Manufacturing market seeks unity on wafer dimension

Jun 26, 2020 09:43 AM ET
  • 7 solar suppliers, consisting of tier-1 gamers, have actually registered to a joint initiative aiming to develop a brand-new common size for silicon wafers at 182mm x 182mm. Conspicuously absent from the campaign is China's Zhonghuan Semiconductor, which in 2015 introduced a 210mm solar wafer, the biggest seen in the industry thus far.
Manufacturing market seeks unity on wafer dimension
Image: Longi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd.

Monocrystalline producer Longi Green Energy today introduced that it is among seven PV suppliers in China to have actually joined to an initiative contacting the whole PV sector to adopt 182 mm as a brand-new standard for solar silicon wafers.

The seven business to have actually signed up with the initiative thus far, according to Longi, are JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar, JA Solar, Runyang Yueda Photovoltaic Technology, Lu'an Solar Technology as well as Zhongyu Photovoltaic Technology, along with Longi itself.

In 2018,'M 2' wafers determining 156.75 mm were widely seen as the industry standard, representing more than 90% of the marketplace. Since 2019 however, suppliers have actually started to see benefits in enhancing wafer sizes, leading ultimately to components rated at 500 W+ showing up on the market.

However the change has not occurred uniformly, and also now several dimensions, all larger than M2, have pushed on in the module market. According to Longi, this has led to complication among customers and an absence of coordination in between the sector's upstream and downstream segments, ultimately enhancing costs.

With this in mind, the business currently claims that a sector vast requirement is needed once more, which it believes the 182mm M10 wafer will certainly lead to optimized use sources and also make certain continued development of the PV sector. "We collectively hire our industry partners and colleagues to sustain this campaign and also accept the M10 silicon wafer typical size (182mm x 182mm) in the development of next-generation silicon wafers, cells as well as component products, therefore promoting the establishment of a merged supply chain as well as standardization of devices production and also client applications for the entire sector," reviews a declaration from Longi Green Energy Technology.

Shift in dimensions

Longi was amongst the initial significant industry players to advocate a switch to bigger wafers, at first supporting the 166mm M6 wafer as the optimal dimension for a brand-new standard. This was tested later on in 2019 by Zhonghuan Semiconductor, which introduced the much larger M12 wafer determining 210mm. Zhonghuan does not appear to be amongst the suppliers currently requiring a 182mm requirement, pv magazine has actually reached out to the firm for comment.

Both of these, and also other wafer measurements larger than M2, have seen adoption from component manufacturers, and also a lot of are supposedly eager to ensure that their tools works with all sizes up to M12. The M10 effort introduced today is backed by several major players, which should definitely offer it some weight in developing a criterion. Such a development was forecast by experts earlier in the year as most likely to be the deciding element on mainstream wafer size. "During the 2020-21 period, the top five module makers will certainly develop partnerships as well as create wafer sizes of their own," created PV InfoLink's Corrine Lin previously this year. "These growths will certainly figure out the mainstream wafer dimension in the future."