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SunPower Corp. Solar Cell Achieves World Record Efficiency | Cypress Semiconductor

SunPower Corp. Solar Cell Achieves World Record Efficiency

Last Updated: December 05, 2011

SunPower Corp. Solar Cell Achieves World Record Efficiency

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Verifies 21.5 Percent Efficiency for A-300 Silicon Solar Cell
Cypress Corpcom

Sunnyvale, Calif., February 27, 2004 - SunPower Corp., a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp., today announced that its A-300 silicon solar cell had been measured at 21.5 percent efficiency by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. This efficiency result is a world record for large-area (five-inch) silicon solar cells.

SunPower's A-300 solar cell was manufactured in the company's Round Rock, Texas pilot line.   SunPower's revolutionary A-300 solar cells offer a significant efficiency improvement over currently available cells in the 12 to 15 percent range. Higher-efficiency solar cells provide solar power systems with more power-per-unit area and can provide users with significant cost savings. A-300 solar cells utilize a unique back-side contact design that maximizes working cell area, hides unsightly connection wires and enables high-speed automated module production.

"SunPower's advancements in developing highly-efficient solar cells and modules are commendable," said Richard King, team leader for Photovoltaic R&D at the Department of Energy. "The achievement of a 21.5 percent efficient solar cell demonstrates that SunPower's unique back-side contact technology can be utilized to manufacture cost-effective products that improve the versatility of solar-electric power systems."

"This efficiency world record constitutes an important milestone for SunPower and confirms the significant performance advantage of our product," said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO. "This achievement demonstrates that SunPower's leading-edge technology can be successfully implemented in a high-volume production process. The A-300 product allows us to offer our customers a combination of exceptional performance and competitive cost." 

The 125-mm, single-crystal A-300 cell generates three watts of electricity, providing the most efficient cost-per-watt solution in the photovoltaic (PV) industry. These cells can deliver more kilowatts per square meter, making these cells ideal for rooftop systems, communications, building-integrated PV systems and consumer applications.

About A-300

Unlike conventional solar cells, SunPower's A-300 incorporates all electrical contacts on the back surface. This architecture allows for significantly higher conversion efficiency of light to electricity, and also eliminates unsightly reflective front-side contacts. With rated efficiency greater than 20 percent, the A-300 can deliver up to 50 percent more energy from a given roof area than traditional solar products.


The A-300 will be available in production quantities in the second half of 2004 from SunPower's new manufacturing facility in the Philippines.


A high-resolution of the A-300 cell can be downloaded at: .

About SunPower

SunPower is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp." For more information on SunPower or solar technology, please visit the SunPower website at

About Cypress

Cypress Semiconductor Corp." (NYSE: CY) is Connecting From Last Mile to First Mile(TM) with high-performance solutions for personal, network access, enterprise, metro switch and core communications-system applications. Cypress Connects(TM) using wireless, wireline, digital and optical transmission standards, including USB, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, Gigabit Ethernet and DWDM. Leveraging its process and system-level expertise, Cypress makes industry-leading physical layer devices, framers and network search engines, along with a broad portfolio of high-bandwidth memories, timing technology solutions and reconfigurable mixed-signal arrays. More information about Cypress is accessible online at

Cypress is a registered trademark of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation." "Connecting from Last Mile to First Mile" and "Cypress Connects" are trademarks of Cypress. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.