The expansion, which will focus on manufacturing and R&D, is to be located in the Research Triangle area near to the company's Durham headquarters in North Carolina. Work will start this fall.
"This expansion will help position the company for our targeted future growth not only in LED chips, but also our new XLamp and power product lines," said Chuck Swoboda, Cree's CEO.
The XLamp is an example of the company's diversification of products. According to Swoboda, Cree has "officially entered the race to replace the lightbulb".
Cree plans to substantially increase its LED production capacity in fiscal 2005 through spending $100-120 million on capital equipment.
The company is also transferring LED growth to 3 inch substrates, a task that will take approximately a year to complete, but one that will double the number of production chips per wafer.