Posts Tagged ‘LED’

The Obscure Analyst has initiated coverage of GT Advanced Technologies and has issued a $65 – 12 month price target.   GT’s core business outside of Apple is heading into a very receptive macroeconomic environment that will trigger significant new orders across LED, PV and Polysilicon.  The macroeconomic environment coupled with GT’s new technologies and innovations across LED, Solar and emerging markets will drive significant new bookings, that is expected to exceed $1B in the 2H 2014.  Additionally, the Obscure Analyst expects Apple to roll out sapphire cover screens for Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iWatch in 2014.

Furthermore, a full Apple sapphire laminate adoption across Apple’s iPad and MacBook is not included in this estimate. A sapphire laminate on the iPad and MacBook could provide an additional $1.6B in 2016 annual revenue.  Furthermore, if Apple, adds thin-film solar cells at $2-3 per device provided by GT, it could provide up to $1.2B of additional revenue that has not been factored into this analysis.   Lastly, the price target does not include any new technologies that may emerge out GT’s 3/14/14 Technology Conference, that might have a significant impact on 2015 and 2016 sales estimates.

EPS and revenue estimates for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are in the image below:

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Full Detailed Report is Below

I’ve been following GT Advanced Technologies for several years and their technological expertise and product roadmap is becoming more and more crystal clear every day (no sapphire pun intended). GT’s management team is full of extremely brilliant scientists and technology visionaries. The contract GT signed with Apple in November to provide sapphire material, which will be in the form of sapphire cover screens for mobile and sapphire laminate screens for iWatch and possibly more.  Apple is not the cleanup hitter in GT’s technology portfolio, even though the Wall Street analysts are putting all of their time and effort into Apple and coming up with a valuation that is driven by the Apple business. I might be the Obscure Analyst on street, but unlike the overpaid under performing Wall Street analysts, I actually understand GT’s message loud and clear. If the Wall Street analysts could see the forest for the trees, they would realize GT is about to launch phase 2 of their war chest.

Apple is the lead-off hitter in what will be an American League lineup, similar to my Boston Red Sox, whose lineup was loaded from top to bottom with talent and key contributors. GT’s sapphire business with Apple will take off with amazing speed and grace, like a prototypical money-ball lead-off hitter, that sets the stage for the “other products” in GT’s lineup, to drive in an incredible amount of additional revenue and profits for years to come. The sapphire contract with Apple will be worth over two billion dollars in annual revenue in 2015, but Apple sales could be a minority share of GT’s revenue by 2016.

2014 Guidance

GT Advanced Technologies reported Q4 results on February 24th and gave the investment community an update on the progress in Mesa, AZ. Management gave investors even more confidence that GT has the ability to scale the operations in Mesa with Apple and meet their aggressive sapphire screen price objectives. As GT put it simply, “it is all about just execution” at this point.

The company maintained their guidance in 2014 at $600-800m in total revenue,with  approximately 15% in the 1H 2014 and 85% in the 2H 2014.  Sapphire revenue would make up over 80% of 2014 sales.  During the November call, if you remember GT stated that the majority of their ASF (furnace) capacity would be tied up by Apple.  In January, they reiterated their focus that 2014 will be all about delivering to Apple. My translation: a immaterial amount of ASF furnace sales will be converted from the current backlog to revenue in 2014. With that said, I am estimating sapphire materials sale excluding Apple to be $30m in 2014.

GT announced that they had deployed $180m of PPE (majority to Apple). Import records indicate that GT HK’s worldwide operations shipped furnaces from HK to Mesa, AZ.  GT management also stated, that they would spend $500-600m in capital  expenditures, with most of the heavy lifting occurring over the first half of the year.   Assuming GT is spending $500m of capital expenditures and $180m that is being deployed from existing PPE this would allow them to purchase approximately 2,300 furnaces to grow sapphire boules.  I also believe that Apple purchased an additional 1,000-2,000 furnaces that they will own inside Mesa which seems to aline with the ambiguous contract agreement between GT and Apple.  The contract did contain language that GT would purchase Apple equipment and be reimbursed no more frequent than every two weeks.  The additional furnaces purchased or not purchased by Apple have no impact to my current estimates.

I am estimating that $75-100m of capital, will be spent to build out approximately 50 Hyperion Ion Implanter machines. The Hyperion machines coupled with advancement in GT’s solar cell research will be used to produce GT’s solar cells that will be discussed in-depth by management on March 14, 2014 along with several other products coming in 2015.   Additionally, I expect Hyperion to make its way to Mesa, AZ by the middle of 2014.   Hyperion technology is likely to be used to produce sapphire laminates for Apple’s upcoming iWatch.

Apple Cover Story

The Apple deal will provide GT with the recurring revenue and consistent cash flow that it needs to nurture their investment seeds that have been dormant for the last several years. GT’s future is extremely under appreciated and misunderstood and they cannot and should not ever be looked at as a “sapphire materials company” or as “just a solar company” ever again. They are quietly establishing themselves as a leader in cutting edge, disruptive technology, and they are now well-funded, well versed and ready to take technology places we have only dreamed of. GT’s CEO drove this point home very early in the Q4 2013 conference call on February 24th (see below).

Although we have significant opportunities in sapphire, the GT story is not only about our emerging sapphire materials business. In fact, our entry into sapphire materials may enable us to expand into other materials segments once we have fully ramped the operation in Arizona. The many diversification and investment seeds we have planted over the last several years in the LED, power electronics, advanced solar and industrial markets are expected to begin to bear fruit over the next 18 months. We are seeing significant interest in our new products and now expect equipment orders from these initiatives to be received during the latter part of 2014, with meaningful revenue recognition beginning in early 2015

As some of you might have already noticed, I’ve been digging even deeper into GT’s technological tool set to figure out where these disruptive technologies can be applied. At this point it’s safe to say that GT has more tools than any hardware store in town! GT saw an opportunity in sapphire cover glass when they purchased Crystal Systems.  GT dedicated the time and spent the money to monetize their expertise of the technology and create to hit a price point, that made the sapphire cover deal attractive enough, to land the Cupertino whale. During the Q&A section of last Monday’s conference call TG provided what I would characterize as his “money back guarantee” that GT will deliver related to output, cost and timing.

Our confidence comes from deep understanding of the unique technology that we’ve developed for these applications. And as I’ve indicated before, we’ve continued to progress on the performance of our ASF furnaces and the cost per millimeter that we expect to achieve. And so, we’re quite confident in our technology. And the rest of it is execution. I mean these are sizable projects and so execution has always an impact, but we’re confident. And as you know, we generally don’t give guidance unless we have a pretty good understanding that we’re going to hit it.

