Tom Gutierrez (GTAT CEO) 2/28/13 During Q4 2012 Q&A
And quite honestly, I don’t see anybody that’s anywhere near competing with us right now, on next-generation technologies that we’re developing. The Hyperion, nobody’s got that.
I love the Q&A section of each quarterly GTAT conference call because TG gets excited at times and gives out a ton of information. Additionally, modesty is not a appropriate adjective to describe TG when he talks candidly about GT’s disruptive technology and technical prowess.
In the spirit of sharing I have tracked down a three videos related to Hyperion. Two interviews with their CEO (very interesting information) and a third video of the Hyperion 3 in action. This technology is absolutely BAD ASS and will disrupt every industry GT enters and create markets where there isn’t one today.
Interview with Twin Creeks former CEO (very technical and awesome cost info) He at 4:18 he gets into the costs to make it and how the entire process will be transformed by this product.
This video walks through the high level of the technology and shows the mechanical arms pulling out wafers that were exfoliated in just 2 minutes. The footage and screen shots with comments taking from the video are also 2 years old.
Twin Creek’s Hyperion 3 Press Release from March 2012 is very revealing and might I add not a bad patented technology for GTAT to acquire for a mere $10m in 2012! A single Hyperion 3 system is claimed to process over 1.5 million thin wafers per year, enough for more than 5MW worth of solar cells.
Twin Creeks Technologies, a pioneer in next-generation manufacturing equipment for solar and semiconductor makers, today announced Hyperion: a wafer production system that dramatically reduces the cost of solar modules and semiconductor devices by reducing the amount of silicon and other substrate materials by up to 90 percent.
The key to Hyperion is thinness. Taking advantage of a technology called Proton Induced Exfoliation (PIE), Hyperion generates monocrystalline wafers that are less than 1/10th the thickness of conventional wafers. With thin wafers, manufacturers can profitably produce solar cells and other devices well below today’s best-in-class cost structure. Twin Creeks estimates that Hyperion will permit manufacturers to produce solar cells for under 40 cents a watt in commercial-scale volume production facilities with prices declining over time.
“The thickness of wafers today is based on wafer slicing capabilities and the handling requirements for device processing. In reality, only the very top layer of a substrate plays an active role in generating energy or transmitting signals — the rest is wasted,” said Dr. Siva Sivaram, CEO of Twin Creeks. “By eliminating excess material, we will help solar manufacturers produce modules that compete with grid power and open up new markets for chip makers.”
With PIE, Hyperion effectively uses atoms as a scalpel. Hyperion embeds a uniform layer of high-energy protons, which are hydrogen ions, into monocrystalline wafers to a depth of up to 20 microns. When heated, this new layer expands, cleaving the top surface from the donor wafer to form an ultra-thin wafer that is otherwise identical to the original. The ultra-thin wafer is then further processed into solar modules or semiconductors. Creating wafers with PIE also eliminates the kerf, or wasted silicon, in solar manufacturing.
Hyperion is compatible with a wide variety of monocrystalline wafers — including germanium (used to make concentrated PV solar modules), gallium nitride, sapphire and silicon carbide (LEDs and power electronics). Twin Creeks has initially concentrated on helping manufacturers of crystalline silicon solar cells because of the urgent need to cut the cost of solar power. The lessons learned will further allow manufacturers to employ Hyperion for other applications, such as CMOS sensors.
By reducing the amount of silicon required in solar modules by 90 percent, Hyperion makes the entire silicon wafer value chain more efficient and dramatically lowers the capital needs of its customers. Manufacturers don’t need as many saws, furnaces and crystal pullers to make the same amount of wafers.
Hyperion improves the monocrystalline silicon value proposition in other ways as well. In addition to being much lighter than conventional solar cells, cells produced with Hyperion wafers are also bendable, allowing manufacturers to consider flexible packaging and encapsulants for modules instead of glass. Additional layers of photovoltaic material can be added to wafers as well: Twin Creeks has produced heterojunction solar cells, which combine crystalline and amorphous silicon, in its development center. Over time, the combination of lower cost and lighter packaging will allow Twin Creeks customers to expand into other markets such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and consumer electronics.
I hope you all enjoyed the 1st shade of TG and the in-depth review of Hyperion; the next game changing, revolutionary and transformational technology that will bend the adoption and cost curve across every market it touches and open the door to hundreds of new markets and product applications…..
It’s amazing what you can learn by looking at the past and then realizing where you are in the present and where you will be in the future.
My review of the past indicates that we have not arrived at the future. The present is a lot grander than anyone can understand today.
In the future we will learn what we missed from the past. We will learn that clues from the past were absolutely a sign of things to come.
~The Obscure Analyst 2/28/14