News Article

Rubicon Publishes Annual Results For 2009

Manufacturer of sapphire substrates and optical windows, Rubicon has published its results for 2009.

Manufacturer of sapphire substrates  and optical windows, Rubicon has published its results for 2009. Rubicon has published its annual results for the 12 months ended December 31st 2009.

The firm reported a significant downturn in revenue during the course of the year in comparison to both 2007 and 2008. Last year it reported revenue of $19.8 million (£13.21 million), while in the two previous years this had stood at $34.1 million and $37.8 million respectively.

However, the cost of goods sold by the business remained relatively constant during 2009 at $23.4 million - down from $25.7 million in 2008, but up on 2007 s figure of $22 million.

Overall, Rubicon delivered a loss of $3.6 million last year - down on profits of $12.1 million in each of the preceding two 12-month periods.

Products on offer by the firm currently break down into three categories - core, as-cut and as-ground.

Core products are made of sapphire cores drilled from sapphire boules and available in two, three, four, six and eight-inch diameter measures. The firm s as-cut products consist of these cores cut into wafers and have applications in the development of precision LEDs, SOS, RFICs and blue laser diodes.

As-ground products undergo a double-sided lapping and edging process and this additional refinement makes them more durable and less susceptible to chipping or cracking.

During the last three years, core products made up 66 per cent, 37 per cent and 39 per cent of total revenue, with as-cut sales accounting for 15 per cent, 24 per cent and 26 per cent of revenue. However, sales of as-ground products made up less than 15 per cent of revenue each year.

"Our fully integrated in-house capabilities enable us to design, assemble and maintain proprietary crystal growth furnaces to grow high-purity, low-stress, ultra-low defect density sapphire crystals. In addition, we possess state-of-the-art capabilities in high-precision core drilling, wafer slicing, surface lapping, edge bevel grinding and wafer cleaning processes," the company noted.

As a result, the firm is looking to expand its markets in 2010, with sapphire becoming an increasingly popular choice where high-performance LEDs are required, especially in the aerospace, military, petroleum and laser industries.

"We believe that LED and SOS RFIC production will follow a similar path to that of production of integrated circuits on silicon substrates, which gradually migrated to production on larger and larger substrates in order to reduce manufacturing costs," a company statement added.

LEDs grown on Rubicon sapphire plates have a wide range of applications, including use in mobile phone displays, backlighting units for notebook computers, desktop monitors and LCD televisions, automotive lights, flashes in digital cameras and also traffic signs and general and specialty lighting products.

The company was founded in 2000 and operates out of the Chicago area. It currently leases manufacturing and office space in excess of 100,000 sq ft and has in place plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities further.

All products created by Rubicon undergo a stringent 24-point quality control process, with the facilities themselves custom-designed for ES2-GSA crystal growth, ES2-PSA epi-polishing and the delivery of other advanced ES2 technologies.

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