GT’s sapphire sales to Apple do not have any capacity restraints. The Mesa sapphire plant measures 1.3 million feet can comfortably hold 4,000 to 5,000 ASF furnaces at a minimum. I am expecting Apple to rolls out sapphire cover screens for the iPhone, next generation iPod and sapphire flexible sapphire laminate displays for the iWatch no later than Q3 2014. The iPod may surprise some of you, but an Apple job posting in January gave away a big clue that a new design was not only coming to the iPhone but to the iPod as well.

The iPhone and the iPod at quick glance are nearly identical, same dimensions but the iPhone has more functionality than the iPod because it operates as a phone and not just a hand-held device. The next Apple product on the docket is the iWatch.  The iWatch is expected to sport a flexible display, will likely feature solar charging and may even sport two batteries; an integrated core battery and a secondary battery that could be charged by kinetic energy or solar power (possibly supplied by GTAT). I have assumed GT will have their Hyperion technology up and running inside Mesa by the middle of the year to fulfill the inventory buildup needed for the iWatch release in 2014. Additionally, if you look at GT’s recently issued patents (resulting from Hyperion beta testing) it gives a clear indication that GT has progressed Hyperion far enough to it’s one-of-a-kind technology to produce sapphire laminates.  Apple already holds various sapphire patents including a laminate patent that describes taking two sapphire laminates in combination with or without glass to build a sapphire screen The Apple iWatch is expected to be relatively small (2 x 2 inches), which will require far less sapphire and time to ramp up sapphire laminate production using GT’s Hyperion technology.

There has been a lot of “noise” since November as to whether or not GTAT will be producing sapphire cover screens for Apple as well as discussions  whether or not the screens would be full sapphire covers or laminates. The answer is GT will be supplying full sapphire cover screens for Apple’s iPhone and iPod. Sapphire laminates are a terrific cover  option for the iPhone and iPod, however Apple will want to take advantage of the “performance upgrades” that will be made available by a full sapphire cover screen.  To add some more validity to my Obscure stance, I’ve included some comments Tom made over the past two years regarding sapphire cover screens.

Tom Gutierrez – Comments on Sapphire Over the Past 2 Years

we believe that current sapphire fabrication techniques, excluding Hyperion, will support the adoption of sapphire in several applications including smartphones and point-of-sale systems

we also believe that there could be an incremental future market opportunity using Hyperion to create lower-cost sapphire laminates for broader mobile phone and after market applications

Sapphire laminates are expected to have some, but not all, of the attributes of a pure sapphire solution and are expected to have a cost structure that rivals current cover glass products on the market today

I don’t think it’s a cost advantage discussion, Jeff. I think it’s really a — if you’re in the box of cost, it’s performance, okay? The performance of the sapphire relative to scratch resistance, relative to breakage resistance, relative to optical qualities as such and it also carries a pizzazz with it, okay, that makes it a somewhat different solution than the existing solutions are. But what I can confirm to you is that we’re in the cost box. We’re in the cost box, it’s now about performance. Can we demonstrate and can our customers demonstrate as they’re piloting our capability whether or not it’s something that they want to do. There is a cellphone out there already that uses sapphire. The Vertu cellphone uses sapphire, and, as you know, all high-end watches use sapphire for the same reasons: scratch resistance, optical qualities, et cetera. And so it’s not a cost down, it’s a performance upgrade

Apple Product Roadmap 2014-2016

GT management confirmed that they have driven down the price to where they want, at this point I am estimating ASP of $10 per screen on average for the upcoming iPhone(s) and iPod. Apple’s iWatch is expected to support a flexible sapphire laminate display. The “slapwatch” patent filed by Apple indicates that the display will most likely be flexible in nature and sapphire laminates are a perfect candidate to fill the required job. I have estimated an average ASP of $4 per iWatch display. I am expecting the iPhone/iPod and iWatch to arrive no later than September/October 2014. My model estimates that sapphire covers will be used in 70% of Apple’s unit sales in 2015 and beyond. Apple has launched older iPhone models in India and may continue to keep around some lower cost models in select markets. My forecast of unit sales are derived by utilizing the smart phone industry trends provided by IHS.  My calculation base Apple market share at 17% of the total smart phone sales. I feel my 70% penetration rate for sapphire for sapphire cover screens for the iPhone is reasonable but conservative and will provide a safety to my market share estimate if actual sapphire screen adoption percentage comes in above 70%.

Apple Product Roadmap 2014-2016 (Excluded From my Estimates)

What is not included in any of my Apple estimates is potential and likelihood that Apple adds sapphire laminates screens to the iPad and MacBook.   Additionally, I have not included any thin-film solar cell revenue that could be received from Apple if GT supplies solar cells for Apple’s product lines in 2014, 2015 or 2016. The sapphire laminate screen pricing is a mystery, but I am estimated average ASP for sapphire laminates for the MacBook and iPad at $13 per device. In a bullish scenario, if Apple rolls out sapphire laminates for the iPad and MacBook it could add an additional $1.6B in revenue annually by 2016. Additionally if Apple added Solar cells at $2-3 on average per device this could additional $800m to $1.2B of additional revenue by 2016. The addition of solar cells across all of Apple’s devices and introduction of sapphire laminates in the iPad and MacBook represent an additional $2.8B of annual revenue or $3.00 EPS in 2016. My review of Apple’s technical product patents related to sapphire and solar charging strongly suggest that both of these events will happen and it’s not a question of if but when.

