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Semiconductor firm says it's bringing 50 jobs to Albany

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Blinging out semiconductor wafers makes them more efficient, according to a firm moving to the Albany area.

Silicon Valley firm Group4 Labs is making its way to Albany, to build a manufacturing facility and be closer to key clients, according to a release from Governor Andrew Cuomo.  

Group4 uses synthetic diamonds to make semiconductor wafers more energy efficient.  That caught the eye of the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), which is funding the firm's transition to New York to the tune of $1.5 million.  NYSERDA invests in "clean tech" and energy efficiency projects.

An official with NYSERDA (speaking on background, since the governor's office announced the deal) says the money will be used on high-tech manufacturing equipment and "other costs."  The aid will also help Group4 recruit about $4 million in private investment, according to the release, but who those investors are and what their timeline is for buying in is unspecified.

Some of the $1.5 million could wind up in Syracuse too.  Last September the Post-Standard reported that Group4 would be moving into a shared facility with Lockheed Martin (LM).  LM is an important client for Group4, which uses its semiconductor materials in its radar systems.

Job creation estimates

Group4 said when it announced its move to Syracuse that it would create 7 jobs there immediately, and 14 eventually.  Now the governor's release says Group4 will create 10 jobs in Albany immediately (with the goal of hitting 50 by 2015) and 94 jobs in Syracuse by 2015.

The NYERDA official says Group4 is still committed to Syracuse, and will actually see faster job growth there once things are up and running (starting in 2013).  Still, all of today's job creation estimates are a big jump from the half a dozen or so employees that Group4 currently has. 

Here's the governor's statement from the release:

"As I've said repeatedly, bringing business to our state and creating jobs is essential to getting New York back on the right path," Governor Cuomo said. "As part of our state's recovery, we must maximize New York's reputation in innovative nanotechnology and we look forward to working with Group4 Labs to bring good jobs to the Albany and Syracuse areas."

And if you're in a pretty technical mood, you can learn more about Group4's semiconductor wafer made of "heteroepitaxial Gallium Nitride (GaN) compound semiconductor films atomically attached to specially treated free-standing polycrystalline chemical vapor deposited (CVD) diamond substrates."

Say it ten times fast.

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