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Cree Marks 20 Years as LED Pioneer and Industry Leader

Cree, Inc. Press Release FlashlightNews.org - 7/20/2007

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Company has grown from six founders in 1987 to more than 2,600 employees worldwide today


Cree Inc.

Cree Inc.

DURHAM, N.C. - Cree announced today that it is celebrating 20 years of LED innovation and leadership. Growing from six founders in 1987 to more than 2,600 employees worldwide today, Cree continues to work with silicon carbide and gallium nitride materials to lead innovation in the LED and lighting industries. Opportunities for Cree and the LED have never been better, driven largely by the world's rapidly growing demand for energy efficiency and a cleaner environment.

"There is an ever-increasing global recognition that LEDs can be used in many lighting applications in place of today's common light bulb to help solve the world's energy and environmental challenges. Cree is in the unique position of being one of the few companies that has the technology to lead the LED lighting revolution, without the baggage of a traditional bulb business to slow us down," comments Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO.

"We have aggressively advanced LED technology for 20 years, with the last two years being particularly exciting, because we have achieved lighting-class performance for use in general illumination," notes John Edmond, Cree co-founder and director of advanced optoelectronics. "In the next several years, we can expect LEDs to become an increasingly important source of light in our cities, businesses and homes."

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, over the next 20 years rapid adoption of LED lighting can potentially reduce the demand for electricity in lighting applications by up to 62 percent. It can also eliminate up to 258 metric tons of carbon emissions and avoid the need to build 133 new power plants.

Cree's innovations span a number of markets. In new products, Cree released the first commercially available LEDs that achieve a minimum luminous flux of 100 lumens, and the first warm-white XLamp® LEDs for use in indoor home and office applications. Cree has also actively encouraged cities to adopt energy-efficient LED lighting throughout their infrastructures. The cities of Raleigh, N.C., and Toronto, Canada, seeking to improve energy efficiency of public lighting, have been first to join Cree in the LED City™ program.

"Cree was founded on our conviction that wide-bandgap semiconductors, silicon carbide and gallium nitride, could be superior alternatives to silicon and gallium arsenide for a wide range of devices," says John Palmour, Cree co-founder and executive vice president for advanced devices. "Our materials and device expertise are the result of intensive research and development for the Department of Defense and Department of Energy programs. Our work has led to commercially available products that today can replace inefficient light bulbs and even significantly reduce the power needs of today's massive IT server farms."

"It's remarkable to see the semiconductor materials company we founded so many years ago evolve in capability to take on two of this generation's greatest challenges: the world's demand for energy and the need for products that have less impact on the environment," comments Calvin Carter, Cree co-founder and director of advanced materials technology. "From LEDs to power and wireless devices, all Cree products can significantly reduce energy use and are environmentally friendly alternatives to less-advanced technologies. We are in a great position from which to continue our growth and industry leadership."

About Cree, Inc.

Cree is a market-leading innovator and manufacturer of semiconductors and devices that enhance the value of solid-state lighting, power and communications products by significantly increasing their energy performance and efficiency.

Key to Cree's market advantage is its world-class materials expertise in SiC and GaN for chips and packaged devices that can handle more power in a smaller space while producing less heat than other available technologies, materials and products. Cree drives its increased performance technology into multiple applications, including exciting alternatives in brighter and more-tunable light for general illumination, backlighting for more-vivid displays, optimized power management for high-current, switch-mode power supplies and variable-speed motors, and more-effective wireless infrastructure for data and voice communications.

Cree customers range from innovative lighting fixtures makers to defense-related federal agencies. Cree's product families include blue and green LED chips, lighting LEDs, LED backlighting solutions, power-switching devices and radio-frequency/wireless devices. For product specifications, please refer to www.cree.com.





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