Other Lines of Business

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I expect GT’s existing backlog of $600m to be worth $450m by the end of 2014. I am expecting new orders of $1.5B to arrive in 2014 with approximately 77% of those orders to come from existing markets including PV equipment, sapphire equipment and polysilicon. The macroeconomic environment for poly, solar and sapphire are all extremely supportive heading into 2014. LED equipment utilization is at or near 100%, Solar is expected to run through the excess poly supplies and drive up the polysilicon price per KG from $21 to $25 by the end of 2014. Solarbuzz is already estimating a major comeback in solar capital equipment purchases by 2015.   GT is already “well positioned on several on projects” in the Middle East, that are worth $300-500m annually beginning in 2016. GT Power Tec agreement is likely to contribute $100-200m in revenue in 2015 and 2016 alone. GT’s solar and PV business averaged a combined $600m in recognized revenue over 2010 and 2011. The upcoming capital expansion will reward  low-cost, thin-film and innovative solutions with significant orders.  The remaining $350m of new orders or 23% of 2014 bookings will come from GT’s Hyperion and SiC (Silicon Carbide) business

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The Obscure Analyst’s Takeaway

The Apple deal will provide GT with the recurring revenue and consistent cash flow that it needs to nurture their investment seeds that have been dormant for the last several years. GT’s future is extremely under appreciated and misunderstood but Wall Street analysts and GT cannot and should not ever be labeled as a “sapphire materials company” or as “just a solar company” ever again. They are quietly establishing themselves as a leader in cutting edge, disruptive and game changing technological innovation. GT is prepared, willing and able to take their disruptive technology and created market niches places we have only dreamed of or seen in sci-fi movies. My research report was completed for all of the little people, who rely on Wall Street firms and their inability to deliver in-depth research on GT Advanced Technologies. Everything mentioned in this article, including; patent information, patent interpretation, job postings, market trends, products and industry trend, was readily available for anyone, who took the time and knew how to find it. I hope all of the Wall Street analysts take some notes of how to deliver an informative, in-depth research report. Lastly, I have to give thanks to my fellow street analysts for funneling information and informative ideas my way because this could not have been done without all of your support!


Full Disclosure: I am long GTAT and have no plans to buy or sell any holdings in the next 72 hours

Matt Margolis – 2/25/14

Credit Suisse $18 PT Grade B+ 2015 EPS $1.38 on $1.559B of sales, 2016 EPS $2.12B on $2.122B of sales.  No specifics were provided of product detail but they cited: “normalized earnings of PV, polysilicon, and sapphire businesses with upside from new products”.

UBS $18 PT Grade B- 2015 EPS $1.20 on $1.249B   2016 EPS $1.50 on $1.608B.  Apple sales estimated at $505M in 2014 and $980M in 2015.   2015 total sapphire revenue at $1.055B out of $1.249 (84% of Total Sales).  Estimated Mesa capacity at 1,500 furnaces.

Stifel $12.50-$14.90 PT Grade F 2015 EPS $0.45 on $1.086 sales. 2016 EPS $1.25 EPS on $1.637B sales.  No breakout was given on mix between Apple and other sapphire revenue.  2014 sapphire revenue $0.559B, 2015 sapphire revenue $0.94B and 2016 $1.1B “We view the company’s current product mix supporting $1.25 (2016) and look for the company’s March 15 new product and technology briefing fur further earnings growth drives into 2016”.   Stifel earned their grade, because it’s obvious they haven’t spent any time to dig into GT’s  corporate overview that was published in January 2014 to understand the growth factors for GTAT beyond sapphire.

Canaccord Genuity $21 PT Grade F  2015 EPS $0.50 on $1.109B sales.  2016 EPS $1.52 on $1.887.  Estimated 2,000 furnace capacity for Apple operations. “We reiterate our BUY pm GTAT as we believe the combination of Apple related earnings and the recovery in its LED and Solar business will result in above-consensus earnings growth and multiple expansion.  Canaccord earned their grade, because they failed to do any modeling for 2015.  They expect revenue in Q3 2014 of $324m followed by $264m in Q4 2014.  An annualized run rate of Q4 $264m x 4 is $1.056B versus their full year forecast of $1.109B,which tells me Canaccord assumes no new business coming online in 2015.  Canaccord doesn’t even give GTAT any credit that they will recognize any sizable chunk of their $600m order backlog.

Bank of America $15.50 PT  Grade Double F 2015 EPS $0.70 on $1.086B sales 2016 EPS $1.28 on $1.518B sales.  Bank of America cites that, “GTAT is becoming more of a Sapphire story”.  Bank of America earned their grade, because they failed to understand that GTAT is on it’s way to becoming a fleet of of thoroughbreds and not a “1 trick pony”.  I really wonder if Bank of America has even read the corporate overview or can cite one product GTAT sells besides sapphire.

Obscure Message to the Analyst Community

GT’s management was very clear that 2014 was the year of Apple and execution.  GT’s pipeline is currently $600m strong and very little of this will be booked in 2014.  GT’s management stated that equipment orders would start flying in 2H 2014 and will be ready for revenue recognition at the beginning of 2015.  GT mentioned that one of their customers (OCI) is already restarting their PV expansion project. If the analyst community wants to learn about GTAT’s up and coming products and industries they support perhaps they should try a google search.  The information is readily available and makes for a very interesting late night reading.

Every analyst cited Apple and sapphire as a major driver, but not one of them wanted to get into the Apple product ecosystem to adjust future growth for expanded sapphire usage across the portfolio.  The facility at Mesa is 1.3 million square feet or approximately 52 times greater than GT’s Salem, MA manufacturing facility.  GT’s salem facility held approximately 80-100 furnaces inside, using the same furnace to square foot ratio as Salem the Mesa facility can house between 4,200 and 5,200 furnaces.    Do any of the analysts follow Apple and industry growth projections?  Do the analysts understand the Apple portfolio of products and how GTAT can and will pair Hyperion with sapphire to create sapphire laminates that can be out rolled across Apple’s product portfolios once Hyperion is ready for commercialization in 2015.

The Obscure Analyst’s Analyst Report takeaway :

As an investor I was glad to see upward revisions to GTAT’s target price.  As the Obscure Analyst, I was surprised at how ignorant the analysts are to the markets that GT will begin serving in 2015.  Not one analyst understands GT’s Hyperion technology, that was purchased in November 2012.

GT management left us with this information during Monday’s call which relates directly to Hyperion and Solar Cells:

we have a deployed a new technology that we expect will significantly impact the economics of producing solar cells and modules. This technology was developed and comes out of a research operation we established in the Bay Area over a year ago to focus on advancing the state of the art and the design and assembly of solar cells and modules. We look forward to talking with you about this development on our March ‘14 webcast.

Well here is your spoiler alert:  Hyperion is going to be  a “disruptive technology” and a “game changer” that can and will be applied across all of GTAT’s platforms in the foreseeable future and for the foreseeable future.   During the March 14, 2014 webcast GT management will most certainly focus some of it’s attention on the design and assembly of solar cells and modules.  I’ve done my best to translate the patents so everyone can understand the key takeaway.  I’m sure the sci-fi team at GT Advanced Technologies will give a cleaner explanation but this is my best shot!  Essentially GT has patented a new process that likely creates the lowest cost, thinnest and most efficient solar cell technology on the market   The process to create this amazing innovation begins by leverage GT’s Hyperion technology (which is protected by over 50 patents) to fire hydrogen ions against a solar cell to create super thin solar cells that can be used in PV technology (solar panel).   The super thin solar cells are more efficient due to design (cutting angle) allowing them to improve efficiency.  They are lower cost due to Hyperion exfoliating abilities which allow for one of if not the thinnest solar cell produced in the industry (I hope the analysts ask if TG doesn’t tell us anyways).  Further cost reductions are found because the Hyperion method of exfoliating the solar cells reduces waste that results from through traditional “kerf” methods.

