Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
If the previous link fails to work, the information can be found on the PANL message board. Messages # 91 and 95. Thanks for your opinions.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hmmmm...verrrry interesting!!! Sure did send PANL's stock soaring.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
This was posted today on the Yahoo PANL board:

http://messages.yahoo.com/bbs action=m&board=13990413&tid=panl&sid=13990413&mid=1808

Here is a short excerpt from the reviewing Nature article that accompanied the Forrest et. al. report. While the reviewing article said that the work was ingenious, it also said that there were significant limitations.

"The work is still at an early stage — the efficiencies obtained by Baldo [Forrest] et al. with their red LED are not the best that can be achieved, but the potential is there. However, a serious drawback is the need for a number of downhill energy steps, so that the energy of the emitted light is much lower than that of the positive and negative charges that combine to form the exciton. This means that although the technique is suitable for red devices, it will be difficult to achieve green and even harder to achieve blue emission. It will be interesting to see whether alternative materials offer any improvements."

Coming at this from more an investor than technical orientation, I am at a disadvantage at deciphering what is the practical significance of both the Forrest discovery and this article's lukewarm review


I'm not an expert either, but it sounds like PANL's technology is at least several years from production. I've never considered LED's to be CREE's major strength--MESFET's and other high temperature (microwave--think wireless) applications of SiC, and cheap blue laser diodes are the real reason I stay invested at a P/E multiple of 300+. I also own PANL as well, but am more concerned about EK's OLED patents relative to PANL.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I would say that PANL isn't a threat to CREE on several fronts. Here's at least one:

Universal Display is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of Organic Emitting Diode Technology for use in flat panel displays & other applications. For the 9 months ended 9/30/99, revenues rose 18% to $333. Net loss rose 92% to $3.3M. Results reflect an equity grant to executives of the Company, offset by additional research being performed at Princeton University, increased research personnel and higher patent expenses.

Universal Display is PANL's company name. Revenues are on the rise, but the company isn't profitable yet. Indeed, a net loss rise of 92% is down right scary. I don't think PANL is an Amazon.com rule breaker. But I do think that CREE is a genuine rule breaker. It owns the market and is years ahead of the up and comers. That's why I'm holding my shares even at this high price. Maybe the analyst who cited $300 is a bit high, but maybe not. CREE holds the patents, has the manufacturing down, is building new facilities, has excellent R&D, is very profitable, and I can't imagine finding anything else that has performed like that. At least I haven't yet.

Rich

Rich
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I really appreciate your reply. I am a new owner of CREE and believe in it. I will sleep better tonight. -- Steve
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Congratulations Steve on your purchase of CREE. May you profit greatly. Couldn't help but notice nick 28 was one of your favorite posters. He caused quite a stir on the QCOM board recently. I believe he was banned. Did you learn anything from him or were you entertained by his posts.

Just curious...he was quite irritating over there and seemed to possess some qualities of a basher.

Good luck with CREE.....
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
When I first started looking at the MF boards, I just started pushing buttons to see what would happen. One of them apparently then listed the infamous Nick28 as one of my favorites. As far as I am concerned, he is just another poster with maybe an axe to grind. One Rule that I heard early and then failed to head for awhile was "Sell only when you have a better place to put the money". I waited much too long to recoup my money from QCOM and missed many opportunities, one being CREE at below $100. But now I am on board and happy to be here. Thanks for your welcome. -- Steve
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Better late than never! welcome aboard!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 55
Following is my husband's attempt to answer the question on everyone's mind (he does research on polymer light emitting devices)...

Does Cree compete with Universal Display Corp/PANL?

Let me describe how each one makes devices, and what they can be used for.

Cree grows a large crystal of silicon carbide, a very hard material that has been used for years as an abrasive- as tiny dust-sized crystals. Cree makes big single crystals, very similar to the silicon crystals that are the basis for all silicon chips, and also analagous to the cystals of gallium arsenide that are used for red and green LEDs and laser pointers and CD player lasers. Cree's crystals aren't as high quality as silicon crystals, but neither is gallium arsenide. Gallium arsenide (and related crystals like indium phosphide) has been in production for 30 years and they still aren't as good as silicon, because thermodynamics does not favor crystals with 2 or more kinds of atoms.

Anyway, Cree slices the crystals into thin wafers, about 0.5 mm thick, and polishes them. If they grow a crummy crystal they sell it as fake diamond.

Cree then can take that crystal and make a device in it very much like a silicon chip, or integrated circuit, because SiC can be doped like silicon. When you make a chip on SiC, it works at much higher temperatures than a silicon chip can.

Cree also takes those wafers and deposits other layers on them using a process known as epitaxy. Using this technique they can make lasers and light emitting diodes. The diodes and lasers emit blue light, which has more energy than red or green light- very desirable. A blue laser in your CD player will allow more data to be put on a CD. Blue lasers can cram more data into a fiber optic cable. Epitaxy requires an expensive machine, and each device must be packaged after the wafer is sawn into little tiny pieces.

