Rubicon Technology Ships 200,000th Large Diameter Sapphire Wafer

Chicago’s Rubicon Technology recently announced that the company shipped a total of 200,000 six-inch sapphire wafers to the LED manufacturing industry. Sapphire, the base material used for the majority of LEDs, is used in consumer products such as LED-based lighting, HDTVs, laptops, netbooks, smart phones and tablets, and automotive lighting.

Rubicon pioneered the development of large diameter sapphire wafers for use in the RFIC market and then took advantage of the market opportunity to develop the process to serve other markets like LED lighting.

Large diameter wafers help play a role in lowering the price of LED-based lighting to spur adoption worldwide. In the news release, Rubicon’s president and CEO, Raja Parvez said, “LED manufacturers understand that migration to a large diameter sapphire wafer platform offers an opportunity to achieve production and cost efficiencies. This is increasingly important as LED manufacturers seek to reduce costs throughout the LED manufacturing process to help the industry lower prices of LED-based lighting and encourage adoption worldwide.”

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About Beth

It seems like LEDs are in everything these days – backlighting everything from your mobile phone, Apple iPad and flat screen HDTV to traffic lights, light bulbs and even the kitchen sink. But, making LEDs is a complex process that begins with the creation of sapphire. Not the pretty blue gemstone, but large commercial crystals that can weigh as much as 400 lbs. Once these large sapphire crystals are grown into boules and cooled, they’re cut into cores, cut further into flat circular wafers, polished and then used to grow LEDs. About 85 percent of HB-LEDs (high brightness) are grown on sapphire. There’s not that much information out there about the process. This blog is meant to shed some light (excuse the pun) on sapphire, LEDs and the industry that is devoted to making our lives just a little brighter. In the months ahead, we’ll tackle some topics that will help you understand a little more about sapphire and LED industry. Here’s a sample of what we’ll cover in the coming months: • Growing sapphire • For a wafer, size matters • Quality - When sapphire wafers go bad • LED light bulbs • Market & myths • Interviews with industry shining stars • Reports from industry events • Current events in perspective Please join us each week to learn more about sapphire and the LED market. We look forward to seeing you.

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