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RFMD announces PV breakthrough

RF Micro Devices has announced the development of a new PV system using gallium arsenide compound semiconductors.

RF Micro Devoices (RFMD) has announced a breakthrough in the commercialisation of high-performance photovoltaic (PV) cells.

The company reported it has developed the world's first PV unit utilising high-volume six-inch gallium arsenide compound semiconductors.

RFMD stated the development was the culmination of a partnership with the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) which it entered into on July 1st last year.

Alfonso Velosa, research director for semiconductors at Gartner, said: "Within a few years the concentrated PV market may be able to deliver large volumes of renewable electricity, based in part on obtaining large volumes of high-quality - yet low-cost - solar cells, from bankable manufacturers."

NREL is the only federal agency dedicated to the development, commercialisation and deployment of next-generation renewable energy sources throughout the US.

It began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute, but later changed its name after being designated a national laboratory in 1991.

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