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What’s in a name? North Carolina firm that’s building chip fab on SUNY Poly campus now called Wolfspeed

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

Gregg Lowe (center), CEO of Cree Inc., is seen in this September 2020 file photo as he visited the construction site of the firm’s Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, near Utica. Lowe toured the site with Jeff Maidment (left), construction manager for Cree. The firm on Oct. 4 announced it has changed its name to Wolfspeed Inc., a name it has used for its silicon-carbide materials. (PHOTO CREDIT: WOLFSPEED)

The company that’s building its $1 billion Mohawk Valley Fab near Utica is now operating under a new name. 

Durham, North Carolina–based Cree Inc. has changed its name to Wolfspeed, Inc. (NYSE: WOLF). The renamed firm specializes in silicon-carbide technology and production.

The Mohawk Valley Fab — which is under construction at the Marcy Nanocenter on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Marcy — has been described by New York State as the “world’s largest silicon carbide device manufacturing facility.”

The company in early November 2020 said it expects production to begin there in 2022.

Wolfspeed has served as the brand name for the company’s silicon-carbide materials and semiconductor-devices business unit for the past six years. The company contends the name Wolfspeed “conveys both the noble traits of the wolf — leadership, intelligence and endurance — and speed, characterized by the pace at which the company innovates and operates…”

“Today officially marks a transformative milestone for Wolfspeed as we are now a pure-play global semiconductor powerhouse,” Gregg Lowe, CEO at Wolfspeed, said. “The next generation in power semiconductors will be driven by Silicon Carbide technology, with superior performance that unleashes new possibilities and positive changes to the way we live.”

Lowe joined the company in September 2017. 

Wolfspeed says it has forged multi-year, long-term materials agreements totaling more than $1.3 billion across several industries, has a device pipeline that totals more than $15 billion, and an increased production capacity 30 times larger than previous facility plans. 

The company says its technology is key to the electrification of the drivetrain to support the shift to electric vehicles, wireless infrastructure to unlock the potential of smart cities, and power storage to enable broader adoption of renewable energy.

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