Sterling to expand SiC epitaxial and device production capacity

Sept. 4, 2001 – Sarasota, FL – Sterling Semiconductor Inc., a subsidiary of Uniroyal Technology Corp., announced the expansion of its silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial and device production capacity at its newest facility in Tampa, Florida.

Capitalizing on existing infrastructure and synergies in technology, the decision to build the new facility in conjunction with recent construction at Uniroyal’s Tampa manufacturing plant will accelerate Sterling’s epitaxy and device product development.

In making the announcement, Robert L. Soran, Uniroyal president and CEO, said, “We expect the expansion to accelerate our entry into the commercial epitaxial market by approximately one year, while stepping up Sterling’s SiC device product development by approximately two years. The autonomy achieved through the purchase of a minority interest in the Uniroyal Optoelectronics (UOE) joint venture from Emcore Corporation has made the synergistic opportunities possible for Sterling at the Tampa facility.”

“The focus for Sterling continues to be rapid capacity expansion for silicon carbide wafer production, as well as epitaxial and device product development,” said James M. LeMunyon, president of Sterling Semiconductor. “Building Sterling’s epitaxy and device facility at Uniroyal Technology’s Tampa plant provides Sterling the opportunity to move quickly into these markets while eliminating considerable redundant spending for fabrication, characterization and testing equipment which is already in place in Tampa.”

Sterling Semiconductor recently extended the terms of the leases for its facilities in Danbury, Connecticut and Sterling, Virginia consistent with the expansion of its SiC wafer business line and its development of semi- insulating substrates. Silicon carbide conducting substrates support a variety of advanced components in optoelectronics and power electronics. Semi-insulating substrates are important for a wide range of commercial and military communications devices because of their high resistance to electrical conduction, a property essential to the performance of semiconductor devices used in wireless communications applications.

The Uniroyal Technology subsidiary also announced that it has received its first MOCVD reactor, which is currently being installed, for production of SiC epitaxial wafers for customers and to support its device product development at the Tampa facility. The addition of this reactor in Tampa will enhance programs such as the recently announced R & D contract with General Electric Corporate Research & Development (GE CRD) for the development and evaluation of Schottky diode devices using Sterling’s SiC wafers and epitaxy.

Uniroyal Technology’s Compound Semiconductors & Optoelectronics business segment includes Uniroyal Optoelectronics, Sterling Semiconductor, Inc., and NorLux Corp. Uniroyal Optoelectronics manufactures high brightness light emitting diodes (HB-LEDs), a rapidly growing market with applications such as traffic signals, indoor/outdoor signage and automotive applications.


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