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4 June 2013

OPEL provides update on Hurricane Sandy-hit R&D facility and development

OPEL Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada – which develops III-V semiconductor devices and processes through US affiliate OPEL Defense Integrated Systems (ODIS Inc) of Storrs, CT, USA – says that it has made significant progress in rehabilitating its R&D facilities in Storrs following the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last October.

The molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system used in gallium arsenide wafer production was the most damaged and required a virtual rebuild. The system has now been fully refitted and is completing its ‘burn-in’ cycle. A sample testing procedure will commence, following which it is expected to be declared operable and ready to be placed online.

Although severely impacted by the MBE failure, this quarter’s milestone still appears on track to be met. After on-line wafer production begins, producing wafers for the continuance of the BAE Systems military IR sensor proof-of-concept project, due for completion later this year, will take precedence, says OPEL.

The firm also notes that, while refitting the MBE system, virtually all of the R&D facility’s build-out work was finalized, enabling the installation of additional new equipment. The first of the four new research devices arrived and was installed several weeks ago. A second unit has arrived and now awaits a factory installation team. The remaining two units are due to arrive in early June, to be ready for installation, trial and acceptance testing.

OPEL also says that its monetization activity continues at a rapid pace. A confidential due-diligence report detailing the evolution of its Planar Optoelectronic Technology (POET) platform - with the addition of the latest trial data points from R&D - will be completed within the quarter. The business development white paper will be made available under non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to potential prospective partners and IP licensees only.

A facilities tour is scheduled immediately following the firm’s annual general meeting on 21 June in Storrs, in order to provide a first-hand view of the facilities’ accomplishments and POET’s progress.

OPEL’s POET process enables monolithic fabrication of GaAs integrated circuits containing both electronic and optical elements on a single wafer. Potential high-speed and power-efficient applications include devices such as servers, tablet computers and smartphones. III-V semiconductor devices developed by ODIS include infrared sensor arrays and ultra-low-power random access memory.




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