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CREE RESEARCH, INC. ANNOUNCES PRICE BREAKTHROUGH IN BLUE LEDs

 DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Cree Research, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE), the world leader in silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor technology, announced today its new line of low cost, high performance blue LED chips and lamps. The two new blue LED chip products, the D8 and D10, are priced as low as $0.18 and $0.29 respectively. The new line of blue LED lamps are priced as low as $0.39. The chip and lamp announcements signify a major breakthrough in blue LED price/performance and are the result of Cree's continued success in the advancement and commercialization of SiC LED technology. According to Chuck Swoboda, Cree's LED product manager, this critical price breakthrough was made possible by the combination of advances in wafer size and reductions in chip size.
 The D8 chip has a typical radiant flux of 18 microwatts (measured at 20mA) and a peak wavelength of 470nm. The $0.18 price in 1 million piece quantities represents a 38 percent increased in brightness for half the price or, more simply, a 65 percent reduction in the price per microwatt. This improvement makes major strides in narrowing the gap with red and green chips. The D10 chip has a typical radiant flux of 22 microwatts (measured at 20mA) and a peak wavelength of 470nm. The $0.29 price in 1 million piece quantities represents a 24 percent reduction from Cree's previous price of $0.38 while still providing the high current capability needed in many display applications. The price reductions mean that full color LED displays are now possible for a much lower price.
 John Day, of Strategies Unlimited, an optoelectronics market research firm, states that "Cree has made remarkable progress in the development of SiC technology. The latest announcement of a new low cost blue LED is coming at least five years ahead of our 1988 expectations. The low-cost blue opens a variety of new markets for economically-priced full-color animated displays."
 The new blue LED lamps feature nearly 40 percent more output for half the price of Cree's previous products. The 18 microwatt output and $0.39 price in 100,000 piece quantities represent a 58 percent reduction in price and a 38 percent increase in brightness. The $0.39 price should enable designers to use blue LEDs in most applications which require solid state blue light. The lamps come in T1 and T1 3/4 packages with either clear or diffused epoxy.
 Mark Chandler, marketing manager for Hewlett-Packard's Optoelectronics Division, says that "Now that Cree has established a trend for continued cost and performance improvements, blue LEDs can be utilized in volume production designs."
 Cree Research, Inc. pioneered the use of silicon carbide (SiC) material for blue LEDs during the late 1980s. The Durham company was the first to successfully manufacture single crystal silicon carbide for commercially viable LED applications. Low-cost, high performance SiC blue LEDs can be combined with already available red and green LED chips to produce any color light in the visible spectrum, including solid-state white light. The result has enabled growth in new applications, including full color LED displays, color sensors for slide and film scanners, and indicators. Today, Cree is the only known source for blue SiC LED chips in commercial quantities.
 Cree Research, Inc. was founded in 1987 by scientists from North Carolina State University. Cree has over 20 issued patents encompassing silicon carbide material and device process technology. In addition to blue LEDs, Cree has also developed SiC JFETs, MOSFETS, MESFETS, and ultraviolet photodetectors.
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 /CONTACT: Alan Robertson, Chief Financial Officer, of Cree Research, 919-361-5709 or FAX 919-361-4630, or (Industry Contacts) Mark Chandler of Hewlett-Packard Company, 408-435-6017, or John Day of Strategies Unlimited, 415-941-3438/
 (CREE)


CO: Cree Research, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: CPR SU: PDT

CM -- CH007 -- 5872 09/27/93 10:59 EDT
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Date:Sep 27, 1993
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