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New system will help SemiSouth expand production

February 16, 2011

Starkville’s SemiSouth Laboratories will soon get a piece of equipment which will help expand its production capacity while company officials look to enlarge their employee base this year.
Last week, Aixtron SE officials announced SemiSouth ordered a new CVD reactor in the fourth quarter of 2010 and that it would be delivered in the second quarter of this year.
This will be the third system from this manufacturer and it is a piece of equipment Aixtron ordered late last year as result of Power Integrations’ investment in SemiSouth in October 2010, Dr. Jeffrey B. Casady, CTO and vice president of business development for SemiSouth, said in an e-mail addressing the equipment purchase.
The AIX 2088G4 WW deposition system will be in the 10x100mm and 6x150mm configuration.
“We now have an urgent need to move up to larger wafer diameters and increase our capacity for power device production. Therefore, it was an easy selection process for us because this machine provides the world’s largest commercial CVD reactor capacity,” Casady said in the Aixtron SE statement on the transaction.
“This tool, along with a substantial amount of other equipment on order, will be used to greatly expand our production line of world-record energy-efficient power transistors and diodes, made from an advanced semiconductor material known as silicon carbide,” Casady said.
“SemiSouth is one of only a few companies in the world which has production capabilities for this type of semiconductor technology, with products going in to advanced power electronics for solar, server farm, industrial and military.”
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Electronics in Freiburg, Germany set world-record energy efficiencies in solar inverters in 2009, Casady said.
“We are fortunate to have SemiSouth in Starkville, as a result of spinning the technology away from Mississippi State University in 2000,” he said.
Casady co-founded SemiSouth with Mike Mazzola, who remains with MSU. Casady left MSU to go full-time with SemiSouth in December 2002.
Almost all of SemiSouth’s 75 employees are Starkville-based, except for some employees in support and sales positions around the world, he said.
Company officials expect to employ more than 100 people by year’s end, Casady said.

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