Cree, NY State Form $1B Partnership To Create World’s Largest Silicon Carbide Device Facility

More than 600 Cree jobs will be created at the Marcy Nanocenter on SUNY Poly Campus in collaboration with the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium.

A major public-private partnership between the State of New York and Cree, Inc., the global leader in silicon carbide technology, will invest approximately $1 billion over six years to construct and equip a new, state-of-the-art, highly-automated world’s-first, 200mm silicon carbide wafer fabrication facility. This investment also includes a $30 million research and development commitment by Cree, with plans to create over 600 full-time highly-skilled technician and engineering positions at the Marcy Nanocenter on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus near Utica, NY.

Marcy Nanocenter
(Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

“This public-private partnership will not only bring hundreds of jobs and investment to New York, but it will also strengthen Cree’s position overall, including in North Carolina, and ensure our standing as the global leader in silicon carbide technology,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree. “We want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development for providing Cree with this opportunity and welcoming us to New York. This state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified wafer fabrication facility builds on our 30-year heritage of commercializing disruptive technologies that help our customers deliver next-generation applications. We look forward to connecting our North Carolina and New York innovation hubs to driving the accelerated adoption of silicon carbide.”

“New York State continues to be a hub for research, and today’s announcement signals more opportunities for our faculty and students to participate in semiconductor-related research, and create internships and jobs in this area,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. “We applaud the Governor for once again delivering on his commitment to building partnerships between higher education and employers to deliver careers for the local community.”

Cree has committed to create over 600 new Cree jobs within eight years and provide internships and research opportunities for SUNY students. The efforts help to develop an advanced manufacturing-oriented workforce development initiative across the SUNY system to prepare a 21st century workforce for the long-term, high-quality employment and advancement opportunities the new facility will present. SUNY has also committed to match up to $5 million in semiconductor-related research funding from Cree for the SUNY system.

Over six years, Cree will invest at least $1 billion through the construction of a state-of-the-art, highly automated silicon carbide fab and the installation of newly acquired and relocated machinery and equipment in Marcy. As the utilization of the silicon carbide fab grows, Cree will further seek to fit-out and equip the fab.

“This partnership is vital to strengthening the research and scientific assets that New York State needs today to attract the high-tech industries and jobs of tomorrow,” said Gov. Cuomo. “This is a crucial step in cultivating the advanced manufacturing infrastructure of New York State, growing the upstate economy and transforming the future of the Mohawk Valley.

New York State will provide $500 million in performance-based, capital grants from Empire State Development to reimburse a portion of Cree’s costs of fitting out the new facility and acquiring and installing machinery and equipment, as well as $1 million in Excelsior Jobs tax credits.

“When Cree chose the Mohawk Valley for its new facility, it was proof positive that once again, upstate New York is a great place to do business,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric J. Gertler. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to stimulating economic development and job creation while promoting groundbreaking research and development in high-tech manufacturing.”

Marcy Nanocenter
(Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

During construction of the Marcy fab, which Cree has agreed to perform subject to prevailing wage requirements, Cree will also lease space on the SUNY Poly campus in Albany, where the company will utilize equipment purchased as part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (PEMC) to transition from the current process of producing devices on 150mm silicon carbide wafers to a new process of producing devices on 200mm silicon carbide wafers, which is expected to be the first example of producing devices on 200 mm silicon carbide wafers in the world. As the fab ramps, Cree will transfer the PEMC equipment and its 200mm process to the SUNY Poly Marcy campus location.

In addition to the more than 600 direct jobs to be created within eight years, the project is estimated to generate approximately 570 indirect jobs and over $4.3 billion in total statewide economic impact over the next 20 years. Silicon carbide is at the core of helping to power high-growth markets, such as the move from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs) and the rollout of ultrafast 5G networks. Silicon carbide-based power electronic devices offer significant efficiency, reliability and performance. For applications like EVs, this enables greater system efficiencies that result in electric cars with longer range and faster charging, while reducing cost, lowering weight and conserving space.

Mohawk Valley EDGE, which has been instrumental in transforming the Marcy Nanocenter property into a “shovel-ready” site that meets the highest semiconductor standards while also aggressively marketing the site, will sublease the parcel to Cree under a 49-year lease. Construction of the fab will be led by Cree and monitored by Empire State Development, Mohawk Valley EDGE and the New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology, Engineering and Science (NY CREATES). In total, the new facilities in Marcy are expected to cover approximately 500,000 square feet, up to 135,000 square feet of cleanroom space and other support facilities.

“CREE’s decision to locate its state-of-the-art 200 mm SiC semiconductor facility at Marcy Nanocenter and its partnership with SUNY Poly’s Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium is a game changing event for the Mohawk Valley Region,” said Steve DiMeo, President, Mohawk Valley EDGE. “This partnership  positions the Mohawk Valley as a hub in next generation power electronics and RF Technologies. The company’s Wolfspeed Division is a leader in developing semiconductor solutions that is leading the way for the  automotive industry’s $350 billion commitment in electric vehicles, enables the rollout of the 5G Communications Infrastructure, and CREE’s Wolfspeed division  provides technologies integral for the renewable energy, aerospace and defense, and industrial markets. Today’s announcement reaffirms Governor Cuomo’s commitment in supporting this region’s economic development strategy that targeted development of the Marcy Nanocenter site as a critical underpinning in the region’s economic development.”

The addition of Cree to the Marcy Nanocenter is a result of the PEMC, a public-private partnership along the upstate corridor to continue the development of smaller, faster and more efficient silicon carbide materials vital to the continued growth of the semiconductor industry. Upon completion in 2022, the new facility in Marcy will substantially increase the company’s silicon carbide wafer fabrication capacity, allowing for a wide range of semiconductor solutions that will enable the dramatic technology shifts underway within the automotive and electric vehicle, communications infrastructure and industrial markets.

The entrance of Cree into upstate New York will result in significant local and regional economic benefits, creating hundreds of new jobs, a Cree employee payroll that is expected to exceed $46 million per year, and an estimated $3.4 billion dollars in Mohawk Valley regional economic impact. The project builds upon the growing semiconductor industry that has been a pillar of upstate economic development stemming from IBM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, Danfoss, and others. A 2018 report by Georgetown University estimated that more than 60,000 total direct, indirect, induced, and construction jobs upstate are attributable to nanotechnology, driven in large part by the semiconductor industry

The semiconductor industry is a major economic contributor both nationally and within New York State. A recent U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association analysis estimated that each direct semiconductor industry job enables 4.89 jobs in other sectors of the economy, with the U.S. semiconductor industry accounting for roughly a quarter of a million direct U.S. jobs and over a million additional indirect jobs.

Cree is an innovator of Wolfspeed® power and radio frequency (RF) semiconductors and lighting class LEDs. Cree’s Wolfspeed product portfolio includes silicon carbide materials, power-switching devices and RF devices targeted for applications such as electric vehicles, fast charging, inverters, power supplies, telecom and military and aerospace. Cree’s LED product portfolio includes blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs and lighting-class power LEDs targeted for indoor and outdoor lighting, video displays, transportation and specialty lighting applications.

Relocating or Expanding Your Business In New York

Considering New York for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out Business Facilities’ New York Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.