Obscure Analyst’s Spoiler Alert Takeaway: GTAT may have just come up the most efficient solar cells available on the market today due to the degree of the cut plane of the solar cells which allows for more light absorption than traditional methods.  The cost of the solar cells is greatly reduced because Hyperion allows up to a 2 for 1 benefit on thinness (current benefit might be 1.75 to 1) but it was 2:1 when GTAT acquired Twin Creeks in 2012.   Lastly, the method of using Hyperion versus traditional kerf methods of cutting solar cells will greatly reduce the amount waste, which will lead to further cost savings.  If I had to put names on who they are partnering with I would go with Yingli Green Energy or Trina Solar, who finished 2013 as #1 and #2 in PV supply.  Below are two of GTAT’s  key patents related to the growth and bonding of thin lamina.



[0001] Sivaram et al., U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/026,530, “Method to Form a Photovoltaic Cell Comprising a Thin Lamina,” filed Feb. 5, 2008, owned by the assignee of the present invention and hereby incorporated by reference, describes fabrication of a photovoltaic cell comprising a thin semiconductor lamina formed of non-deposited semiconductor material. Using the methods of Sivaram et al., photovoltaic cells, rather than being formed from sliced wafers, are formed of thin semiconductor laminae without wasting silicon through kerf loss or by fabrication of an unnecessarily thick cell, thus reducing cost. The same donor wafer can be reused to form multiple laminae, further reducing cost, and may be resold after exfoliation of multiple laminae for some other use.

[0002] Referring to FIG. 1A, in embodiments of Sivaram et al., a semiconductor donor wafer 20 is implanted through first surface 10 with one or more species of gas ions, for example hydrogen and/or helium ions. The implanted ions define a cleave plane 30 within the semiconductor donor wafer. As shown in FIG. 1B, donor wafer 20 is affixed at a first surface 10 to receiver 60. Cleaving is most easily achieved by heating, for example to temperatures of 500 degrees C. or more. Referring to FIG. 1C, lamina 40 is heated and cleaves, or exfoliates, from donor wafer 20 at cleave plane 30, creating second surface 62. It has been found that the step of implanting to define the cleave plane may cause damage to the crystalline lattice of the monocrystalline donor wafer. This damage, if unrepaired, may impair cell efficiency. A relatively high-temperature anneal, for example at 900 degrees C., 950 degrees C., or more, will repair most implant damage in the body of the lamina.

[0003] In embodiments of Sivaram et al., additional processing before and after the cleaving step forms a photovoltaic cell comprising semiconductor lamina 40, which is between about 0.2 and about 100 microns thick. In other embodiments of Sivaram et al., lamina 40 may be, for example, between about 0.2-50 microns thick, between about 1-20 microns thick, between about 1-10 microns thick, between about 4-20 microns thick, or between about 5-15 microns thick, though any thickness within the named range is possible. FIG. 1D shows the structure inverted, with receiver 60 at the bottom, as during operation in some embodiments of Sivaram. Receiver 60 may be a discrete receiver element having a maximum width no more than 50 percent greater than that of donor wafer 20, and preferably about the same width, as described in Herner, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/057,265, “Method to Form a Photovoltaic Cell Comprising a Thin Lamina Bonded to a Discrete Receiver Element,” filed on Mar. 27, 2008, owned by the assignee of the present application and hereby incorporated by reference. Alternatively, a plurality of donor wafers may be affixed to a single, larger receiver, and a lamina cleaved from each donor wafer.

0004] In summary, the primary stages of producing a lamina are ion implantation, exfoliation (cleaving the lamina from the donor wafer), and annealing (to repair defects in the lamina).



[0002] Sivaram et al., U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/026,530, “Method to Form a Photovoltaic Cell Comprising a Thin Lamina,” filed Feb. 5, 2008, and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,481,845, owned by the assignee of the present disclosure and hereby incorporated by reference, describes fabrication of a photovoltaic cell comprising a thin semiconductor lamina formed of non-deposited semiconductor material. Using the methods of Sivaram et al., and others, photovoltaic cells and other electronic devices, rather than being formed from sliced wafers, are formed of thin semiconductor laminae without wasting silicon through kerf loss or by fabrication of an unnecessarily thick cell, thus reducing cost. The same donor wafer can be reused to form multiple laminae, further reducing cost, and may be resold after exfoliation of multiple laminae for some other use. Methods are needed for handling thin lamina in order to process them into electronic devices.


[0003] Methods and apparatus are provided for bonding a thin lamina to a carrier, the methods may comprise providing a thin lamina wherein the lamina has a first side and a second side and wherein the first side of the lamina is separably contacted to a support plate; providing a first carrier having a first side and a second side and wherein the first side comprises a layer of adhesive material; contacting the second side of the thin lamina to the first side of the first carrier; fixing the lamina to the first carrier wherein the fixing comprises applying a first application of heat and a first application of pressure to a portion of the lamina and the first carrier; removing the support plate; applying a second application of heat and a second application of pressure to the lamina and the first carrier wherein the second application of heat and the second application pressure promotes an adhesive bond between the lamina and the first carrier and wherein the second application of pressure comprises moving the lamina, the first carrier and the cover sheet between a pair of rollers.

Two additional relevant patents are below

Photovoltaic Cell Comprising A Thin Lamina Having A Rear Junction And Method Of Making 

The Obscure Analyst’s Analyst Report takeaway :

My Final Closing Thoughts:  I am very disappointed in the lack of research and analytics that went into these reports with the exception of Credit Suisse and UBS.  My brother-in-law jokes that I am the “couch” analyst, because he knows that’s where I do all my research.  In closing, I wanted to reference to one of my favorite movies, Good Will Hunting, because one scene in particular resonates very well right now.  Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) was obviously brilliant and but he was working as a janitor at MIT and he kept solving the MIT professor’s math problems that not even the MIT students could understand them.   If you recall during one of the bar scenes, Will Hunting was vying for the attention of a young college co-ed and he was competing against a 1st year grad student named Clark.  Will and Clark starting a heated debate on history, a test of wits.  Will’s perfectly fitting retort to Clark:

"You got that from Vickers.  Work in Essex County, page 98, right? Yeah, I read
that, too. You gunna' plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts
that...of your own on this matter? Or do you-- is that your thing? You come into a
bar, you read some obscure passage, and then pretend you, you..pawn it off as your your own idea...." 

