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1 September 2015

US Air Force awards Cree's Power and RF Division $4.1m contract extension

The US Air Force has awarded Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA, which makes silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) wafers and devices as well as LEDs, a $4.1m follow-on contract, enabling qualification of a high-performance power electronic module developed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in its facilities Fayetteville, AK.

"Cree is on the forefront of a number of exciting advancements, including the effort to modernize our aircraft for the US Air Force," comments US senator John Boozman. "The company's contributions to an increase in high-tech domestic manufacturing in Northwest Arkansas help drive economic growth in our state and create more well-paying jobs."

Boozman was visiting the Cree campus to discuss the benefits of the project to Arkansas and to tour the firm's Fayetteville facilities. Cree began operating in Arkansas in July with the acquisition of Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc (APEI) of Fayetteville, AR, USA, a provider of power modules and power electronics applications.

"We're excited to get this high-performance module commercially qualified through this program, not only for Department of Defense requirements but also for a wide range of industrial applications," says John Palmour, chief technology officer for Cree's Power and RF Division.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is one of the first major programs implementing the Air Force's new 'More Electric' and 'All Electric' aircraft design philosophy, which mandates the replacement of costly and bulky mechanical hydraulic aircraft flight control systems with lighter weight, high-reliability, low-maintenance electric motors and drives.

The high power densities and high voltages required to operate mechanical flight systems using electric motors are driving a transition to high-density SiC power electronic systems that can operate at higher efficiencies, higher voltages, higher power densities, and higher temperatures in comparison with conventional silicon electronics. The new contract will fund rigorous qualification testing of the developed power modules to broaden integration platforms and commercial viability of the product.

See related items:

Cree acquires SiC power module firm APEI

Cree registers for IPO of Power and RF subsidiary

Tags: Cree SiC power modules

Visit: www.cree.com/power

Visit: www.apei.net

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