John Palmour - Wolfspeed
One of the original founders of Cree in 1987, John holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science from North Carolina State University, has authored or co-authored more than 360 publications, and is a co-inventor on 65 US patents and 135 corresponding foreign patents in the areas of processing and device designs for silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium Nitride (GaN) electronic devices. He currently serves as Wolfspeed’s Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Palmour was previously the Chief Technology Officer of Advanced Devices (now named Wolfspeed) at Cree from 2008 to 2015. Dr. Palmour served an Executive Vice President of Advanced Devices for Cree, Inc. from 2002 to 2008 and he was responsible for all aspects of Cree Inc.'s wide bandgap RF, microwave and power switching device businesses and also managed its government contract research programs. He served on the Board of Directors of Cree, Inc. from 1995 to 2010.
GaN-on-SiC RF: Poised for rapid adoption
It is well known that RF GaN-on-SiC transistors are capable of providing power, bandwidth, and efficiency performance capabilities in excess of what can be provided by traditional technologies, like silicon LDMOS and GaAs. It is less widely known that GaN-on-SiC has also been quietly, yet steadily, gaining power transistor market share not only in high performance, niche applications like Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence, but in high volume, cost sensitive markets such as cellular infrastructure as well. In fact, over the last three years, Wolfspeed has sold more than 15 million GaN-on-SiC transistors into the telecom market. This has established a firm track record of performance and reliability, and sets the stage for the next wave of GaN-on-SiC growth. This adoption is not only expected to accelerate in telecom infrastructure to satisfy 5G and IOT requirements, but also to become more visible as large military systems that have long been in development begin to transition to production. Beyond that, other segments such as microwave heating, plasma lighting, and TWT replacements are taking a hard look at GaN-on-SiC for its performance and reliability advantages over other traditional solutions.