not build it and they will come, they are already coming, that why the build
Product Development Activities
Translucent is establishing a new pilot manufacturing facility in Mountain View, California (a few kilometers from its existing Palo Alto premises). The facility will allow Translucent to develop process engineering capability to prove up future volume manufacturing options for its proprietary large format silicon wafer-based substrates. The building is expected to be operational mid-year CY2013. Decommissioning and closure of the existing Palo Alto facility is expected to be completed in the third quarter of CY 2013.
(i) Substrates for Power Electronics:
Translucent has continued to improve the quality of Gallium Nitride (GaN) material incorporated in its vGaN™ on-silicon substrates which could significantly reduce costs of production for the Power Electronics industry. In particular, Translucent has achieved one of two key material parameters required to satisfy operational performance of the device material, and is currently addressing the second. Commercial grade vGaN™ substrates are expected to be ready for customer evaluation in Q3 CY 2013
Translucent’s prototype pilot production reactor is currently being assembled and is expected to start operating in Q3 2013 in the new Mountain View facility. The reactor will significantly increase the volume of vGaN™ substrates for testing and validation by the power electronics industry. The reactor will have the capacity to produce up to 100 x 150mm vGaN™ FET substrates per month (on a developmental basis), and is intended to be a prototype for future volume manufacturing equipment.
(ii) Substrates for Ultra-High Efficiency Solar Cells:
Translucent is developing advanced substrates for application to the production of concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) cells (such as the cells utilised by Solar Systems) that will potentially reduce cost and increase solar conversion efficiency. Translucent’s novel germanium-tin (GeSn) substrate technology took a significant step forward with the initial demonstration of the growth of single junction cell material in a collaborative project with an industry partner. Further growths are planned with the expectation of a multi-junction cell material demonstrated in Q3 CY 2013.
Translucent is now optimizing the GeSn process for 100mm and 150mm wafers to expedite customer verification. A new ‘150S multi-wafer reactor’ will have the capacity to produce up to 230 x 150mm solar cell vGe™ substrates per month (on a developmental basis). The reactor will be erected in the new facility in Mountain View, and is intended to be a prototype for future volume manufacturing equipment.
The CPV solar cell project has received a funding grant from the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) of $2 million over 3 years. The first two milestones have been achieved on-time, with initial 150mm substrates being sent to industry partners.
(iii) Substrates for LED lighting:
Feedback from potential LED substrate customers continues to focus positively on Translucent’s ‘mirrored silicon’ substrate. However, following an assessment of the time to market, potential margins and relative commercial pay back of this product, the ‘mirrored silicon’ substrate development program has been placed at a lower priority to the vGaN™ and vGe™ substrate projects.