Positive financials are hardly news right now for suppliers to the LED industry, but Rubicon Technology's strong second-quarter performance deserves note because it was in part due to 6-in sapphire substrates. Moreover the company announced a $71 million supply agreement with an unnamed LED manufacturer for 6-in substrates.
The move from 4-in to 6-in wafers could significantly boost LED production capacity and reduce component prices. A 6-in wafer has more than double the surface area of a 4-in wafer, and can yield more than double the LED chips per wafer.
Rubicon stated that it has been supplying 6-in wafers to a number of companies developing 6-in production capabilities. The $71 million contract, however, will be for volume production as Rubicon will supply polished 6-in substrates from November 2010 until December 2011.
"This contract is very exciting for Rubicon, said Raja Parvez, President and CEO. "While we have been supporting several LED customers in their development efforts on six inch substrates, this is the first LED chip manufacturer to move into volume production on this size material. We are proud that our capabilities in large diameter sapphire are helping the LED industry continue to evolve."
In its quarterly release, Rubicon reported that revenue rose to $15.8 million – a 37% sequential gain. Parvez said, "Revenue from the sale of six inch polished substrates more than doubled sequentially as our customers continue to make progress on their development efforts using six inch substrates."