DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 27 -- Cree Inc., developer and manufacturer of semiconductor materials and devices based on silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN) and related compounds, said that its blue laser device based on SiC had a continuous wave (CW) lifetime of more than 100 hours with an operating output of 1 to 3 mW. We believe we now understand the fundamental key to long life continuous wave operation on silicon carbide, said Neal Hunter, chairman and CEO of Cree. Having reached this important milestone, we expect future progress to occur at a rapid pace. The performance reported today allows us to begin initial design work with systems manufacturers. The company also shown that it has the power level needed to meet the needs of nearly all consumer optical storage applications with the recent demonstration of a single device that can produce 100 mW of CW power, said Cree. The power level currently required for read/write applications is 30 to 40 mW.