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Magma, Orion combine expertise for PV

Posted: 16 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cell? photovoltaic? solar panel?

Magma Design Automation has collaborated with Orion Metrology, to integrate Magma's YieldManager Solar with the latter's inline inspection technology. Through this partnership, Magma expands the capabilities of its yield analysis platform, enabling photovoltaic solar panel manufacturers to speed defect identification and improve process control.

The combination of the technologies enables PV solar cell manufacturers to monitor random and parametric inline defects and instantaneously feed this information back to #LINKKEYWORD1# to minimize the impact and severity of defects, improving yield and product efficiencies. Orion has also adopted YieldManager as the central data analysis solution for its inline process and parametric measurement applications.

"The key to improving product efficiencies and manufacturing productivity is to identify how carrier lifetimes are being affected by process layer over a large areafrom the surface to the bulk of the material on 100 percent of the production throughput," said Joe Foster, CEO of Orion. "Our inline approach ensures a more accurate characterization of process variation. If monitored and corrected quickly, even small changes can yield dramatic improvements in product yield and efficiency, significantly increasing the value of the solar panels. Magma's YieldManager Solar enables the inline and metrology data to be reported, managed and understood in real time."

"YieldManager Solar was developed to reduce solar #LINKKEYWORD0# inefficiencies and help accelerate the growth of the alternative energy market," said Ankush Oberai, VP of Magma's fab analysis business unit. "Partnering with Orion Metrology will enable us to offer an enhanced product portfolio for PV solar cell manufacturers."

Solar cells are produced using a variety of manufacturing tools and equipment, each of which presents data in a unique format. With such a complex process and varying data, identifying the root cause of problems requires a holistic approach. YieldManager Solar can collect and organize current and historic manufacturing data from all the process equipment. It allows fab engineers to easily filter data by lot, ingot, substrate, #LINKKEYWORD2# and other parameters, and to generate customized reports and dashboards. With this comprehensive analysis system, problems can be identified quickly and easily. For example, a non-uniform doping level on a process step could cause a drop in sheet resistance that can reduce the energy conversion efficiency of a solar cell. By monitoring, reporting and sending alarms about these types of out-of-control conditions, YieldManager Solar helps engineers identify and correct problems quickly. Additional analysis can then be performed as needed.

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