I think it’s time the analyst community comes up with some original thought of their own rather than taking GTAT’s guidance as gospel and pawning it off as their own idea.  Will Hunting received his education for free at the public library, in this regard I am just like Will Hunting.  I conduct my own research using the tools and information that are available to the public.  At times it can be a painful act, but in the end you are handsomely rewarded with information and enough support to connect the dots and come up with your own original idea.  But hey what do I know?  I’m just the Obscure Analyst!

Full Disclosure: I am long GTAT and have no plans to buy or sell any holdings over the next 72 hours

Matt Margolis 2/23/14

Below are my top 10 items to watch for from GT Advanced Technologies during their 2013 Q4 conference call, scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8AM ET.  I omitted any prediction related to Q4 2013 results, because the real focus in 2014 is on delivering the goods to Apple and cultivating the all the “seeds” in the pipeline to make sure they are ready to bear fruit by the start of 2015.  I also went out on a limb and put out some bold predictions in #9 and #10, because I believe a nice “BIG” surprise might be coming as soon as tomorrow morning from GT Advanced Technologies!

#1 Updated 2014 revenue guidance and initial EPS guidance –  GT confirmed the $600-800m range on January 16, 2014 after Richard Gaynor (former CFO) announced his resignation.  From my own experience having an additional month of knowledge can change estimates significantly.  With that said, given Apple’s “cone of silence”  I do not expect GT’s management to up the 2014 revenue forecast unless they landed a sizable new contract outside of Apple that will hit in 2014 or a significant order will be recognized as revenue from their current backlog.  Assuming revenue guidance for 2014 will not be updated,  I’m expecting GT to guide 2014 earnings at a profit of $0.12 to $0.38 per share.  For comparison the Yahoo Finance Analyst average estimate for 2014 is $0.09 per share profit.  If management ups guidance above $800m, you can tack on $0.13 EPS per $100m of revenue to the top and bottom range of my estimate for 2014.

#2 Apple Sapphire Contract –  GT should give investors a general update regarding the tracking of the project against contractual terms.  It is highly unlikely that management will give any information related to project dates or reference sapphire cover displays.  I’m going to keep a close eye to see if GT reports or is asked about their current employee headcount, which is expected to grow substantially in Mesa, AZ.

#3 Q1 2014 EPS and Revenue Guidance –  I expect the company to guide Q1 revenue at $60m and a loss of $0.15 per share.  For the comparison the Yahoo Finance Analyst revenue range is $55m to $175m for Q1 with an average estimated loss of $0.08 per share.  I personally don’t expect any meaningful sapphire revenue from Apple to hit the books until late Q2 at the earliest unless Apple surprises everyone with a iphone June release.

#4 LED –  GT should give an update on the availability of their ASF capacity, industry utilization rates as well as pricing trends.  Last quarter GT reported that ASF capacity would be limited in the near term due GT’s dedication of a vast majority of their current ASF capacity to support Apple.  Sapphire equipment utilization rates were high and that  sapphire pricing showed improvement driven by LED and mobile lenses and other mobile device applications.

#5 Polysilicon – Last quarter GT stated that their pipeline in the Middle East continues to develop while prices and demand are coming into balance.  GT should give an update on OCI, who appears ready to begin the next buildout of their plant by 2H 2014.

#6 Hyperion – Based on the last conference call (see comments below) it appears GT is close to landing a few deals related to the Hyperion.  GT appears to be near a deal related to solar cells with an Asian manufacturer as well as a new deal related to composite glass and thin sapphire structures for consumer applications.

We expect our pace of development with Hyperion to accelerate as we now have our pre-production generation tool in operation. This tool is protected by over 50 issued and pending equipment and process patents and we believe this tool is the first of its kind in the world.

#7 HVPE – Last quarter GT was expecting to commercialize their HVPE for LED by the of 2014 (see below).  Just last week GT announced they had acquired exclusive rights to Kyma Technologies’ PVDNC technology, which will be compliment with GT’s HVPE system.  GT should be giving investors more information regarding the commercial availability and revenue expectations for HVPE.

#8 2014 Expenses – Keep an eye on overall operating expense including expenses related to the support of new technology development ($16m was set aside in 2013 for new technology including Hyperion, Silicon Carbide and HVPE Gan systems).  Capital expenditures for 2014 will also be closely scrutinized, it’s clear there has been some heavy lifting of capital equipment inside Mesa, but how much if any of it will be funded by GT?  Also, it will be interesting to see if the R&D forecast for 2014 will slow down from Q4 spending.  A slow down may shed some light on how far along GT is with the advancement of their ASF platform, which directly impacts the sapphire yield for Apple and pace of expansion of sapphire for LED, industrial and specialty sapphire businesses.  Management guided Op Ex at $54 million to $59m in Q4 which included $27 million to $32m of R&D expenses to focus on accelerating the development of their ASF platform.  (Final 2013 Op Ex guidance is below)

Based on our current plans and inclusive of restructuring costs, we now expect total operating expenses in the range of $185 million to $190 million which includes a higher level of R&D in the range of $83 million to $88 million as we have invested additional dollars toward accelerating generational improvements to our ASF platform.  Our fiscal ’13 CapEx is expected to be approximately $10 million to $12 million, the bulk of which is being directed at new technology investments.

#9 A “BIG” sapphire acquisition before the earnings call – I do expect GT to acquire another large player to expand sapphire for LED, industrial and specialty sapphire businesses.  I believe the fund raising completed in December will be used to acquire a significant player related to sapphire equipment or materials, the only question that remains is how soon?

Expanding Sapphire (1) In support of the new materials business, we have accelerated the development of our next-generation launch capacity, low-cost ASF furnaces. Not only will these efforts support our initiative with Apple, we expect that it will enable the expansion of our LED, industrial and specialty sapphire businesses, positioning GT and its equipment customers as the industry’s lowest-cost sapphire producers. We’re very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our sapphire business.

GT’s Comments on Cash Levels during the Q3 2013 Conference Call While we are confident that our projected cash levels are adequate to run the business for the foreseeable future, we regularly review financing alternatives to ensure we can support new technology developments and diversification initiatives.

