Rubicon Technology, an American supplier of sapphire substrates and products to the high tech industry, is the latest addition to Penang’s hardware manufacturing sector with its announcement of a new crystal polishing facility, its first outside the United States.

Sapphire products are vital in the production of LEDs, RFICs (radio frequency integrated circuits), optical products and semiconductors. Demand has increased in recent years thanks to the use of LEDs in HDTVs, household/signal lighting, and displays in computers and other electronic devices. The global market for LEDs is projected to almost double, reaching US$14.3 billion by 2013.

Crystals grown at Rubicon’s facility in Batavia, IL will be sent to Penang for the labor-intensive polishing process, giving the company vastly improved production capacity. Rubicon is currently the only company able to supply the necessary large-diameter (up to 12 inches) sapphire wafers on a large scale, and a production facility in Malaysia will make them readily available for shipping to Asian electronics manufacturers.

source & article: Euroinvestor