Astronergy Achieves Dramatic Efficiency Gains in Just Under Two Months With Varian Solion

Co-Development Effort Provides Significant Competitive Advantages

GLOUCESTER, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/28/11 -- After just two months of partnering to improve cell efficiency and to simplify their solar cell manufacturing process, Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. ("Varian") (NASDAQ: VSEA) and Chinese solar cell manufacturer Astronergy have completed development and characterization of a new production process using Varian's Solion ion implant system. This process is now in full production and providing a nearly 1% gain in crystalline silicon solar cell efficiency while simplifying the manufacturing process by reducing process steps.

Dr. Liyou Yang, CEO of Astronergy said; "We have a history of technology firsts in Thin Film cell production. Eclipsing 19% efficiency is a significant milestone to our crystalline product line. Through improving cell manufacturing technology, Astronergy is striving to be one of the leading providers in PV industry." Dr. Jian Ding, COO of Astronergy, added: "This technology enables us to further optimize our process to achieve higher cell efficiencies at lower cost. The Solion ion implant system takes full advantage of the superior performance that has made Varian the market leader in semiconductor manufacturing, to create one of the most capable systems for improving the cell efficiency for crystalline products."

Jim Mullin, Varian Vice President and General Manager of the Solion business unit said; "The Varian ion implant process provides a competitive advantage for our customers through technology differentiation, high efficiency, cost effectiveness, and process simplification. The combined efforts of Astronergy and Varian have yielded a high volume production ready solution in a very short period of time. We look forward to leveraging our world class customer support to ramp this process in high volume production and continuing our partnership with Astronergy to deliver next generation advanced cell designs enabled by ion implantation."

About Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.

Varian is a leading supplier of ion implantation equipment used in the fabrication of semiconductor chips and photovoltaic modules. Varian's products are used by manufacturers worldwide to produce high-performance semiconductor devices and solar panels. Customers have made Varian the market leader in ion implant because of its architecturally superior products that lower their costs and improve their productivity.

Varian provides support, training, and after-market products and services that help its customers to obtain high utilization and productivity, reduce operating costs, and extend capital productivity of customer investments through multiple product generations. Varian has ranked #1 in the VLSI Research Customer Satisfaction Survey 14 times over the last 15 years. Varian operates globally and is headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts. More information can be found on Varian's web site at

About Astronergy

Astronergy, part of The Chint Group, specializes in cutting-edge research, development and production of solar modules. It is the first large scale producer of high-efficiency thin film PV modules in mainland China, and has been a trusted provider of monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV modules since its founding in 2006. Astronergy is committed to technological innovation in our products and our solutions. More information can be found on Astronergy's web site at

Safe Harbor

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For this purpose, statements concerning the adoption and installation of Varian's Solion implant product, the expected technical and commercial advantages offered by the Solion implant product to PV cell manufacturers and any statements using the terms "believes," "anticipates," "will," "expects," "plans" or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: volatility in the semiconductor and solar equipment industries; intense competition in the semiconductor and solar equipment industries; Varian's dependence on a small number of customers; fluctuations in Varian's quarterly operating results; market adoption of Varian's new products, such as the Solion implant product; Varian's exposure to risks of operating internationally; uncertain protection of Varian's patent and other proprietary rights; Varian's reliance on a limited group of suppliers; Varian's ability to manage potential growth, decline and strategic transactions; Varian's reliance on one primary manufacturing facility; and Varian's dependence on certain key personnel. These and other important risk factors that may affect actual results are discussed in detail under the caption "Risk Factors" in Varian's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 1, 2010 and in other reports filed by Varian with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Varian cannot guarantee any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievement. Varian undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

Bob Halliday
Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer
Tom Baker
Vice President, Finance

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