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23 January 2008


Spire providing custom CPV cell design and production

Spire Corp of Bedford, MA, USA says that its subsidiary Spire Semiconductor (formerly Bandwidth Semiconductor until 1 January) is to provide dedicated, large-scale contract design and manufacturing capabilities within its 50,000 square foot facility in Hudson, NH to manufacturers of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells.

Spire Semiconductor develops and manufactures custom gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells and specializes in high-end wafer epitaxy, foundry services, thin-film products, and device fabrication for the defense, biomedical, telecoms and consumer products markets.

Spire has developed a Captive Custom Capacity initiative to leverages its experience and facilities, says Spire Corp’s chairman and CEO Roger G. Little. “We now can offer our partners the benefits of an optimized design and manufacturing process with the potential for large-scale contract production based on their individual needs.”

Spire Semiconductor operates a complete compound semiconductor device fabrication line focused on the fabrication of custom devices, as well as development, prototyping, pilot production and volume manufacturing. Custom and production wafer processing capabilities range from prototype development to full production and include photolithographic processing of III-V cell structures and deposition of broadband, dual-layer anti-reflective (AR) coatings. It maintains more than 50MW of expandable capacity on multiple Veeco E450 LDM MOCVD reactors.

“Our extensive MOCVD experience and capabilities enable us to grow a wide variety of GaAs and InP epitaxial structures,” says Spire Semiconductor’s general manager Edward D. Gagnon. “With this new initiative, we have committed to providing the fastest turnaround times possible,” he adds.

Spire says that its original optoelectronics division was an early pioneer in using GaAs for both concentrator solar arrays and space system solar cells. It developed and fabricated GaAs solar cells with record levels of efficiency as early as 1985. The firm has recently been awarded research contracts from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy and the Air Force to develop GaAs cells for both terrestrial and outer space applications.

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