US semiconductor company EpiWorks has demonstrated a six-inch photovoltaic (PV) wafer capability, which is thought to be the first step in creating the infrastructure to produce low-cost solar cells.
The Illinois-based organisation said it represents a "major milestone" in the development of technology designed to address the concentrated PV market.
David Ahmari, executive vice-president of business development at the compound semiconductor manufacturer, noted that it had built a reputation supporting the wireless industry, but had looked to establish itself in the solar cell sector.
"As we have done with our wireless customers, EpiWorks is excited to push the industry technology roadmap, while establishing this critical part of the PV wafer production supply chain," he said.
Its semiconductors are also applied to high-speed communication systems and optical components along with mobile phones.
However, the firm describes itself as more than a manufacturer as it also offers device design and expertise with epitaxy.