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GT Advanced Technologies has announced a multi-year, US$578 million contract with Apple to supply advanced sapphire material, reports "AppleInsider" (http://tinyurl.com/nxzugev).
Apple's investment is a prepayment funding the accelerated development of GTAT's "next generation, large capacity" Advanced Sapphire Furnace, which is designed to produce high quality sapphire material at a breakthrough low price, the article adds. Apple's infusion of capital is critical for GT because production from the new ASF equipment is initially expected to generate much lower margins than the company has historically earned.
GTAT (www.gtat.com) specializes in crystal growth equipment solutions for the solar, LED, and consumer electronics industries. The company "produces high quality sapphire material in our Salem, Massachusetts factory for a wide range of markets that demand the highest quality material including LED, industrial, optical and specialty."