Cree awarded $15M defense contract to advance SiC microwave chip production

September 15, 2005 – Cree Inc. has been awarded a $15 million contract by the Department of Defense’s Title III Program, which is administered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Under the new five-year contract, Cree will focus on advancing silicon carbide (SiC) microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) processing techniques to transition the production of SiC MMICs to 100mm substrates and reduce cost/chip.

These MMICs can significantly enhance the information gathering capabilities of next-generation military radar systems. Cree is contributing an additional $4.7 million to the program for total project funding of $19.7 million.

“By increasing yields and moving to larger wafer formats, Cree is leading the effort to significantly reduce production costs of SiC MMICs for military applications as well as discrete SiC MESFETs for commercial applications such as WiMax,” notes John W. Palmour, Cree’s executive VP of Advanced Devices. “Cree’s previous work on a 3-inch SiC MMIC program for the Office of Naval Research, announced in 2002, resulted in the launch of the world’s first SiC MMIC foundry service, which is now being used by multiple defense contractors for the realization of wide bandwidth high power amplifiers.”

The new contract will build upon Cree’s recently demonstrated success working on 100mm high-purity semi-insulating SiC substrates for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Technology Initiative.


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