New MEMS White Paper

Download the latest Logitech white paper and learn more about MEMS processing technology and techniques

Download our CMP White Paper


FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.












8 May 2007


LED market drives Rubicon to expand sapphire substrate capacity

Driven by growing demand from LED makers, Rubicon Technology of Franklin Park, IL, USA, which manufactures sapphire substrates and components, is to increase its manufacturing capacity, with the addition of a new 30,000ft² production facility in the Chicago area, complementing the firm’s existing 80,000ft² operation.

The expansion is planned to increase production capacity by 25% as early as Q1/2008 and by 40% by the end of 2008, and will enable the firm to address the growing market for both small- and large-diameter sapphire wafers and other applications.

Rubicon says that sapphire wafer usage is anticipated to grow significantly as LEDs are adopted in emerging applications such as backlighting units for computer and video displays, as well as automotive lighting. Industry analyst group Strategies Unlimited reports that the overall market for high-brightness LED applications has already reached $4.2bn, and that the LED lighting market alone is should grow 38% annually to $1bn by 2011. Single-crystal sapphire substrates are key as the general illumination market begins to turn to LEDs, adds Rubicon.

As the LED market drives volume demand for sapphire wafers, new applications and processes call for larger-diameter sapphire substrates, claims Rubicon. The firm uses proprietary crystal growing technologies and manufacturing platforms to produce 4”-8” sapphire wafers, which are increasingly being used for high-performance LEDs. Large-diameter sapphire is also used as wafer carriers for other substrates and as optical windows in the aerospace, medical device and sensor markets.