Navy chooses Cree to help optimize shipboard power control

DURHAM, N.C., 9 June 2005. Officials of the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) are asking Cree Inc. in Durham, N.C., to develop silicon carbide (SiC)-based high-voltage, high-power electronic devices and power modules for power management equipment aboard future U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and other sea vessels.

DURHAM, N.C., 9 June 2005. Officials of the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) are asking Cree Inc. in Durham, N.C., to develop silicon carbide (SiC)-based high-voltage, high-power electronic devices and power modules for power management equipment aboard future U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and other sea vessels.

Cree is working under terms of a $12 million Navy contract. The money is coming from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Technology Initiative for High Power Electronics (WBST-HPE), which is focused on high power conversion and distribution technology.

Cree has completed its $8.3 million contract for Phase I of this initiative. Phase II also will develop the extremely low defect density n-type 4H-SiC substrates and epitaxy necessary for creating these large area high current, high voltage power devices.

"We intend to scale these devices in size, and build power modules capable of 10 kilovolts and 110 amps during Phase II," says John W. Palmour, Cree's executive vice president of Advanced Devices. "These devices could eventually be used beyond ship applications to optimize electrical power distribution for greater efficiency and rapid power switching across any major power grid, particularly for long-haul lines."

As part of this program, Cree will award several subcontracts. Powerex of Youngwood, Pa., design and test modules; the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems of Sudbury, Mass., and General Atomics of San Diego will study the solid-state power supplies proposed for this application; and Carnegie Mellon University and North Carolina State University will also participate in the program.

For more information contact Cree online at www.cree.com.

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