CORNING, NY, Jan. 11 -- Corning Inc. has announced that it would invest more than $30 million in order to expand the production of fluoride crystals at its Canton, N.Y., manufacturing facility. The investment will allowing Corning to more than double its output of the crystals, which are used to make optical microlithography lenses. Construction will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by late 2001. The expansion is driven by strong demand for fluoride crystals for optical microlithography used in printing patterns of an integrated circuit onto a silicon wafer. Today's expansion announcement is the latest demonstration of Corning's commitment to being a long term, leading supplier of optics and optical materials for the semiconductor industry, noted Jim Steiner, vice president and general manager of Corning's Specialty Materials division. This is yet another important step in our plan to provide our customers in the deep ultraviolet stepper and laser optics industry with the highest quality and most comprehensive product solutions. This expansion announcement follows two other recent investments made by Corning in its semiconductor business; the acquisition of Optovac, in North Brookfield, Mass., in December 1999 for fluoride crystal manufacturing and the capacity expansion of that facility in mid-2000.