DURHAM, N.C. -- Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) introduces SmartCast® Power over Ethernet (PoE), an intuitively simple, scalable and open platform that enables the Internet of Things (IoT) for buildings through better light. SmartCast PoE is the first LED lighting platform that makes the Cisco® Digital Ceiling framework ready for mass deployment and adoption. Cree’s SmartCast PoE embeds intelligence to make buildings more efficient and people more productive, while delivering far better light for less energy than ordinary LED lighting systems. The solution was announced today at Cisco Live!® Berlin and is part of the Cisco Digital Ceiling framework, which connects disparate systems into a single IP network to create smart, more secure, seamlessly connected building systems. Cree is part of the Digital Ceiling partner community, a network of partners working to enhance the traditional workforce through the connection of intelligent things to create new user experiences, lower total costs and enable business analytics. “Cree is committed to delivering better light experiences for our customers,” said Norbert Hiller, executive vice president of lighting at Cree. “The new connected lighting technologies we’re pioneering with Cisco leverage Cree’s SmartCast® Technology and the communications power of the internet to deliver better light and up to 70 percent more savings than standard LED lighting. With Cisco, Cree is taking Intelligent Light far beyond what’s possible with traditional lighting solutions.” Cree applied its proven intelligent SmartCast Technology to a PoE infrastructure in order to solve the inherent commissioning complexities of deploying network-powered smart lighting within buildings. Cree’s SmartCast PoE works out of the box, just like the original SmartCast Technology, and enables an entire building to be commissioned at one time with a single stroke. Cree’s series of SmartCast® lights, light switches and dimmers operates with Cisco’s standards-based PoE-powered network architecture. This platform provides power and networking for the lights with a standard Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for separate data and high-voltage power connections. “Cisco is excited to work with Cree and the global partner community to make the Digital Ceiling framework a reality,” said Tony Shakib, vice president, IoT verticals business unit, Cisco. “Cree’s expertise is important as we make this shift in the industry to help customers in the enterprise begin to harness the benefits of network powered smart lighting solutions.” Cree® SmartCast Technology with PoE can deliver energy savings up to 70 percent greater than LED lighting alone, while making possible new services and experiences. Mobile, Ala. County Public Schools recently deployed the technology in their administrative offices, with plans to implement in classrooms this spring. “Cree’s SmartCast® Technology with PoE is transforming the Mobile County School System by blending fundamentally better lighting with truly intuitive technology to personalize learning environments and deliver more value than we’d ever imagined,” said David Akridge, Mobile County School System executive manager of information technology. “Beyond high performance energy efficiency, we now have the ability to tune the color of our lighting to create custom, comfortable classrooms. Cree’s SmartCast® Technology with PoE software is also adaptive, allowing for future security enhancements such as signaling a school emergency, so we can continue to offer safer environments.” Initial installs are underway, and Cree SmartCast Technology with PoE will be commercially available in the second quarter of 2016. Visit www.cree.com/smartcast for more information. About Cree, Inc: Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, mercury-free LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, lighting products and semiconductor products for power and radio frequency (RF) applications. Cree's product families include LED lighting systems and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and RF devices. Cree's products are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, electronic signs and signals, power supplies and inverters. For additional product and Company information, please refer to www.cree.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, including the risk that actual savings and lifetimes will vary from expectations; the risk we may be unable to manufacture these new products with sufficiently low cost to offer them at competitive prices or with acceptable margins; the risk we may encounter delays or other difficulties in ramping up production of our new products; customer acceptance of our new products; the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render Cree’s products obsolete; and other factors discussed in Cree’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 28, 2015, and subsequent filings. Cree® and SmartCast® are registered trademarks of Cree, Inc. Cisco® and Cisco Live! ® are registered trademarks of Cisco Technology, Inc.