Emcore Corporation Solar Cells Power 100th Successfully Launched Satellite
CompoundSemi News Staff
July 9, 2012...Emcore Corporation of Albuquerque, New Mexico USA, announced that it recently achieved the company's 100th successful satellite launch and deployment with primary power from Emcore solar cells or solar panels. The company produces multi-junction, gallium arsenide-based solar cells that are radiation hardened for spacecraft installation. Emcore solar cells boast a beginning-of-life (BOL) conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode.
In June, the 100th on-orbit spacecraft powered by Emcore's solar equipment was launched. Space Systems/Loral built the spacecraft equipped with Emcore's high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells. Emcore says that the satellite will provide C- and Ku-band capacity for a variety of communications services.
"Completing 100 successful satellite launches is a tremendous milestone for Emcore and our space satellite solar business," said Christopher Larocca, COO for Emcore. "We are especially proud to have achieved this milestone with zero on-orbit failures. Emcore currently has a total of 120 more satellites under contract to be launched and powered by Emcore solar equipment over the next several years. We look forward to continued success in this segment by delivering innovative, high-performance solar technology to the satellite power market."
July 9, 2012...Aixtron SE of Aachen, Germany demonstrated its new BM 300T carbon nanotube growth system at the conclusion of the European Commission-funded “TECHNOTUBES” (Technology for Wafer-Scale Carbon Nanotubes) project. The 3-year project was to develop growth processes, automated equipment, quality control/monitoring and a variety of end-applications based on carbon nanotubes. The members of the project consortium included the University of Cambridge (coordinator), ETH Zurich, TU Denmark, TU Berlin, Fritz Haber Institute, CNR-Italy, Philips, THALES, IMEC, and Aixtron.
Prof. John Robertson, the project coordinator from the University of Cambridge, commented, “This unique project brings together world-class partners from industry and research to create a carbon nanotube value chain, from growth equipment to material production to exploitable devices. The key applications that emerged from this project include interconnects, thermal interface materials, medical and security X-ray sources, gas detectors, biological probes, microfluidics and novel energy storage devices.”
Dr. Ken Teo, Director of Nanoinstruments added, “Our role at Aixtron was to create a system capable of depositing various carbon nanotube structures that met the requirements of these applications. The challenge was to integrate various processes (single-wall, multi-wall, straight vertical nanotubes) into a single platform offering the uniformity, repeatability and a high degree of automation that industrial production partners demand. The BM 300T system we have developed successfully achieves these goals by enabling high throughput, wafer-scale carbon nanotube production, incorporating thermal and plasma deposition, precursor activation and a novel wafer loading and heating system.”
Intermolecular and KAUST Collaborate on CIGS PV
CompoundSemi News Staff
July 9, 2012...Intermolecular, Inc. of San Jose, California USA announced an ongoing project with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for the enhancement of copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin film photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing technology. The project will utilize the metrology capabilities of the Solar and Photovoltaics Engineering Research Center (SPERC) at KAUST in Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with Intermolecular's High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC(TM)) platform to learn about high efficiency CIGS solar cell materials and process interdependencies. The joint IMI-KAUST project is led by Research Scientist Dr. Jessica Eid, a member of Prof. Ghassan Jabbour's team, hosted at Intermolecular's facility in San Jose, California
"Working with Intermolecular's team and HPC platform allows us to accelerate our mission of developing sustainable solar power," commented Professor Ghassan Jabbour, Director of SPERC at KAUST.
"We are fully committed to accelerating various PV technologies using our HPC platform, " Sandeep Nijhawan, Intermolecular's vice president of its Clean Energy Group, commented.
Nijhawan added, "The breakthrough result of 17.7% active-area CIGS efficiency at an open-circuit voltage of 692mV --which we developed internally in less than one year -- reaffirms the broad applicability of our HPC platform to rapidly advance CIGS PV. We are very excited to work with KAUST to further enhance CIGS technology and showcase our capabilities in this important region."
Seoul Optodevice Creates $500,000 Endowed Chair to Advance Semiconductor Research at UCSB
LIGHTimes News Staff
July 5, 2012...UC Santa Barbara's Solid State Lighting & Energy Center (SSLEC), a center for research in energy-efficient lighting, power electronics, and solar energy technology, has received a $500,000 endowment from Seoul Optodevice Company to further its research on gallium nitride (GaN) for use in electronics and solid state lighting.
James Speck , a professor of materials at UCSB, member of SSLEC's Executive Committee, and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors, has been named the campus's first Seoul Optodevice Chair in Solid State Lighting.
