CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, ILLINOIS — July 15, 2002 — Today, Illinois based EpiWorks, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of compound semiconductor epitaxial wafers, and a faculty member at the University of Illinois announced the beginning of a new VCSEL development program.

“VCSELs are key optical devices in gigabit ethernet networking systems as well as many emerging applications, such as printing, medical, bar code scanning and display applications. We plan to develop a high-performance VCSEL structure and then implement novel designs to explore new capabilities and applications.” said Professor Kent Choquette, the researcher responsible for the project within the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The University of Illinois has an excellent history in optical device innovation, and this project keeps the University on the leading edge.”

The project will initially focus on developing an 850 nm VSCEL capability at the University of Illinois. However, this process capability will be instrumental in the study of novel designs and materials for next generation applications. Engineers from both EpiWorks and the University of Illinois will contribute their design, growth and testing expertise to enable the project.

“EpiWorks has a long standing relationship with researchers at the University of Illinois developing next generation electronics such as InGaP/GaAs and InP-based HBTs. We are confident that this collaborative work will bring about the same kind of successes with VCSELs. It is critical for both the material and device experts to work closely together. Dr. Choquette’s device processing and design background and his experience at Sandia National Laboratories fit perfectly with our materials expertise to ensure we can develop and implement novel capabilities.” said Dr. Nada El-Zein, Director of R&D at EpiWorks.

Quesnell Hartmann, EpiWorks’ President, stated, “This agreement is another building block in our effort to lead the development of novel devices and materials. We place a high level of emphasis on building our relationship with the University of Illinois because the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has an excellent track record, and the researchers have the students and facilities necessary to achieve state-of-the-art results.”

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EpiWorks, Inc. develops and manufactures compound semiconductor epitaxial wafers for application in high-speed communication devices and systems, including wireless handsets and telecommunications. The company’s products provide enhanced performance, such as greater bandwidth, higher efficiency and better reliability.