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  • APA Optics to Move MOCVD Operations
Jul 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, July 6 -- APA Optics made two announcements this week that will have an impact on employees at its Blaine and Aberdeen facilities.

The company said it has signed a three-year lease with Veeco Compound Semiconductor Inc. to locate and operate its new multiwafer metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system in Veeco's process integration facility in White Bear Lake, Minn., near its Blaine office. It also announced it has begun streamlining its ultraviolet (UV) detector manufacturing operations; in particular, it has begun phasing out detector packaging operations in Aberdeen, S.D.

The company said it will also discontinue growth and processing operations of its standard gallium nitride (GaN) and aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) detectors. APA said these actions are being taken because of the the availability of the detectors from offshore sources at lower costs.

"We will only perform MOCVD growth and processing of custom AlGaN detectors that are not routinely available from outside resources," said Peter Nussbaum, manager for GaN products at APA Optics. He added that custom-processed detectors will also be packaged by offshore partners and suppliers, and that these steps will reduce operating and manufacturing costs of the company's UV products.

Up to ten positions related to these actions will be eliminated in the immediate future, APA Optics said. The company currently employs 53 people.

APA said operating the MOCVD machine at Veeco's facility will provide central access to electrical, optical and structural characterization tools, which it is now renting from various suppliers, that are used to optimize and control the growth of transistor material. APA purchased the MOCVD system earlier this year to enhance its capabilities in this technology area. The machine will be operated by APA Optics employees. The lease with Veeco protects APA's intellectual property while providing improved access to potential customers and crystal growth resources, APA said. The system will be operational during the second quarter of fiscal 2005.

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