March 22, 2011

Diamond Wafer Firm Sings 'New York, New York'

By: by Mark LaPedus, EE Times


SAN JOSE, Calif. - Group4 Labs Inc., which uses synthetic diamonds to create semiconductor wafers, is opening a manufacturing facility at UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CSNE) in Albany, N.Y., according to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Group4 Labs will begin manufacturing by summer and will initially create 10 jobs with the ultimate goal of 50 high-tech jobs in Albany by 2015. The company previously announced a manufacturing and test plant in Syracuse, which is expected to grow to approximately 94 jobs by 2015.

It reached an agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which will invest $1.5 million. This deal is expected to leverage an additional $4 million in private funding.

The company will take advantage of CSNE's clean room, where it will lease space and install its own equipment. The company is also providing its product to Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, which is using Group4 materials in its radar equipment.

As of 2009, the company had started shipping small quantities of 2-inch wafers of RF GaN-on-diamond to selected partners.

The company has grown in recent years - with funding from various strategic customers, and SBIR Phase-I/II/III government grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute, the Department of Applied Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy, and NASA-JPL, and NASA-GSFC

Based in Menlo Park, Calif., it was supposed to setup mass production facility in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.