August 24, 2006 — /BUSINESS WIRE/ — STARKVILLE, Miss. — SemiSouth Laboratories – a silicon carbide research and development company – announced today that it has completed the construction of its new silicon carbide (SiC) manufacturing facility and has completed a large portion of the installation of its manufacturing equipment. To mark this milestone, the company today held a Grand Opening celebration at the Starkville site. The event also marked the opening of II-VI, Inc.’s SiC wafer processing clean-room located inside the SemiSouth facility.
Speaking at the opening ceremonies were U.S. Congressman Chip Pickering of Mississippi’s Third Congressional District; U.S. Congressman Roger Wicker of Mississippi’s First Congressional District, Mississippi State University President Dr. Robert Foglesong, and Dr. Carl Johnson, CEO of II-VI, Inc. The ceremonies were lead by Dr. Jeff Casady, President and CEO of SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc.
“The completion of this facility is a major milestone for both SemiSouth and the state of Mississippi,” said Dr. Casady. “This opening marks the debut of the first major semiconductor (microchip) manufacturing facility in the state and provides a solid example of homegrown high tech economic development. This state-of-the-art facility is a proud example of how federal investment in University-based research and development, coupled with state support for high tech job growth, can lead to true high tech economic development in Mississippi. SemiSouth’s success derives from the strong support of our federal, state and local government leaders and our solid base of private investors. Today’s grand opening ceremony is an opportunity for us to pause and recognize the support of those individuals who have been instrumental in the company’s success.”
Silicon carbide (SiC) is an emerging semiconductor technology known to have very significant advantages for energy efficient high-power applications. The key electrical properties of the technology is the ability to handle electrical power up to 10X better, with higher efficiency, and at much higher temperatures than silicon based power electronic components. The true promise of SiC is its ability to make high-end power supplies more energy efficient, run cooler and be physically smaller in size. As an example, SiC power components are expected to increase the ‘fuel’ efficiency of hybrid electric vehicles and help make them more affordable for consumers.
“The energy efficient technology being produced by SemiSouth has wide ranging applications that include advancing our military war fighting capabilities and helping reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources,” said Congressman Wicker. “We are fortunate to have this cutting-edge company right here in the Golden Triangle area of Mississippi.”
Co-founded five years ago by two Mississippi State University (MSU) professors spearheading SiC research and development activities at Mississippi State University (MSU). During the past five years, SemiSouth has grown from a small operation with three fulltime employees working out of a research lab at MSU, to an up-and-coming silicon carbide based semiconductor supplier recently named one of the top 5 most promising companies at the recent Semiconductor Venture Fair and one of the top 50 emerging technology companies in the U.S. by Dow Jones / Venture Wire. Both founders currently hold executive positions with SemiSouth. Dr. Casady is President and CEO, and Dr. Mike Mazzola is Chief Technology Officer, leading SemiSouth’s continued technology development.
Congressman Pickering stated: “SemiSouth is on the leading edge of technologies that will defend us and provide critical national security capabilities and promising commercial applications. This major milestone for Mississippi-based SemiSouth underscores the great value of an industry partnership with Mississippi State University and its contribution to the economic development of our State.”
The private event was attended by more than 150 people. Tours of the new facility were given.
About SemiSouth Laboratories
An industry leader in the technological development and manufacture of silicon carbide (SiC) electrical components and materials for high-power, high-efficiency, harsh-environment power management and conversion applications, SemiSouth provides discrete power devices, simple ICs, and thin film SiC epitaxy wafers to commercial and government entities. Founded in 2000 and based in Starkville, MS, this privately-held company has a strategic alliance with Mississippi State University and its ongoing SiC research programs. SiC-based semiconductor devices offer significant advantages over competing products based on silicon, GaAs and other materials for power based electronic applications.
For more information about SiC or SemiSouth Laboratories, visit the company’s website at www.semisouth.com.
SemiSouth Laboratories, Starkville
Media: Keith Nootbaar, 662-324-7607