Cree LEDs are small, probably about 0.5mm on a side, and come in a package. You wire them up one at a time. On a big screen as used in stadiums and arenas, Cree's devices will give bright blue colors when combined with red and green LEDs made from gallium arsenide materials. Each pixel on the screen is one LED, so a big display requires hundreds of little LEDs. The colors are determined by the material the LED is made of, that's why all red LEDs are the same color of red. You can not make a big single LED using Cree technology. They have wafers as big as 4 inches, and that is as big as you could possibly make an LED, but practical problems limit them to tiny, single devices.

Universal Display Corp, UDC, makes devices out of polymers- plastics.

UDC takes a flat substrate- glass, silicon, plastic- and deposits a material called Induim Tin Oxide on it. ITO is common and cheap. Every digital watch has a layer of ITO on its display. It is transparent and conducts electricity. Then UDC deposits a few layers of small molecules and pi-conjugated polymers on the substrate. Small molucules are deposited in a simple vacuum chamber, and the pi-conjugated polymer is cast on from a solvent solution. This must be done in the absence of oxygen and water. After the polymers are deposited, a metal, probably calcium or aluminum, is deposited on top of the polymer and small molecule layers. The metal is then capped off with some protective material to keep oxygen and water out, probably an epoxy.

One of the big problems with polymer/small molecule displays was lifetime. Early devices lasted a few minutes, but by careful manufacturing, they now have devices which last 20,000 hours- equal to the inorganic people like Cree or gallium arsenide based LEDs.

Now, UDC/PANL can make a light emitting device as large as they want, as long as they can figure out a substrate that is flat enough and clean enough to deposit defect free films onto. Ideally, UDC could cover window panes with LEDs. It would require some expensive machines, but there is no practical size limitation to how large they could build a light emitting panel. (The Hubble space telescope's mirror is about 15 feet in diameter, and the metallic coating on it is probably good enough for organic LED manufacture.) UDC can also change colors by a simple change in chemisty. This step is a piece of cake to an organic chemist- simply substitute a methyl group for an ethyl group and the color is changed a bit.

UDC can also make patterns in their displays, simply by putting the metal layer only in select places. This technique allows UDC to make displays that have numbers and letters and things. You can't do this with inorganic (e.g. silicon carbide, gallium arsenide based)LEDs.

The organic displays UDC makes can be put on flexible substrates- this has been done already. Making a 3 color display (for computer or TV screens) has also been done, but the ones I have seen are no where near ready to eliminate the competition, which is other flat panel displays.

So, if UDC wanted to make a stadium type of display, they could make a bunch of small devices in individual packages and wire them together by hand, as above, or they could make a bunch of panels with 3 or more colors on them and wire the panels together. This would be cheaper and look better than a bunch of tiny organic or inorganic device all wired together. UDC displays could also be wrapped around a pole. They are literally paper thin (the coatings are less than a micron thick for any fellow tech types).

So, in a round about way, Cree and UDC are competitors, the way that GMC Trucks and Buick are competitors. Both will get you from point A to B just fine. If you wanna impress your date, drive a Buick. If you want to haul sand, drive a GMC. Cree and UDC devices may well be used in the same machine, but I do not ever see an equipment manufacturer sitting down deciding to use Cree or UDC devices. They are used in different applications. The idiot lite in the dash will be a Cree LED, as is the power device in your cell phone. UDC will make the display on the stereo and the display on your cell phone. UDC may someday make the headlights, too. Cree will make the stoplight hanging overhead.

bubba (Mr. Colorado Girl)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Coloradogirl, Thank you for such a great answer to my question. It is always refreshing and reassuring to read a post by a person that knows so much and takes the time to share. Thanks again. ---Steve
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<<Anyway, Cree slices the crystals into thin wafers, about 0.5 mm thick, and polishes them. If they grow a crummy crystal they sell it as fake diamond.>>>>
...Would like to correct the above contention re CREE SiC crystals manufactured for the moissanite gem products.
....The process that creates the semiconductor SiC crystals is totally seperate and distinct from the one that produces the gem quality product. Any waste product from semiconductor production is of no value for the gemstone market.
....Among the many differences are: the materials formulated for the crystal growth are very different. The gem production materials and processes are specialized to maintain very rigid color specifications; the semiconductor crystals are formulated to assure the various qualities that are important for the end use semiconductor......Gnordo


Thank you for the correction. That is what makes these boards so great!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Thanks for the great post Bubba (Mr. Colorado Girl). You too should be a Fool. I usually evaluate a company using the three legged stool approach. Superior financials, top-notch management, and leading edge technology. Your technical insight strengthens the leg which most of us Fools have only a currsory understanding. Looking forward to your future posts.
Print the post Back To Top