Silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies together with its strategic partner Hanwha Q CELLS formally announced scaling plans for its Direct Wafer technology.

As a result of the ongoing collaboration between 1366 Technologies and Hanwha Q CELLS, the world’s first production factory to feature the Direct Wafer manufacturing process is near completion.

The Direct Wafer Factory, located in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, is situated next to Hanwha Q CELLS’ existing cell and module manufacturing facilities and will produce Direct Wafer products to directly supply Hanwha’s cell and module production lines.

“At the heart of Hanwha Q CELLS’ global leadership is the pursuit of innovation and the exploration of new methods and technologies that can deliver the most value to our customers,” said Ji Weon Jeong, CTO of Hanwha Q CELLS. “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.”

1366 Technologies reached 20.3% cell efficiency in August 2017 with its Direct Wafer technology.

This year, 1366 Technologies, in response to the rapid wafer price decline, made a strategic decision to accelerate the development of “3D Wafers” – thin wafers with thick borders – and is continuously producing 3D Wafer products in its Bedford, Massachusetts, demonstration facility.

Most importantly, the 3D Wafer capabilities of the Direct Wafer process will further reduce silicon utilization to less than 1.5g/W to create a cost position unattainable with conventional ingot-based production technologies.