News Article

Rubicon Spreads Its Roots With Sapphire Polishing Facility In Malaysia

The firm’s first facility outside the US will initially support increasing demand for large diameter sapphire of up to twelve inches in diameter at high volume.

Rubicon, a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, RFIC, Semiconductor, and Optical industries is opening a plant in Penang, Malaysia.

The state-of-the-art facility will be responsible for the labor-intensive crystal polishing processes significantly expanding Rubicon's capacity for high quality, large diameter polished wafer production.

As the only vertically integrated manufacturer of high quality, large diameter sapphire wafers in large volumes, Rubicon is provider of choice for manufacturers of LEDs (light emitting diodes) worldwide. Rubicon's Malaysia facility combined with Rubicon's new crystal growth facility in Batavia, IL - both leveraging large-diameter sapphire -- have been established to deliver the sapphire capacity necessary to support the growing demand for LEDs in the consumer electronics and general lighting industries.

"Rubicon's recent build-out of infrastructure optimizes our ability to deliver large diameter sapphire wafers in large volumes to our customers worldwide," said Raja Parvez, Rubicon President and CEO. "While the Batavia facility leverages the stability and lower cost of valuable resources such as power, the facility in Malaysia leverages the location to further lower costs and bring our extensive experience in polishing large diameter wafers close to the LED, consumer electronics and general lighting manufacturers in Asia."

Market research firm iSuppli expects the global LED market to nearly double to nearly $14.3bn by 2013 driven by the penetration of LEDs into the general illumination market including light bulbs. LEDs are a popular option for backlighting screens from HDTVs, traffic lights and large displays as well as in a broad range of popular consumer devices including tablets, notebooks, laptops, mobile phones, navigation devices, digital music players, digital photo frames, digital cameras and keypads. LED use in general lighting applications is also increasing significantly, particularly in applications like street lighting, industrial lighting and architectural lighting.

Rubicon's expansion into Asia demonstrates the company's leadership role in the production of high quality, large diameter sapphire wafers. Rubicon currently has the capability to produce polished sapphire wafers up to twelve inches in diameter. The transition to large diameter wafers in LED production has started. Earlier in 2010, Rubicon announced that the company entered into a $71 million agreement with a major LED chip manufacturer for which Rubicon will provide six-inch polished substrates.

Rubicon Technology applies its proprietary crystal growth technology to produce very high-quality sapphire in a form that allows for volume production of various sizes and orientations of substrates and windows. Rubicon is a vertically-integrated manufacturer with capabilities in crystal growth, high precision core drilling, wafer slicing, surface lapping, large-diameter polishing and wafer cleaning processes, which the Company employs to convert the bulk crystal into products with the quality and precision specified by its customers. The Company is actively developing larger diameter products to support next-generation LED, RFIC and optical window applications.

 
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