1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts firm working to slash the cost of silicon-based photovoltaics, has developed a3-Dwafer that further reduces the amount of silicon needed to produce the building block of a solar cell.

So 1366 engineers looked at how to strip more silicon out of the wafer, while strengthening potential stress points.

The product further reduces silicon consumption and gets 1366 Technologies closer to its goal of cutting wafer costs by half.

By abandoning the traditional process used to grow ingots and cut wafers, 1366 Technologies can be more creative with wafer design.

Over the years, 1366 Technologies has quietly built three generations of equipment for making silicon wafers at its Bedford, Massachusetts facility, with each generation producing better and cheaper products.

The new 3-D wafer design caps a strong year for 1366 Technologies.

On the day of the interview, 1366 Technologies sent out its largest shipment to date 100,000 wafers.