Speck has worked extensively on the materials science of GaN and related alloys. Speck's research focuses on the relationship between thin-film electronic materials growth, and microstructure, as well as the link between microstructure and physical properties. Content continues for LIGHTimes SecondPage members...
Abound Solar to Suspend Operations
CompoundSemi News Staff
July 2, 2012...Abound Solar, a cadmium telluride thin-film solar manufacturer based in Loveland, Colorado USA, has announced that it will be filing for bankruptcy protection under U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Delaware this week. The Department of Energy granted the company a $400 million loan guarantee. Since then, the company has used $70 million of the loan guarantee to construct solar manufacturing lines in Colorado. The company also received $300 million in private investment. The company says that a suspension of operations will impact approximately 125 employees.
Earlier this year, Abound ceased production of its first generation PV module and has been working to scale up manufacturing for its high-efficiency, second generation PV module, which was tested and verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to deliver 85 watts per panel and 12.5 percent efficiency. Abound has reportedly been in discussions with potential buyers over the last several months, but ended negotiations when the involved parties were unable to come to an agreement on terms.
"Abound Solar's closure is an unfortunate but very real consequence of the continued slide in crystalline silicon (c-Si) pricing and the increased competition for limited global demand of solar modules," said MJ Shiao, Senior Analyst at GTM Research.
GTM Research notes that c-Si module prices, which fell by nearly 50% over the course of 2011, will continue to drop, possibly reaching $0.76 per watt by the end of this year (versus $1.04 per watt in Q4 2011).
GaAs Labs Acquires Nitronex Corporation
CompoundSemi News Staff
July 2, 2012...Gaas Labs, LLC, a private investment fund targeting the communications semiconductor market announced the acquisition of privately-held Nitronex Corporation, a manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) based RF solutions for high the defense, communications, cable TV, and industrial and scientific markets.
Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Nitronex is a provider of GaN-on-Silicon semiconductor solutions using its proprietary SIGANTIC(R) manufacturing process. The Nitronex process combines the superior power, efficiency and bandwidth performance of GaN with the reliability, ease of use and low-cost advantages of standard silicon substrates. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"We are excited to add Nitronex, a leading innovator in GaN-based RF solutions, to our portfolio of RF semiconductor companies," said John Ocampo, co-founder and president of Gaas Labs. "We look forward to helping Nitronex further leverage its products and technologies and extend its RF market leadership."
GigOptix Licenses Silicon Germanium Millimeterwave Technology from IBM for High Speed E-band Wireless Solutions
CompoundSemi News Staff
July 2, 2012...GigOptix, Inc. of San Jose, California USA, a fabless supplier of semiconductor and optical components for high speed information streaming, has signed a license agreement with IBM to leverage IBM’s silicon germanium (SiGe) millimeterwave transceiver technology. IBM's SiGe technology was developed and enabled by contributions from researchers at IBM's Haifa Research Lab in Israel.
The silicon germanium technology from IBM will reportedly work with GigOptix’s growing E-band wireless solutions portfolio including its newly released advanced E-band power amplifier. The company says that leveraging IBM's expertise and many years of development experience enables GigOptix to transforming cost efficient and revolutionary integrated E-band transceiver products.
GigOptics notes that Internet traffic from mobile devices is forecasted to exceed traffic from wired devices by 2016. The company also notes that network operators are going to upgrade not only their optical networks to 40Gbps and 100Gbps links but also their wireless networks to higher capacity gigabit and multi-gigabit links to satisfy mobile users’ growing demands for data.
“We are very excited about the opportunities that IBM’s SiGe millimeterwave technology enables,” commented Andrea Betti-Berutto, senior vice president and CTO of GigOptix. “SiGe enables much lower power, smaller size and much higher levels of integration to the current gallium arsenide (GaAs) solutions in the market.”
Saint-Gobain Signs Lease on Facility in Devens, Massachusetts to Produce Sapphire Substrates for LEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff
June 28, 2012...The French company, Saint-Gobain, has signed a lease for half of the facility formerly owned by Evergreen Solar in Devens, Massachusetts USA (35 miles west of Boston). Saint-Gobain's Crystals Division plans to produce sapphire substrates for use in LEDs. The company plans to invest $31 million and create some 90 new jobs to grow the LED die. Production at the facility is expected to begin early 2013.
According to William Manley president of Calare Properties, there is no other facility in New England that can better suit the needs of high-tech manufacturers like Saint-Gobain. The facility reportedly has incomparable power, ceiling heights up to 35 feet, and a redundancy of services and systems to ensure users 100 percent uptime. Other unique features include air compressors, air abatement systems and emergency diesel generators, as well as internal water waste treatment, chemical bunkers, gas distribution, and water-cooling systems. Content continues for LIGHTimes SecondPage members...
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