Amtech Systems has signed a a licensing agreement with South Korean toolmaker PST to market PST’s proprietary phosphorus silicate glass dry etch processing system and to develop and manufacture additional models for use with Amtech’s existing solar photovoltaic manufacturing equipment product lines.
PST’s nonplasma dry-etch system, which removes PSG that occurs during the diffusion step of solar-cell processing, allows for high throughput and reduced cost of ownership. Amtech will use its license for this technology, which will be manufactured by PST, to expand its presence in the growing solar market.
This new product is expected to be launched in the first half of 2009. Amtech says it expects to be one of the first companies to introduce such a unique nonplasma dry etching system.
The exclusive royalty-free, 10-year license agreement extends globally, with the exception of Korea and one Japanese customer, with respect to which PST retains marketing rights. In consideration for the exclusive rights, Amtech will make a one-time license fee payment and enter into a manufacturing agreement with PST, the companies said.
“This most recent licensing agreement further solidifies our partnership with PST and demonstrates our commitment to executing our solar growth strategy,” said J.S. Whang, president/CEO of Tempe, AZ-based Amtech. “The addition of this proprietary PSG etch system marks another important step in expanding our product offerings as a multiproduct supplier to more fully participate in the growing solar market.”
“We continue to actively seek opportunities to increase our technology base and available market opportunity, particularly during these difficult economic times. We have a solid balance sheet that includes a healthy cash position and will continue to prudently manage cash while focusing on further executing our growth strategy of expanding our product offerings to increase our served available markets,” Whang concluded.
Amtech said last month that it had surpassed the $100 million milestone in orders for its solar and semiconductor product lines during fiscal 2008; 70% of that business came from the PV sector.