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1 August 2008


Kopin’s steady III-V revenues compensate for drop in CyberDisplays

For second-quarter 2008, Kopin Corp of Taunton, MA, USA, which makes III-V heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) epiwafers and CyberDisplay LCDs, has cut net loss from $3.2m a year ago to $1.7m on revenue of $25.8m (up 18% on $21.9m a year ago but down 12% on last quarter). However, of this total, III-V revenue has grown slightly to $12.2m from $12.1m last quarter (compensating for the drop in CyberDisplay revenues), as well as being up by 9% on $11.2m a year ago.

“Our strategic investments to expand manufacturing capacity, enhance manufacturing capability and improve yield produced measurable results in the second quarter, as our gross margin nearly doubled from the same period in 2007,” says president and CEO Dr John C.C. Fan. Improved gross margin and increased revenue in first-half 2008 also reflect Kopin’s increased focus on higher-value product applications across the CyberDisplay and III-V sectors and reduced participation in commodity consumer electronic applications, he adds.

“In our III-V product category, while revenue grew modestly in the second quarter, the long-term trends influencing this business are positive,” Fan said. A recent study from the research firm Strategy Analytics noted that the market for gallium arsenide (GaAs) devices grew 17% in 2007, and that the overall metrics for the market remain strong. “As one of the world’s largest merchant suppliers of GaAs-based transistors, Kopin is in an ideal position to capitalize as this segment continues to grow,” he believes.

“Our integrated circuit partners are introducing new semiconductor solutions that address the performance demands of today’s wireless communications environment, and our HBTs and related technologies are playing an integral role in powering those products,” Fan continues. During the quarter, Kopin announced the extension of its HBT purchase and supply agreement with its long-time partner Skyworks Solutions (which manufactures linear products, power amplifiers, front-end modules and radio solutions). Kopin will supply Skyworks with all of its 4-inch wafer requirements and the vast majority of its 6-inch requirements through July 2010. The alliance not only covers a broad spectrum of III-V technologies, but also ensures that Skyworks and Kopin continue to work collaboratively to improve manufacturing efficiencies and lower production costs.

“Based on our strong top-line performance through the first two quarters of 2008, and our momentum heading into the second half of the year, we are on pace to achieve, and perhaps exceed, our full-year revenue guidance of $105-115m [up 7-17% on 2007’s $98.1m],” Fan reckons. “We expect our III-V category to remain a consistently strong performer.” Kopin’s recent expansion of III-V 6-inch wafer manufacturing capacity and capability should enable it to continue to enhance efficiency, reduce cost and introduce higher-performance HBT structures, he believes.

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