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   Technology StocksCree Inc.


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To: slacker711 who wrote (9922)1/10/2019 1:19:32 PM
From: Lou Weed
2 Recommendations   of 10450
 
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 10450
 
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 10450
 
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 10450
 
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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From: slacker7111/30/2019 4:14:52 PM
   of 10450
 
Cree's numbers look very good considering the head winds.

seekingalpha.com

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From: Lou Weed1/31/2019 6:12:49 AM
   of 10450
 
Interesting line from the CEO on the con call...…

"I don't think we're going to give out specific details on the CapEx spend. Obviously, most of the CapEx -- in fact, nearly all of the CapEx is heading into the Wolfspeed expansion as you had noted"

finance.yahoo.com

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To: Lou Weed who wrote (9932)1/31/2019 9:50:20 AM
From: slacker711
   of 10450
 
I also thought that this was interesting. I thought that the question would be shot down but they answered in such a way to clearly communicate that shifting capacity from LED's to Wolfspeed is a possibility.

They also talked about trying to double their capacity faster than their previous 24 month timeline. The only thing missing from the call was an increased target for Wolfspeed revenue in 2022 (think it is $850m right now)....but it makes sense to under promise and over deliver.

seekingalpha.com



Jonathan Dorsheimer


Hey thanks. Just a follow-up. Gregg, just with respect to the tightness in the markets, and I'm sure you've looked at this. But could you provide any insight in terms of the fungibility associated with the LED business and the Wolfspeed business with respect to lead-time and as well as maybe some greater clarity on switch out costs associated with that?


Gregg Lowe


Sure. From a material base wafer or silicon carbide wafer perspective, the fungibility is extremely high and extremely fast, so we can move crystal growth capability from one to the other pretty, pretty readily and be up in production and running and turning that into revenue very, very quickly. So, that's highly fungible and relatively fast.


From a wafer production standpoint, that is also highly fungible. Between the two, I don't -- I can't give you the exact percentage, but a very, very high percentage of these tools are going to be very similar.


There, of course, you have to go through a process of qualifying a product in a different fab and so forth, so it takes a little bit longer. We were able to qualify very recently some power products in another line that was running in the LED fab. So, we're seeing a little bit of relief right there. But yes, obviously, that takes a lot more work. And you got to get qualification and you got to get customer approval, all these sort of things. So, in both instances, the capacity is highly fungible, in one, it ramps a lot faster.


Jonathan Dorsheimer


Got it. So just when we look at whether it's three, four or five, whatever the demand increase on that logarithmic curve is based on EVs, the $220 million plus, you could essentially shutter the LED to half that capacity, keep that at 100% utilization and shift that over within a quarter or two, correct?


Gregg Lowe


I don't know about the quarter or two from customer acceptance and so forth, but yes, we can shift that over. Timing guys really need to think through, but it's probably a little longer than that.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9933)1/31/2019 10:23:31 AM
From: Lou Weed
   of 10450
 
Gregg's done a fabulous job so far...….what a big difference from the Chuckster!

BB

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9869)2/1/2019 8:22:41 AM
From: slacker711
   of 10450
 
Some interesting comments from II-IV about their SiC business.

seekingalpha.com

Our silicon carbide substrates business across all end markets accounted for 6% of revenue.


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



I think we may have mentioned one quarter or two ago that the crossover, the place where now our silicon carbide substrates for power electronics are actually more than 50% of the revenue generation for this product-line. And over time, given the size of the electric vehicle infrastructure and the sheer value proposition of silicon carbide for inverters and for industrial motor drives, for a power factor correction and the like, it is going to be the biggest part of the market.


The good news is that GaN on silicon carbide, the market itself is growing and so even our semi-insulating RF substrate business is also growing. But for sure we see the power electronics basically going to stay and surpass it. 6% of the revenues in the quarter were for the whole of the product portfolio and more than half of our revenues were for their power electronics. Is that fair?

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To: slacker711 who wrote (9890)2/4/2019 2:15:03 PM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 10450
 
On Semi transcript.

seekingalpha.com

Anthony Stoss


Keith, can you talk about the Silicon Carbide contribution in Q4 and also how you expect that to ramp throughout 2019, and a similar follow-up on EVs in terms of what you expect year-over-year? Thanks.


Keith Jackson


So Silicon Carbide itself is still young and ramping for us. We're talking as I mentioned in the last call tens of millions last year, ramping to hundreds of millions in the next couple of years. So, it's still pretty early in that. We did see our first usage in EV automobiles for Silicon Carbide in both third and fourth quarters. I'm expecting EV to ramp quite nicely with all of our related products this year. I don't have an exact growth number but it's certainly going to be very high-double-digit numbers.

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