Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar to Collaborate On Development and Testing
SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug 26, 2008 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Magma(r) Design Automation Inc. (Nasdaq:LAVA), a provider of chip design software, today announced development of a new yield enhancement software system customized for solar fabs to improve conversion efficiency, increase yield and reduce the manufacturing costs of solar cells. Magma is collaborating with Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar to refine product specifications and test the new product, based on Magma's YieldManager(r) software system.
Solar-converted electricity costs two to three times as much to produce as energy generated from traditional sources. Inefficient energy conversion and the need to produce a very large number of wafers contribute to the high cost. Only about 16 percent of light that hits a solar cell wafer can be collected as usable electricity. To produce enough solar cells to generate 500 megawatts a year, a solar cell fab must produce as many as 400,000 wafers a day, an exponentially larger number than even the largest semiconductor plants produce. The cost of the silicon alone, not to mention the manufacturing costs, for that number of wafers is considerable. Improving the energy conversion efficiency, reducing the manufacturing costs and increasing the yield of silicon wafer-based solar cells are critical to the growth of the solar market.
Magma's new product will allow solar fabs to better monitor all metrology, inspection and performance data throughout the manufacturing process. This would enable fab operators to identify and correct root causes of solar-efficiency and yield degradation caused by subtle fab processing fluctuations or instability.
"Semiconductor manufacturing tools such as rapid fault detection, advanced process control and integrated yield management -- which enabled rapid technology introductions and fast yield ramps -- are now critically needed in the solar industry to reduce costs," said Dr. Sudhindra Tatti, president of Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar, a systems integrator in the solar industry that also provides semiconductor manufacturing expertise and consulting to solar manufacturers. "To keep up with the overwhelming demand, innovation in the solar fabrication process must be accelerated, and today no enterprise-wide yield enhancement software exists for solar fabs. Being able to base a much-needed solution on a proven product such as YieldManager is a terrific advantage for Magma."
YieldManager enables fast, accurate analysis and correlation of disparate data from most of the equipment in the manufacturing line. With this information, semiconductor test and production engineers can quickly identify and correct root causes of yield loss -- saving time, maximizing equipment utilization, increasing yield and reducing costs. Proven to efficiently address yield management for complex semiconductor fabrication, a solar-targeting version of YieldManager could effectively address the similar solar cell fabrication process.
Magma is collaborating with several solar fabs and will soon announce installation sites in Asia. Magma is defining the product specifications with Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar, which will also conduct beta testing.
"The demand for low-cost alternative energy far outstrips the supply today," said Ankush Oberai, vice president of the Magma's Failure Analysis Business Unit. "We're pleased to support the explosive growth of this fledgling industry with proven, yield management technology."
About Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar
Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar is working to bring solar energy into the energy infrastructure of semi-rural and urban areas of India. Pegasus applies its extensive expertise and experience in semiconductor manufacturing to bring the "semiconductor approach and mentality" necessary to achieve rapid cost reductions and improved performance of solar cell manufacturing. Adoption of advanced technologies is key the company's strategy. In addition, Pegasus is a pioneer in developing ultra-low-power LED lamps which consume much less energy than conventional light sources.
Magma's software for designing integrated circuits (ICs) is used to create complex, high-performance chips required in cellular telephones, electronic games, WiFi, MP3 players, DVD/digital video, networking, automotive electronics and other electronic applications. Magma's EDA software for IC implementation, analysis, physical verification, circuit simulation and characterization is recognized as embodying the best in semiconductor technology, enabling the world's top chip companies to "Design Ahead of the Curve"(tm) while reducing design time and costs. Magma is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with offices around the world. Magma's stock trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LAVA. Visit Magma Design Automation on the Web at www.magma-da.com.
Magma and YieldManager are registered trademarks and "Design Ahead of the Curve" is a trademark of Magma Design Automation Inc. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements that Magma software will enable solar fabs to increase yield and reduce the manufacturing costs of solar cells and about Pegasus Semiconductor-Solar collaboration with Magma and plans to deploy the modified YieldManager software in its solar fab are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially including, but not limited to Magma's ability to deliver the necessary modifications to YieldManager, its products' abilities to produce desired results and solar fabs' decisions to continue collaborating with Magma and using its software. Further discussion of these and other potential risk factors may be found in Magma's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ( www.sec.gov). Magma undertakes no additional obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Magma Design Automation
Magma Design Automation Inc.
Monica Marmie, Director, Marketing Communications