Applied Materials may in fact be looking to produce an HPVE and MOCVD combined system. The company has produced HPVE systems for some time. However in the company's first government contract, in late January Applied was awarded $3.9 million from the DOE through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to reduce the costs of LED manufacturing by improving manufacturing equipment and processes. A portion of this money, some estimate $2.4 million, will go towards producing a more cost effective MOCVD system for producing LEDs.
C.J. Muse, an analyst with Barclays Capital, in a report and an EETimes article stated, "We believe, based on research on DOE’s LED related projects that AMAT may have gotten $2.4 million from the taxpayer in connection with development of an MOCVD solution over the next eight quarters through end of 2011, though we think that the final manufacturing is likely to be done in Singapore/ Taiwan.'' Muse added, ''On a larger scale, our checks suggest that Applied is working on a multichamber epi tool on the Centura platform, with one HVPE chamber and two MOCVD chambers, and with in-situ cleaning to speed up the cycle time,'' Muse said, ''It likely will use lamp heating for better temperature control for defining sharp interfaces and will be targeting a 2X improvement in uniformity, 50 percent reduction in cycle time, and a 50 percent improvement in quantum efficiency. The takeaway here is that the tool and the approach is still far from proven--but we will likely start to hear more on this front with the market focused on whether or not TSMC will actually place orders for the tool in the next 3-6 month timeframe,''