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In just over one year since its formal launch, Solion ion implant technology from Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. ("Varian") (NASDAQ: VSEA) is being adopted in high volume manufacturing by PV cell manufacturers worldwide.
As of the end of August, over ten PV manufacturers in the US, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Europe have received Solion systems. Multiple systems are running full production at several customers, and a number of repeat orders have been received.
By replacing legacy diffusion-doping processes with ion implantation, and implementing Varian's proprietary Precision Patterned Implant (PPI) technology, Solion enables crystalline silicon PV cell manufacturers to achieve a one percent p-type efficiency gain, simplify manufacturing by eliminating yield killing steps, and implement a roadmap for continuous $/Watt improvement. Multiple Solion users have been able to boost cell efficiencies to over 19 percent since adopting Solion processing.
In addition to its leading edge technical performance, Solion continues Varian's 35-year legacy of meeting demanding production-line requirements. Replicating performance of Varian's extensive semiconductor installed base, Solion installations have ramped quickly and efficiently. Solion systems have gone from loading dock to running first cells in less than 20 days at several installations. Service and support are provided through Varian's world class international service infrastructure, which has earned nine consecutive #1 customer satisfaction awards from semiconductor market researcher VLSI Research.
"Just one year ago, Solion was undergoing beta testing and evaluation; today, Solion systems are production proven and processing millions of cells at several of the world's largest and most advanced PV manufacturers," said Jim Mullin, vice president and general manager of solar products. "This significant market traction and acceptance is a tribute to Varian's ability to engage with customers, understand their needs, and deliver technology that provides near-term and long-term benefits for increasing cell efficiency and reducing cost."
Varian will be exhibiting at the 2011 European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 5 - 8, at Hall B5, Stand A21.
About Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.
Varian is a leading supplier of ion implantation equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips and photovoltaic modules. Varian's products are used by manufacturers worldwide to produce high-performance semiconductor devices and solar panels. Customers have made Varian the market leader in ion implant because of its architecturally superior products that lower their costs and improve their productivity.
Varian provides support, training, and after-market products and services that help its customers to obtain high utilization and productivity, reduce operating costs, and extend capital productivity of customer investments through multiple product generations. Varian has ranked #1 in the VLSI Research Customer Satisfaction Survey 14 times over the last 15 years. Varian operates globally and is headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts. More information can be found on Varian's web site at www.vsea.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For this purpose, statements concerning the adoption and installation of Varian's Solion implant product, the expected technical and commercial advantages offered by the Solion implant product to PV cell manufacturers and any statements using the terms "believes," "anticipates," "will," "expects," "plans" or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: volatility in the semiconductor and solar equipment industries; intense competition in the semiconductor and solar equipment industries; Varian's dependence on a small number of customers; fluctuations in Varian's quarterly operating results; market adoption of Varian's new products, such as the Solion implant product; Varian's exposure to risks of operating internationally; uncertain protection of Varian's patent and other proprietary rights; Varian's reliance on a limited group of suppliers; Varian's ability to manage potential growth, decline and strategic transactions; Varian's reliance on one primary manufacturing facility; and Varian's dependence on certain key personnel. These and other important risk factors that may affect actual results are discussed in detail under the caption "Risk Factors" in Varian's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 1, 2010 and in other reports filed by Varian with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Varian cannot guarantee any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievement. Varian undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
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