Stories by Ray Newton
Officials with Pure Wafer Inc. in Prescott reacted to the increased worldwide demand for microchips by purchasing Noel Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based company.
Pure Wafer is the nation’s largest U.S.-based supplier of virgin silicon wafers, reclaim services and specialty thin film deposition products for the semiconductor manufacturing industry.
S. Mark Borowicz, CEO of Pure Wafer, which owns a 44,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Prescott, announced the Nov. 16 acquisition of the Silicon Valley-based company. He said expansion will let Pure Wafer provide even further value to its customer base of 1,600 integrated device manufacturers and original equipment manufacturer clients scattered across the U.S., Asia and Europe.
He said processes provided by Noel Technologies will let Pure Wafer leverage its strengths to new growth applications such as thin films, wafer standards, opto-acoustic micro-phones, flexible electronics, micro-array mirrors and labs on chip.
Noel Technologies, located in San Jose, Calif., is in the same city where Pure Wafer operates another fabrication plant similar to its plant in Prescott.
Borowicz said Pure Wafer is the “No. 1 microchip wafer reclaimer in the U.S.”
Ardy Sidhwa, Pure Wafer vice president of operations, said from his Prescott office that the company will “expand its production of premium grade silicon wafers, ranging from 50 mm to 300 mm.”
The Prescott plant employs more than 125 people. Worldwide, Pure Wafer employs more than 225 people.
Sidhwa said the original Prescott wafer plant was founded in 1998 and operated independently until it was acquired by Pure Wafer in 2007. It is located at 2575 Melville Road.
The executives said Noel Technologies will:
• Expand the product portfolio through multi-layer and single-layer processes.
• Provide customers with a domestic source for high-volume blanket coatings capacity.
• Further address non-semiconductor markets with exotic dielectric and metal films.
• Provide core process and design optimization capabilities.
According to the Arizona Office of the Governor, Arizona is emerging as the No.1 place for new semiconductor investments. Worldwide, the semiconductor industry is now a $500 billion industry.
Bob Girton, Pure Wafer board chair, said: “We are thrilled to support Mark and his world-class management team as Pure Wafer penetrates new markets and continues to execute its growth strategy.”