Rubicon re-ups sapphire wafer contract with largest customer

February 9, 2012 – BUSINESS WIRE — Rubicon Technology, Inc. (RBCN), sapphire substrate and product supplier to LED, RFIC, semiconductor, and optical industries, entered into a new contract with its largest customer for large-diameter sapphire wafers. Shipments, covering June to December 2012, will total at minimum $20 million.

The 6" sapphire wafer customer is "valued," said Raja Parvez, president and CEO of Rubicon, though the "inflection point in demand for large-diameter sapphire wafers for LEDs is still some months in the future."

The previous contract expired at the end of December. Rubicon granted adjustments to Q4 2011 price and volume requirements under the expiring 6" wafer contract, as management had indicated was likely in remarks made November 8.

Rubicon also has written off $1.8 million of accounts receivable in Q4 as an accommodation to certain key customers of its small-diameter sapphire ingots (cores). Parvez noted excess inventory in the LED supply chain in Q4 2011, leading to a temporary decline in demand and lower sapphire prices.

While near-term LED market demand is limited, "orders for 2" and 4" cores have begun to recover in Q1 2012…Demand for large-diameter wafers for the Silicon on Sapphire (SoS) RFIC market is growing," Parvez said. Rubicon expects a significant uptick in the market for sapphire substrates later in 2012.

Rubicon Technology, Inc. is an advanced electronic materials provider that is engaged in developing, manufacturing and selling monocrystalline sapphire and other crystalline products for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), blue laser diodes, optoelectronics and other optical applications. Further information is available at www.rubicon-es2.com.

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