#10  A “BIG” contract announcement before the earnings call –  The other type of “BIG” announcement we could hear before the earnings call tomorrow is a large contract.  GT’s CEO told investors last May, that GT will be moving “more and more towards a book-and-ship model,” my interpretation of this comment is GT is working towards less dependency on equipment business and managing backlog to a business model that leans heavily towards reoccurring revenue streams, similar to the sapphire materials contract GT signed with Apple in November.  It is also clear from the Apple deal that GT can run the equipment they sell like nobody else since Apple is handing the keys over to run and design the sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ.  The business model shift towards more materials business and less equipment dependency would also support GT’s focus on diversification.  Diversification could be defined as a shift between different lines of business or a shift of revenue sources within a line of business.   My complete list of potential near-term “BIG” deals is below complete with management’s comments,

Expanding Sapphire (1)In support of the new materials business, we have accelerated the development of our next-generation launch capacity, low-cost ASF furnaces. Not only will these efforts support our initiative with Apple, we expect that it will enable the expansion of our LED, industrial and specialty sapphire businesses, positioning GT and its equipment customers as the industry’s lowest-cost sapphire producers. We’re very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our sapphire business”.

Hyperion Solar Cells (1) “We have made significant progress producing ultrathin silicon wafers with this technology, and are working to develop applications for the solar industry with a well-known solar cell manufacturer in Asia.”

Hyperion Consumer Applications (1) “We have also made similar progress developing low-cost composite glass and thin sapphire structures that we believe will have broad use in consumer applications”.

Polysilicon in the Middle East (1) “With respect to our polysilicon business, we continue to be optimistic about our long-term opportunities as our pipeline in the Middle East continues to develop, supply and demand are coming into balance and pricing appears to have bottomed out, with an expectation that it will begin to rise over the next 6 to 9 months”. 

HiCz N-type Silicon Wafers for PV (1) “We also continue to advance the technical development of our HiCz n-type material solution. We recently demonstrated HiCz’s unique capability to grow high-quality, 10-meter long ingots, which is 3x to 4X the length that can be grown in a typical batch Czrochralski process. We will continue to optimize tool performance in preparation for bringing HiCz to market late in the second half of 2014. We believe that early traction for this product will come from outside of China”.

Silicon Carbide High Frequency High Power Devices  (1) “We’re currently seeking strategic partners to support our silicon carbide development. Given the high cost of silicon carbide wafers, the real opportunity for silicon carbide remains in pairing it with Hyperion, which should enable thin wafer cost structures that are nearly an order of magnitude below today’s state-of-the-art wafering processes. Such an advance would significantly expand this opportunity for GT”.

Full Disclosure : I am long GTAT and have no plans to buy or sell any holdings over the next 72 hours

Matt Margolis – 2/21/2014 (I am long GTAT and I have no plans to add or sell any holdings over the next 72 hours)

I pulled one amazing quote out of the archive from May 2, 2013 during GTAT’s Q1 2013 conference call. If there are any questions left as to what GTAT is selling Apple they can be put to bed now. The sapphire cover screen deal between Apple and GTAT was leaked by GTAT’s CEO on May 2, 2013.

Thomas Gutierrez – May 2, 2013 during the Q2 conference call Q&A

Oh, I mean, it’s all driven by adoption in the cover screen industry. I mean, we’re extremely pleased to, as Jed put it, to have established our first beachhead that demonstrates the value of sapphire in one of the served markets. And as we said in our prepared remarks, there’s is a very, very, very large players that would drive an extraordinary level of business for us. And then there are other players that have multiple models that could step into the market with a single premium model that has sapphire. And our belief is that those are the kinds of orders that will convert first. Because, quite honestly, the supply chain, to be able to serve those bigger players, is not yet in place and we don’t expect to see that start to occur until 2014.

Gutierrez described Apple as a “very, very, very large player,” that was interested in sapphire cover screens. Gutierrez officially tipped his hand on May 2, 2013 that the Apple sapphire cover screen deal was in the works. He told everyone, who was paying attention that sapphire cover screens for Apple would not be ready until 2014. He also informed everyone, that this massive sapphire cover contract would require more capacity than the entire sapphire industry.

The only question left to answer on this deal is how much annual revenue will an “extraordinary level of business” generate for GTAT from Apple’s cover screen contract?

$1B? $2B $5B? I guess the answer depends on your own definition of “extraordinary”.

I’ll leave you with one more telling quote from Gutierrez from May 2, 2013. He told everyone that GTAT will be moving “more and more towards a book-and-ship model”. My obscure analyst translation is that GTAT will be making a charge into additional materials’ contracts as a diversification strategy away from being just an equipment provider. I believe their first target is sapphire for LED and a deal in this space could be announced as soon as Monday (2/24/14).

Thomas Gutierrez

Our business will be shifting more and more towards a book-and-ship model. Even in poly, as we get perfunctory treatment of some of the technology that we’re shipping, it shifts more to a book-and-ship model. And so revenue converts to cash more readily as you move closer and closer to that type of business model.

Matt Margolis -2/18/14

Kyma Technologies Background: Kyma Technologies was founded in 1998 and is located in Raleigh, NC.  Annual revenues are estimated at approximately $3m per year and they have 17 employees.   Kyma Technologies has managed to survive over the last 16 years through various venture capitalists funds raisers as well as several relatively small contracts awarded to them.  In 2003, Kyma received $1.4M from GE Technology Finance in the form of a line of credit to build out their gallium nitride substrates business.  Later in 2003, Kyma received $4m of Series B (venture capitalist money), which included support from Digital Power Capital and Siemens Venture Capital.  In 2011, Kyma landed a deal to will work with Veeco Instruments on a next generation LED manufacturing project funded by a $4 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy.   Less than 6 months ago in October, Kyma received an additional $3.2M of venture capitalist funding.

Screenshot - 2_18_2014 , 9_06_34 PM

This morning GTAT announced they had acquired exclusive rights from Kyma Technologies, Inc. for its plasma vapor deposition (PVD) process technology and know-how.  Based on the reading the announcement I believe GT will be paying Kyma a royalty fee based on units sold or a similar methodology.  I thought it would be interesting to compare the press releases from both companies GTAT and Kyma to see if there are any differences and sure enough there are!  Announcement from Kyma & Announcement from GTAT.

