SARASOTA, Fla., July 16 -- Expansion at Sterling Semiconductor Inc., a subsidiary of Uniroyal Technology Corp., is progressing according to its plan to increase silicon carbide (SiC) wafer production by a factor of ten during 2001. Sterling is a producer of SiC wafers used to make advanced semiconductor devices with performance capabilities that exceed the limits of semiconductors made on conventional materials such as silicon and gallium arsenide. Sterling has completed a fivefold expansion of crystal growth furnaces in Danbury, Conn., and construction is underway on the buildout of additional manufacturing infrastructure at the Sterling, Va., facility, which will be completed during the fall of 2001. Crystal growth furnaces installed during this facility expansion will complete the tenfold increase. The expansion in Virginia will strengthen Sterling's focus on semi-insulating substrates. Silicon carbide semi-insulating substrates are important for a wide range of commercial and military communications devices because of their high resistance to electrical conduction, a property essential to the performance of semiconductor devices used in wireless communications applications. Sterling was recently awarded a $1 million contract by the US Air Force to continue its research for the development of semi-insulating substrates.