U.S. based wafer maker 1366 Technologies and Hanwha Q Cells’ Malaysian unit have announced construction of their wafer manufacturing facility in Cyberjaya, in the Sepang district of Selangor.
The Direct Wafer Factory, the U.S. company said, was built near Hanwha’s existing cell and module factory in Malaysia to facilitate direct wafer delivery to the Korean manufacturer, which has a 700 MW supply agreement with strategic partner 1366 Technologies.
“The Direct Wafer Factory is expected to ramp no later than Q3 2019 and – provided that the initial footprint meets key performance criteria – has the potential to become the cornerstone for a multi-gigatt scale production facility,” the U.S. wafer maker announced.
Hanwha Q Cells chief technology officer Ji Weon Jeong said: “In line with this commitment to customer value, Direct Wafer technology will innovate the manufacturing process and, as a result, the quality of the products manufactured.”
In March, 1366 Technologies said it was abandoning plans to build a wafer manufacturing facility in New York and would construct its first commercial-scale wafer factory at an undisclosed overseas location.
Promising to bring kerfless wafer technology to mass production, 1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer technique has long held big hopes for the industry.
One such was the 20.3% cell efficiency reached in August 2017 in a Q Cells Q.ANTUM cell, incorporating passivated emitter rear contact technology and 1366 Technologies wafers.