Applied Materials secures wire saw order from GCL-Poly


Under the agreement, the U.S. company will begin shipping the HCT B5 wire saws to GCL-Poly's production facilities in Suzhou, Changzhou and Taicang, China, in the current quarter of this year.

The Chinese polysilicon and wafer supplier has also purchased Applied E3 automation software and extended maintenance support. According to Applied, this contract represents "one of the most significant combined investments in equipment automation software and support services by any crystalline silicon solar manufacturer to date".

"GCL-Poly continues to execute on its manufacturing capacity plans in order to meet the increasing demand for high quality polysilicon wafers," said Zhu Gong Shan, executive director, chairman and CEO of GCL-Poly. "We are pleased to have Applied Materials join us in our efforts to help our customers bring down the cost-per-watt of solar cells."

Mark Pinto, executive vice president and general manager of Applied's Energy and Environmental Solutions Group added: "This important order adds to the growing momentum of the HCT B5 system in the marketplace and validates the unique differentiation of our proven wire saw technology."

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1 comment

  1. Wafer cost reduction using new wire saws are only realized by faster slicing…..a relatively small cost reduction. If GCL and others truly wish to cut wafering costs, the expensive slurry and energy costs need to be a prime focus. Last year, GCL tested a new ALL water based slurry that would save them a considerable amount on slurry costs and $$/wafer. Just the energy cost alone was determined by GCL to be “VERY BIG”! Large scale production trials with the new water based system…..developed and manufactured by PPT Research, Inc…..showed statistical yield and quality results within just a few percentage points of their standard “PEG” based slurries, but at a LARGE savings under PEG slurry costs. This should be a major focus of both AMAT and GCL. But, GCL already knows about this paradigm shifting water slurry, which is the only production capable material of its kind. It is this large $$/wafer cost savings from the consumables side that goes hand-in-hand with the saw, and that also deserves a great deal of attention in truly lowering $$/wafer costs.

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