Member Spotlight: Wolfspeed, a Cree Company

Wolfspeed Logo

“Through PowerAmerica, we get close interaction with potential users and customers of our products which gives us the opportunity to understand their needs and narrow our focus. The Institute is also playing a critical role in training young and existing engineers on SiC and GaN technologies; truly capitalizing on the opportunity we have here to build a strong power electronics community that will revolutionize U.S. manufacturing.”

– David Grider, PhD, Wolfspeed Power Electronics Program Manager


 Company Background

Wolfspeed has spent more than 28 years as part of Cree Inc., building market-leading wide bandgap semiconductor products for the transportation, industrial, energy, and communications markets before announcing it would spin-off into its own company in an IPO. From its young and ambitious roots in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Wolfspeed has grown into the world’s leading innovator and manufacturer of SiC and GaN wide bandgap semiconductors for Power and RF applications that enable increased efficiency, higher switching speed, as well as reduced system size and weight.

Wolfspeed has the world’s largest SiC and GaN wide bandgap semiconductor Power and RF fabrication facility, with $124 million in revenue in FY 2015. With the acquisition of Fayetteville, Arkansas-based Arkansas Power Electronics (APEI) in 2015, the company added a packaging and power modules capability to its SiC power electronics portfolio.

PowerAmerica Partnership

Wolfspeed, a Cree company, is working to establish the reliability of its medium-voltage (3.3kV to 10kV) SiC power device technology – a costly and time-consuming process that is also critical for commercial production of these medium voltage SiC power devices. PowerAmerica funding is helping to accelerate this reliability testing in order to hasten the introduction of these medium-voltage SiC power products into the commercial marketplace for a wide range of transportation, motor drive, power distribution, and grid-tied power electronics applications.

Wolfspeed expertise can benefit members in many ways such as:

  • Providing access to a broad voltage and power range (900V to 10kV) of SiC power devices and power modules, including both die and packaged SiC devices, in order to advance the SiC power electronics industry.
  • Providing application support for 900V to 10kV SiC power devices and power modules in order to accelerate the application of SiC power technology in a broad range of power electronics applications.


Initiatives in Wide Bandgap Power Electronics:

  • Wolfspeed, a Cree company, has repeatedly demonstrated its position as a market leader in the development and commercialization of SiC power technology by achieving a number of critical milestones:
    • 2002 – Released our first 600V SiC JBS Schottky Diode
    • 2006 – Released industry’s first 1200V SiC JBS Schottky Diode
    • 2010 – Released industry’s first 1700V SiC JBS Schottky Diode
    • 2011 – Released industry’s first 1200V SiC MOSFET
    • 2012 – Introduced our first 1200V SiC half-bridge power module
    • 2014 – Introduced industry’s first 1200V, 25mOhm SiC MOSFET
    • 2015 – Acquired Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI) for
      advanced SiC power modules and packaging
    • 2015 – Exceeded two trillion hours of field operation for our
      SiC power products
    • 2015 – Introduced industry’s first 900V SiC MOSFET


  • Wolfspeed is continuing the development and commercialization of advanced 900V to 1700V SiC MOSFET and 600V to 1700V SiC Schottky diode devices as well as 900V to 1700V SiC power modules


  • Wolfspeed is continuing the development and commercialization of advanced 3.3kV to 10kV SiC MOSFET and 3.3kV to 10kV SiC Schottky diode devices as well as 3.3kV to 10kV SiC power modules


Engage with us:

  • To learn more about Wolfspeed, a Cree company, and our broad range of SiC and GaN wide bandgap Power and RF products please visit:
  • For further information on advanced SiC power products, PowerAmerica members can contact David Grider at or call him at (919) 407-5345.

Catch PowerAmerica at SEMICON West July 12-14

Dr_John_Muth_LowPowerAmerica will be represented at the SEMICON West conference July 12-14 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Stop by our booth, located at R8 in the Research and Science Park showcase area in the Innovation Village on the exhibit floor.

PowerAmerica Deputy Director John Muth will give a 15-minute talk about the “Power Revolution” on two conference panels. On Tuesday, July 12, at2:10, he will participate in the “Packaging Power – Enabling a Variety of Applications and Efficiency,” discussion that is part of the Advanced Packaging Forum track of the conference.  On Wednesday, July 13, at 2 p.m., he will speak on the Silicon Innovation Forum Research and Industry panel that is part of the Silicon Innovation Forum track.

A full conference agenda is available here.

New Funding Announced for SiC/GaN Projects

Have an idea for a project that will advance wide bandgap technology adoption in the United States? Starting July 1, 2016, you can submit a proposal to PowerAmerica’s Open Innovation Fund (OIF).


The fund is now accepting proposals for projects that demonstrate the benefits of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies in a range of products and industries. Funded projects can receive up to $225,000 from PowerAmerica and require a 1:1 cost match. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Click here for more details and information about applying.