Analysis of opening statement: GTAT makes it very clear that they have acquired “exclusive rights” for Kyma’s plasma vapor deposition (PVD) process technology and “know-how”.    It sounds like GTAT not only gets the rights to the PVD system but also the IP (intellectual property) behind the technology.  Based on this language it appears GT will be paying Kyma an ongoing royalty fee for each PVD tool sold.  Kyma on the other hand only indicates that it has “licensed” the technology but does not state that it is an exclusive deal.

Opening statement from GTAT’s announcement is below:

GT Advanced Technologies (Nasdaq:GTAT) today announced that it has acquired exclusive rights from Kyma Technologies, Inc. for its plasma vapor deposition (PVD) process technology and know-how. The PVD of nano-columns (PVDNC™) technology developed by Kyma deposits a high-quality growth initiation layer of aluminum nitride (AlN) on wafers prior to gallium nitride (GaN) deposition. GT plans to commercialize a PVD tool that will complement its hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) system, which is currently in development. The combined offering will provide LED manufacturers with a higher throughput, lower cost solution to produce gallium nitride (GaN) templates on patterned or planar wafers. GT already has a high volume prototype tool incorporating Kyma’s PVDNC technology and expects to offer a production-ready tool in the first half of 2015.

Opening statement from Kyma is below:

Kyma Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of advanced materials solutions that promote safety and energy efficiency, announced today that it has licensed its nitride semiconductor plasma vapor deposition of nanocolumns (PVDNC™) technology to GT Advanced Technologies.

Kyma has a rich history of advancing PVDNC™ technology to create a cost-effective nanocolumnar crystalline AlN nucleation layer on flat sapphire and silicon substrates as well as on patterned sapphire substrates. The nanocolumnar AlN presents an excellent surface for subsequent nucleation and growth of GaN buffer layers which are important for GaN LEDs and power electronics. Kyma has offered PVDNC™ AlN templates to the market for many years and also employs such templates as a starting material for growing bulk and thin film crystalline GaN by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE).

Analysis of closing statement: GTAT states they manufacturers will be able to “increase the throughput of their existing LED production lines and lower the capital expenditures…” while Kyma says that the (PVDNC) technology has the “potential to double the throughput of today’s MOCVD tools.”  It’s very interesting that GTAT went light on the technology benefits but Kyma wanted to make sure everyone knew this could double the throughput.

Closing paragraph from GTAT is below:

Today, GaN deposition on epi wafers is done in slower and more expensive MOCVD tools. By utilizing the combined PVD and HVPE processes to create low cost GaN templates, manufacturers will be able to increase the throughput of their existing LED production lines and lower their capital expenditures because they will need fewer MOCVD tools.

Closing paragraph from Kyma is below:

PVDNC™ technology is an excellent complement to GT’s recently announced move into HVPE equipment. The combination of PVDNC™ AlN nucleation layers and HVPE GaN buffer layers has the potential to double the throughput of today’s MOCVD tools and to improve the performance and yield of devices. The result is higher throughput of improved devices made at lower fabrication cost, a triple win for the customer.

One more omission from the GTAT announcement completely that was in Kyma’s announcement was but “also into the nascent market for nitride based power electronics”.  GTAT only mentions this deal in relation to LED but it may be one of the “secret” weapons for Power Electronics which is one of the 4 business swim lanes.  Slides pulled from the recent corporate overview support my theory above that this deal with Kyma is for LED as well as Power Electronics related to Silicon Carbide Systems as well as end market Power Systems for Electric Vehicles.

2014 Slide 4

2014 Slide 4

2014 Slide 4

2014 Slide 4

The Kyma100 HVPE Specs are below

Kyma100 HVPE System Specs

Kyma100 HVPE System Specs

This is a interesting fact sheet from Kyma and their focus on Support of Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Power Electronics including  Silicon Carbide (SiC).

Screenshot - 2_18_2014 , 9_14_33 PM

My takeaways:

  • GTAT acquired exclusive rights for Kyma’s PVD Tool and IP (Intellectual Property) associated with it
  • PVD tool can double the throughput of today’s MOCVD tools
  • GT plans to commercialize this tool beginning in 2015 partnered with their HVPE system in development for LED
  • PVD tool will also benefit SiC and Nitride Based Power Electronics (Power Systems for Electric Vehicles)

Matt Margolis ( I am long GTAT and have no plans to add or sell any holdings in the next 72 hours)

There has been some interesting chatter regarding GTAT’s 2014  Corporate Overview Jan 2014 versus the 2012 Corporate Overview Feb 2012.  I wanted to highlight some key items in the 2014 presentations and fill in some blanks from 2012.  My straightforward analysis is that GT’s business is coming together very nicely as they round out 2014 and head into 2015.

Below you can see the 2012 business initiatives versus the 2014 initiatives.   LED (Sapphire) has gone from just LED in 2012 to LED & Industrial as well as Consumer Electronics & Non-Led in 2014.  Solar has moved from the top of the chart to the bottom.  In 2014 Power Electronics has moved from a potential in 2012 to a significant market for GTAT in 2014.

2012 Slide 5

2012 Slide 5

2014 Slide 4

Also, above in the 2012 presentation  management is looking into Power Management Applications for SiC LED and Silicon Carbide specifically “power management applications” with a new internal development initiative targeting CY13/Cy14.   If you look at 2014 slide 4 below, the SiC initiative for power management applications is Power Systems for Electric Vehicles.  The evaluation of the LED value chain from 2012 I believe is related to GT’s GAN HVPE product in development.

Furthermore, based on the 2014 slide 4 below, it appears GTAT is already ready to run on all cylinders.  They have alined several key products in each of their business swim lanes to dominate the market share.   They note that certain products are currently in developement:

  • Annealing (Consumer Electronics & Non-LED)
  • GaN HVPE (LED & Industrial)
  • HiCz ™ (Solar)
  • Hyperion (Consumer Electronics & Non-LED, LED & Industrial, Power Electronics, Solar)

Yes – Hyperion goes across all 4 business swim lanes! 

2014 Slide 4

2014 Slide 4

2014 Slide 5 – is a clear indication to me of where GTAT will deploy a large chunk of their December 2013 fund raising.   GT will be growing their LED sapphire business and adding other materials platforms.  2014 Slide 11 – clearly states GT will be establishing non-LED sapphire materials business using their GAN HVPE solution paired with Hyperion.  HVPE on slide 25 below is geared towards high volume production tool.  (Yes Apple Sapphire Materials falls into this space but I believe there is more to come with LED!)

