Applied Ventures Invests in BT Imaging

Yesterday it was announced that Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, made an investment in BT Imaging, the world’s leading supplier of luminescence-based inspection and quality control systems for the photovoltaic manufacturing industry. The investment was part of its Series A2 financing round totaling US$ 3.8 million. This round of financing included existing investors and Applied Ventures, as a new investor. Applied Ventures is taking an equity stake in BT Imaging. The investment will enable BT Imaging to accelerate product development, launch global expansion plans and strengthen and defend its portfolio.

Launched in 2008, BT Imaging serves the photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing industry with a suite of inspection tools based on proprietary photoluminescence imaging technology. The company’s goal is to enable the photovoltaic industry to grow and meet grid parity goals by implementing the process and quality control needed to increase yield and efficiency. Within the last year, luminescence imaging has evolved into a very important quality control technique used at various stages of photovoltaic processing.

BT Imaging’s LIS-R1 lab tool has been adopted worldwide. This tool has highlighted the need for fast production tools to qualify the electrical quality of blocks, wafer and cells, and even individual process steps used to manufacture cells. BT Imaging is now launching these inline high throughput tools to enable the industry to increase efficiency and yield.

As the solar industry continues to expand, we see an increasing need to address quality control applications to achieve higher production yields and optimized efficiency. Our investment in BT Imaging aligns well with Applied Ventures' strategy of fostering innovative technology to help drive down the cost per watt of solar power.

Applied Ventures invests in companies that provide a window to technologies that will push the semiconductor, display, solar PV, and related industries beyond the cutting edge. We put our experience, engineering talent, and broad asset base to work assisting young companies in formulating marketable ideas from concept to commercialization. Mutual value is created as Applied supports portfolio companies through strategic insights into the most promising market segments for disruptive technologies.

Read the press release for more information about this announcement.

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