PowerAmerica Receives More White House Attention


A Virginia Tech researcher displays the high-density wall adapter for laptop computers.

A feature story released by the White House on its blog June 28 details how PowerAmerica and other members of the National Network of Manufacturing Institutes are sharpening the nation’s competitive edge through their work.

The blog post is a “snapshot of the revolutionary technologies showing why America continues to be the most innovative, entrepreneurial country in the world.”

PowerAmerica is featured as the 8th example for its work in miniaturizing electronics.

“PowerAmerica in Raleigh, NC is testing the limits of portable electronics. With their new semiconductor technology, they envision shrinking your laptop charger to the size of a keyring and your power station down to the size of a refrigerator using power electronics,” the article states.

The photo accompanying the article features a researcher from PowerAmerica member Virginia Tech. Led by Dr. Fred Lee and Dr. Qiang Li, the team is working on a high density adapter for laptop computers that will reduce the size of the wall adapter by more than 50 percent, increasing transportability and energy efficiency.

Virginia Tech’s Partnership with PowerAmerica

The Virginia Tech team, like other academic partners of PowerAmerica, has greatly benefitted from the unique connections offered through the Institute. The university researchers are in talks with Navitas, another PowerAmerica member, to gain advice on how to best commercialize the technology for the marketplace. Another member, Transphorm, has loaned the team devices that have proven critical to their research.

Because of the partnership with PowerAmerica, the team has been able to focus their efforts very specifically on wide bandgap technology in a way that would not be possible otherwise. This has led to widespread interest from outside companies across the United States, including Texas Instruments and ON Semiconductor, both of which have approached the Virginia Tech team to learn more about their work.

With the support of PowerAmerica, “we’re not just writing whitepapers,” Dr. Qiang Li from Virginia Tech said, “we’re connecting with industry and addressing real problems.”

PowerAmerica Joined by Second Manufacturing Hub at N.C. State

Another federal manufacturing hub will join PowerAmerica on the campus of N.C. State University. On June 20, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the ninth announced hub in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, of which PowerAmerica is a member. While SMII will be headquartered in Los Angeles, N.C. State will house its southeast hub. The new Institute will work in the areas of advanced sensors and controls, data analytics, advanced predictive modeling and simulation software, and application toolkits that can dramatically reduce energy expenses in advanced manufacturing.


The new hub, “is exciting news, and we are thrilled for our Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition friends, including those in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at N.C. State, the N.C. Manufacturing Extension Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and all the team members that won this tremendous opportunity for the nation,” said Ret. Major General Nick Justice, executive director of PowerAmerica. “The hub will allow us to take advantage of these emerging technologies on a greater, more efficient scale.”

White House announcement:


N.C. State announcement:

PowerAmerica, EPTAC Partner to Offer IPC Designer Certification

PowerAmerica Institute, a department within N.C. State University, has partnered with EPTAC, an industry leader in hi-tech training, to offer IPC Designer Certification to students and faculty of N.C. State. The effort will support professional development for careers in electronics by providing instruction framed by industry best practices, and help to meet the growing demand for highly skilled employees in this field.


The first offering will be the CID (Certified Interconnect Designer) course module. This professional designation is valued throughout the electronics industry and specified for major projects. The session is open to N.C. State students, faculty and the electronics community and will be held at N.C. State July 21-23, 2016.


For more information about the partnership, visit here.

Registration Now Open for 3D Power Electronics Integration and Manufacturing Symposium!

The first International Symposium on 3D Power Electronics Integration and Manufacturing (, to be held June 13-15, 2016, in Raleigh, North Carolina, is now open for registration. The event brings together designers and manufacturers to address the future of integrated power electronics and advance the 3D power electronics systems designs of the future.

The 3D-PEIM Symposium kicks off on Monday morning, June 13th, with a series of tutorials dealing with “The World of Packaging Technologies and Critical Issues”. Sessions will then continue over three days covering manufacturing techniques, modeling and simulation, materials, passive components, and quality and reliability.

The 2+ hour evening receptions on Monday and Tuesday provide opportunities for networking and discussions with the Dialogue Presenters and Vendors displaying their latest technologies.

The 3D-PEIM symposium is underwritten by the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) and is supported by: the International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society (IMAPS); the IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society (CPMT); North Carolina State University; the University of Maryland; and Virginia Tech.

“This symposium is all about electrical-physical design and the manufacturing of power sources,” said Doug Hopkins, PhD., Professor of Electrical Engineering at NC State and Chairman of 3D-PEIM. “Since we expect nearly everyone will have an interest in ‘physical’ circuits, we’re offering both dialogue and lecture speakers the opportunity to display their hardware during the breaks and receptions.” According to Hopkins, the symposium also offers tutorials to provide “background and insight into many of the traditional physical design approaches and technologies.”

For more information please click here!

