.

"I feel that SiC has hit the perfect window here and in terms of power electronics adoption, the tipping point has really happened," he says.

Facing challenges

But high wafers costs and limited supply remain key hurdles to SiC adoption. Right now the cost of a SiC wafer is at least double that of a silicon wafer, a thorny issue that is only exacerbated by capacity constraints.

Still, industry players have been tackling problems head on. For example, Infineon recently bought Germany-based Siltectra, which has devised a technology to split SiC wafers and double the number of chips produced from one wafer. Meanwhile, SiC wafer supplier, II-VI has expanded capacity, and Dow has revealed similar intentions.

For its part, Cree has been scaling capacity accordingly. In February 2018, the company started to divert research and development, and capital expenditures from its Lighting and LED businesses to Wolfspeed, and capacity has more than doubled since this time.


What's more, long-term supply agreements with Infineon, an unnamed partner, and now STMicroelectronics, will also help. As Lowe says: "I am pretty bullish that we will double capacity again within the next two years, and one of the ways that we are doing this is through long-term supply agreements."


"These give us the capability to invest more capital in our business," he explains. "We've [secured] three agreements and have a number of others that we are working on that we'll hopefully announce soon."


Currently, industry players are also transitioning from four inch to six inch SiC wafer manufacturing, with an eventual shift to eight inch manufacturing necessary to optimise output and yields. In the past, such a transition has caused short-term shortages, but according to Lowe, his company's shift from four to six inch wafers has been 'fantastic' with every issue tackled without any major set-backs.


"When you are doubling capacity there is much that can go wrong, but the wafer quality on our 150 mm wafers is excellent and that's from customer feedback," he says. "Our doubling in capacity has also given us more feedback on the quality of crystal growth, which we are using to improve the entire fleet and raise yields."


"Our increase in capacity also gives us a better cost base as we have more scale," he adds. "We have chosen to drive costs and yields very hard to decrease the price differential between silicon and SiC, in order to increase market adoption, and we will continue to do this over the coming years," he adds.

So where next for Wolfspeed? Without a doubt, the competition for silicon carbide market share is increasing with other key players, including Infineon, STMicro, Rohm and ON Semi, all striving to fulfil growing market demands.

Still, as Lowe highlights, Cree grows crystals, produces wafers and performs epitaxy, giving it a 'unique advantage' in the market. "We are fostering the adoption of SiC in the marketplace by providing materials to ST and Infineon, the folks that we effectively compete against in chip and power MOSFET markets," he says. "But this market could be worth many billions of dollars so there is plenty of room for a number of semiconductor businesses converting from silicon to silicon carbide."

"This is the first time I've been at the heart of such a dramatic industry transition and it's so exciting to be a part of this," he adds. "We're converting an entire industry; how cool is that?"

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9929)1/29/2019 11:00:38 AM
From: robert b furman
1 Recommendation   of 10451
 
To all on thread,

Here's a real story about Cree lighting.

Our Chevrolet dealership installed new Cree LED lighting back several years ago. After about a year,we started having failures of the fixtures. Three years later every fixture had failed and needed to be replaced. The sealer being used had allowed moisture to enter the fixture causing corrosion.

Two years later our Chrysler store upgraded with a newer model also made by Cree - this time very durable and unbelievably bright at night. Huge electrical savings at both stores.

Cree eventually warranteed all of the original fixtures (over $100,000). A very solid company that stood behind their initial designs, and eventually GOT IT RIGHT.

So you can now understand why lighting fixtures had margin problems (warranty issues).

Bob

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