Last month, Compound Semiconductor Magazine featured a contributed article about Vertical Integration in sapphire production by Raja M. Parvez, President and CEO of Rubicon Technology. Rubicon has adopted vertical integration to set itself apart from other sapphire companies. The article details Rubicon’s approach.
Vertical integration isn’t a new concept. It has been around since the 1800s when US Steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie introduced the vertical integration by owning virtually every part of the steel-making value chain from iron ore through steel mills to physically building the railroads. Later, in the 1920s, Ford Motor Company decided to make the steel for their cars, popularizing the concept further.
According to Rubicon’s president and CEO Raja Parvez, vertical integration holds the key to Rubicon’s cost structure and reliable supply of high-quality products. This integrated approach influences every step in the growth of sapphire crystals and their processing into wafers. The company’s end-to-end manufacturing capability, with strong intellectual property at each step of the manufacturing process, produces an advantageous cost structure and provides better control of product quality and delivery schedules. Vertical integration is also central to the company’s ability to grow larger and larger sapphire and be the first to market with large-diameter sapphire wafers for the LED and SoS/RFIC markets. To date, Rubicon has shipped more than 400,000 6-inch wafers.