PowerAmerica Names CTO

PowerAmerica would like to extend a warm welcome to our new CTO, Victor Veliadis. Please read here to learn more about our CTO and how he will be helping advance wide bandgap semiconductor technology.

AMO Innovations Draw Crowds at Hannover Messe 2016

Check out the latest blog from the Department of Energy. Learn about PowerAmerica’s involvement in the 70th annual Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial conference, in Hannover, Germany!

Innovation Institutes Are Revitalizing America’s Manufacturing Sector

Innovation Institutes Are Revitalizing America’s Manufacturing Sector

President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation is already transforming Made-in-America manufacturing.

Seizing an opportunity to revitalize American manufacturing

When President Obama took office, many had been arguing for years that U.S. manufacturing was facing an inexorable decline, that production in the U.S. was no longer competitive globally, and that the closure of factories all around the country was a part of the natural transition to an information economy. President Obama never accepted those arguments, having long understood that a country’s ability to make things is inextricably linked to a country’s ability to innovate. The President’s commitment began with rescuing the auto industry from the brink of collapse and saving more than 1 million American jobs, but it did not end there.

As the country emerged from recession and the auto industry began to get back on its feet, the President recognized that if we were going to seize the opportunity to revitalize our manufacturing sector, the entire country would need to come together and invest in public-private partnerships that leverage our uniquely American strengths. That’s why in 2012 he launched the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, to help reinvent and reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing and keep us on the cutting-edge of competitiveness for the next generation of manufacturing jobs and investment.

Introducing the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Institute

Federal investments of over $600 million in the institutes have had a catalytic impact, attracting more than $1.2 billion in private sector resources for collaborative, precompetitive research and development to transition groundbreaking manufacturing technologies out of the lab and into production.

Today, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the latest manufacturing hub, headquartered in Cambridge, MA. The Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Institute will be focused on U.S. leadership in manufacturing innovative fabrics and textiles with novel properties–ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength and containing electronic sensors. With wide-ranging applications, these technical textiles can forge protective gear for firefighters impervious to the hottest flames, replicate the sensing capabilities of a smart watch into a lightweight fabric, or detect when a wounded soldier needs to be treated with an antimicrobial compression bandage.

With today’s announcement, the Administration has now awarded eight manufacturing innovation institutes, having partnered with a total of over 800 manufacturers, universities, and non-profits to strengthen U.S. competitiveness for manufacturing jobs and investment. Federal investments of over $600 million in the institutes have had a catalytic impact, attracting more than $1.2 billion in private sector resources for collaborative, precompetitive research and development to transition groundbreaking manufacturing technologies out of the lab and into production. And while still in its early stages, the network of manufacturing hubs is having a real impact around the country.

From Texas to New York, textiles manufacturing is making a comeback

Lloyd Whetzel, CEO of X-FAB’s semiconductor foundry in Lubbock, Texas, knows firsthand that for the U.S. to stay competitive for manufacturing jobs and investment we have to innovate ahead of the curve. Through X-FAB’s partnership with Power America, the power electronics manufacturing innovation institute headquartered in North Carolina, the Texas facility was able to accelerate the development of new semiconductor technology it needed in order to pursue new lines of business that could keep the facility open and protect more than 400 jobs. As Lloyd says:

“X-FAB Texas is a commercial entity and the PowerAmerica Institute is the first federally-funded program in which we have participated. This program has been an outstanding success. It allows this facility to pivot to a new, emerging market and not only retain the jobs we have in place, but provide the foundation for employment expansion as business grows.”


The manufacturing institutes are helping accelerate a similar tale of reinvention and revival in Rochester, NY. Last month, AIM Photonics, the Rochester-based photonics manufacturing innovation institute, helped attract new production to the area. Leveraging the capabilities of the manufacturing institute, two companies announced they are bringing over $1.4 billion of new investment and over 800 manufacturing jobs to the Rochester region opening up new factories on the same grounds where Kodak once operated, showing once again that these institutes can help nurture a broader economic revival.

Textiles manufacturing, once the poster child for job-loss and offshoring, is now making a comeback.

Today’s announcement is adding new innovation and new hope to an industry that some thought would not be able to persist in America. Textiles manufacturing, once the poster child for job-loss and offshoring, is now making a comeback. Fueled by revolutionary new technologies, the American textile industry is adding jobs for the first time in decades, has increased shipments by 14 percent since 2009, and has grown exports by 39 percent since 2009. Today’s new manufacturing institute will invest over $300 million of public-private investment to further accelerate this recovery and strengthen U.S. leadership in novel textiles.

900,000 new manufacturing jobs and counting

Thanks to the resilience of American businesses and our innovative strengths as a country, U.S. manufacturing is experiencing its longest period of job growth in decades, adding nearly 900,000 new manufacturing jobs and counting. With eight manufacturing innovation institutes and counting, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation is helping ensure U.S. manufacturing keeps up its winning streak.