Reports: TSMC prepping thin-film PV launch

Local reports suggest TSMC is taking steps to “crystallize” (pardon the pun) its solar photovoltaic (PV) plans announced months ago.

October 14, 2009 –  Local reports suggest TSMC is taking steps to “crystallize” (pardon the pun) its solar photovoltaic (PV) plans announced months ago.

TSMC brought former leader Morris Chang back this summer to retake the helm and expand outside the semiconductor world into LEDs and solar energy, creating up to $2B in nonfoundry business by 2018.

Earlier this year the foundry pulled an application for a major 300mm fab on an 18-hectare site in the Central Taiwan Science Park — but now it has revised and refiled the application for a PV project, according to Digitimes, citing unidentified “industry sources.” TSMC had been rumored to be exploring PV inroads (including possible purchases of stakes in two domestic solar firms). The reports also suggest that TSMC would look to set up its own production lines with purchase individual types of equipment, not invest in turnkey production lines. Adding to the speculative fires are reports from Greentech Media and Digitimes that TSMC is recruiting new workers — interestingly, particularly those with CIGS experience — and even seeking VC help to zero in on appropriate companies.

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