RBCN upgrages to larger sapphire wafer furnaces company-wide

August 18, 2011 – BUSINESS WIRE — Sapphire substrates maker Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCN) completed company-wide enhancements to its proprietary crystal growth furnaces, upgrading all furnaces to Rubicon Furnace Version ES2-XLG3.0, which produces large-diameter sapphire material with greater automation and higher yields.

Rubicon operates high-efficiency crystal growth furnaces in Batavia and Bensenville, IL, USA, for semiconductor, optical, and LED manufacturers. Sapphire crystal growth is "extremely complex" compared to other substrates, said Raja Parvez, Rubicon president and CEO. The upgraded furnaces handle power and cooling requirements, complex growth profiles, and process control for larger-diameter sapphire wafers.

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RBCN is focusing on large-diameter equipment platforms, citing the industry trend toward larger wafers. Rubicon has shipped more than 100,000 6" sapphire wafers. Major LED manufacturers are transitioning to larger-diameter wafers in the 2011-2012 timeframe. Migration to 4" wafers is "booming" with announcements by Osram and Showa Denko among others, while Samsung is planning to shift to 6" nitride LED production, and Monocrystal is working on 8" c-plan sapphire. The sapphire substrate market will grow at a 21% annual clip through 2012 to top $400M, says Yole Development.

Larger-diameter wafers can have higher warpage that impacts manufacturing.

Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ: RBCN) develops, manufactures and sells monocrystalline sapphire and other crystalline products for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), blue laser diodes, optoelectronics and other optical applications. 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. Further information is available at www.rubicon-es2.com.

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