Spire Dedicates 50,000 Square Foot Facility to Manufacture Solar Concentrator Cells

Spire Corporation, a global solar company providing turnkey solar factories and capital equipment to manufacture photovoltaic modules worldwide, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Spire Semiconductor, will provide dedicated, large-scale contract design and manufacturing capabilities to manufacturers of solar concentrator cells within its 50,000 square foot facility in Hudson, New Hampshire. Spire Semiconductor develops and manufactures custom high-efficiency gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells and specializes in high-end wafer epitaxy, foundry services, thin film products, and device fabrication for the defense, biomedical, telecommunications and consumer products markets.

"We want manufacturers and system integrators to know that they have a strong partner in Spire Semiconductor," said Roger G. Little, Spire's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "That's why we developed this Captive Custom Capacity initiative that leverages our decades of experience and state-of-the-art facilities. 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 at Spire Semiconductor range from prototype development to full production and include photolithographic processing of III-V cell structures and deposition of broadband, dual-layer AR coatings. Spire Semiconductor maintains more than 50MW of expandable capacity on multiple Veeco E450 LDM, Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) reactors in state-of-the-art clean-room space.

"Our extensive MOCVD experience and capabilities enable us to grow a wide variety of GaAs and InP epitaxial structures," said Edward D. Gagnon, general manager of Spire Semiconductor. "Throughout our history, we've recognized that time-to-market is critical to our customers' success and with this new initiative, we have committed to providing the fastest turnaround times possible. With decades of experience in the field, our epitaxy engineers work closely with customers to assure that every wafer meets their expectations."

Spire's original optoelectronics division was an early pioneer in using GaAs for both concentrator solar arrays and space system solar cells. Spire developed and fabricated GaAs solar cells with record levels of efficiency as early as 1985. It has recently been awarded research contracts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy and the Air Force to develop advanced GaAs cells for both terrestrial and outer space applications and is offering its custom solar-cell solutions to solar system integrators around the world.


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