A collaborative development programne (CDP) between First Solar and Intermolecular that was established in 2012 to target higher efficiency CdTe thin-film modules has been amended.
According to an SEC filing from Intermolecular on 30 December 2013, the company would reduce the number of full-time employees or contractors it provided to First Solar as part of its High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) development platform activities.
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As a result, Intermolecular would receive reduced fees in 2014, while the royalties owed by First Solar that related to any Intermolecular IP used in production modules would become “volume-based”.
The amended CDP will be effective to 30 November 2014 and would potentially lower First Solar’s upfront costs in the CDP and points to Intermolecular having to provide production worthy-improvements to earn ongoing revenue from the deal.
Over the last two years, First Solar has increased R&D efforts to boost conversion efficiencies and speed up the migration of performance enhancements from the lab to the fab.