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Cree On Track With 4-inch Wafer Transition

The LED and SiC component manufacturer is to increase research and development spending, as growth in solid-state lighting applications offsets the impact of the recession.

Cree has posted solid financial results for the opening quarter of 2009, and says that it is on schedule with a move to producing its LEDs from 4-inch wafers.

The Durham, NC, firm, which also produces SiC-based microelectronic devices and LED lighting fixtures, saw net revenues for its third quarter climb 5 percent year-on-year to $131 million.

And although sales in the three months to March were down on the quarter immediately prior to that, CEO Chuck Swoboda said that growing demand for solid-state lighting had offset the predictably weak market for LED chips in automotive and consumer applications.

Cree remains enviably debt-free and profitable, delivering net earnings of $4 million in the latest quarter and increasing liquid assets on its balance sheet to some $405 million.

Swoboda added that the company now plans to increase research and development spending, primarily on LED products, and also provided an update on its transition to manufacturing on 4-inch SiC substrates.

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