DURHAM – Cree CEO Greg Lowe has made its Wolfspeed power subsidiary the focus of growth strategy at the Durham-based LED and semiconductor technology firm since he took over in 2017. And that decision has made another big payoff.

Cree on Monday disclosed that it had struck a $250 million silicon carbide wafers deal with STMicroelectronics.

The deal sent Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) shares up more than 4 percent Tuesday morning to $43.46.

“We remain focused on increasing the adoption of silicon carbide-based solutions, and this agreement is a testament to our mission,” Lowe said in a statement.

“This is the third multi-year agreement that we have signed this past year in support of the industry’s transition from silicon to silicon carbide. As the world leader in silicon carbide, Cree continues to expand capacity to meet the growing market needs, particularly in industrial and automotive applications. We are extremely pleased to continue to support STMicroelectronics as we both invest to accelerate this market.”

The deal is a multi-year agreement, the companies said.

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STMicroelectronics is targeting chips for the automotive industry.

“ST is the only semiconductor company with automotive-grade silicon carbide in mass production today, and we want to press forward to grow our SiC business both in terms of volume and breadth of applications served, targeting leadership in a market estimated at more than $3B in 2025,” said Jean-Marc Chery, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics, in the announcement.

“This agreement with Cree will improve our flexibility, sustain our ambition and plans, and contribute to boosting the pervasion of SiC in automotive and industrial applications.”

Wolfspeed provides silicon carbide wafers and epitaxial wafers.