2014 Slide 5

2014 Slide 5

2014 Slide 11

2014 Slide 11

2014 Slide 25

2014 Slide 25

Other Key Slides include Hyperion which will be applied across all of GT’s business swim lanes.  The technology is targeting 2015 availability and pre-production development is in operation at GT’s development lab.  GT believes that the Hyperion business, once mature,could rival the size of GT’s PVbusiness at its peak.

  • GT has made significant progress across several applications, including:
  • Producing ultra-thin silicon wafers
  • Developing low cost composite glass and thin sapphire structures
  • Thin, relatively inexpensive, SiC wafer
2014 Slide 23

2014 Slide 23

2014 Slide 24

2014 Slide 24

In conclusion, GT appears to be on the cusp of landing another (in addition to Apple Nov 2013) high volume reoccurring materials business contract in the LED space through acquisition of another market player or ongoing negotiations with a key LED provider.  Longer term their focus appears to be focused on increasing their materials business beyond sapphire for consumer electronics and sapphire for LED.  GT has been making sapphire materials for LED through Crystal Systems for over a decade so a deal in this space would not be new but the size of a potential LED deal on the horizon may be significant in comparison. Sic, LED, Solar and Hyperion all appear to ready to produce significant revenues by 2015.  The Solar equipment recovery may start as soon as 2H 2014.  2014 will be a very good year for GT driven by it’s Sapphire Material business with Apple, but 2015 might be a game changer for this company, as all systems go.

China Sets $164B LED Production Value by 2020

Posted: February 17, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in LED Industry News
Tags: , , ,

Digitimes reports that China’s government has set a 2020 target production value of all types of LED products of $164B this is double China’s plan of $82B from 2011 to 2015.   Mobile device manufacturers increasing their consumption of sapphire a key component in LED lighting.  China’s is increasing their appetite for expanding LED lighting.  My takeaway,  it seems very clear that sapphire manufacturers and sapphire equipment makers will be very busy building out new infrastructure to support the sapphire growth that lies ahead.

The China government has set a 2020 target production value of CNY1 trillion (US$164 billion) for all types of LED products, with 70% of the value to come from LED lighting, according to Digitimes Research.

The target production value for 2020 is double the CNY500 billion set for 2015 in China’s 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015), and the corresponding proportion for LED lighting is 40ppt higher than the 30% set in the plan, Digitimes Research indicated.

Two main factors will account for the large growth in LED lighting: one is that China’s urbanized population as a percentage of total is forecast to keep rising from 52.4% in 2012 to 60% in 2020 and this is conducive to growth in demand for outdoor and indoor LED lighting; the other is that the total length of intercity freeways, railways and subways in China will increase to 4.5 million km, 120,000km and 3,000km respectively in 2015 and this will lead to demand for LED lighting.

In addition, there is fast growing demand for LED street lamps in China, and in 2014 particularly, the demand is estimated at 1.68 million lamps.

Matt Margolis

GTAT’s Secret Weapon – Hyperion Ion Implanter


GT Advanced Technologies acquired Twin Creeks Technology late in 2012 and one of their first primary focuses was to “to pursue the development of thin sapphire laminates for use in applications such as cover and touch screen devices”. The Hyperion ion implanter machine acquired from Twin Creeks can cut ultra thin wafers (25 microns thick) out of silicon, silicon carbide, sapphire, germanium and other crystalline materials. How thick is 25 microns? The laser sliced sapphire home buttons on the iPhone 5s measure 170 microns thick, which is nearly 7 times the thickness of the sapphire laminates that can be sliced by GT’s Hyperion. The Hyperion machine takes a thick block of crystalline sapphire, blasts it with hydrogen ions and carves a 20 micron layer thick of sapphire from the block. The process is repeated over and over until the block is completely separated. As of last November GT expected the pace of the development with Hyperion to accelerate as their current tool was in the pre-production phase.  Hyperion is targeted to be commercially ready in 2014 and will be used across several of GT’s product lines including sapphire for consumer electronics, sapphire for LED, Silicon Carbide (SiC) as a  semiconductor and thin wafers for solar applications.

Here is the amazing Video of Hyperion in Action from 2011.  GT has spent millions in R&D to advance this technology further but this will give you just a sneak peak of what this giant laser can do.

GT’s management outlined some of the benefits when they purchased Twin Creeks Technologies.

GT expects that Twin Creeks’ unique Hyperion™ ion implanter technology will have broad application in the production of engineered substrates for power semiconductors and thin wafers for solar applications. In addition, GT expects to pursue the development of thin sapphire laminates for use in applications such as cover and touch screen devices. The Hyperion ion implanter has the potential to minimize, or in some cases eliminate, the need for wafering saws, which would significantly lower the cost of production.

The assets acquired by GT relate primarily to the Hyperion ion implanter as well as Twin Creeks’ portfolio of approximately 30 granted US patents and over 70 pending US and international patent applications. GT’s ion implanter engineering team will be based in Danvers, MA.

“Hyperion’s unique ion source and beamline design will enable a wide range of exfoliation applications in markets where thin silicon, silicon carbide, sapphire, germanium and other crystalline material substrates can enable breakthroughs in performance and cost,” said Vikram Singh, executive vice president of advanced systems development. “Hyperion will enable the production of high throughput and optimum thickness substrates that can not be achieved with other ion implant technologies.”

Additional technical information Courtesy of Gigaom is below:

The machine, called Hyperion, creates silicon wafers at 20 microns thick, compared with the typical 200 microns, said Siva Sivaram, CEO of Twin Creeks. Being able to use the same amount of silicon to make more cells means a cut in capital equipment cost, which is measured in cents or dollars per watt. Putting Hyperion to work could reduce the capital equipment expenditure by 50 percent for a vertically integrated company, which makes everything from silicon to solar panels, Sivaram said. Using Hyperion in a large factory — that  means 100 MW of annual production capacity or more — will lead to a cell production cost of 40 cents per watt, he said.

Twin Creeks takes a thick block of silicon and put it in Hyperion, which bombards the silicon block with hydrogen ions down to the depth of 20 microns. The ions in effect create a bubble layer, and when the wafer is moved to a furnace and heated, the bubble expands and separates the 20-micron top layer from the rest of the silicon block. The remaining silicon block is then used again and again. “The only way we continue to get more value is for those materials to become more productive,” Sivaram said.

LED Lighting to grow 45% per year through 2019

Posted: February 9, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in LED Industry News
Tags: , ,

The LED lighting market is anticipated to grow 45% per year through 2019. The LED lighting market at $4.8 billion in 2012 is anticipated to go to $42 billion by 2019.  Head over to for complete details