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Intel invests $12.5M in solar materials provider

Posted: 31 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar material? solar cell? photovoltaic cell?

Intel Capital has invested $12.5 million in Voltaix, a provider of materials that enhance the performance of semiconductor chips and solar cells. The investment will help accelerate Voltaix's manufacturing capacity expansion.

Voltaix manufactures electronic chemicals and gases used in 'front-end' semiconductor manufacturing processes at leading IC fabs worldwide. The company is also supplier of chemical vapor deposition precursors for production of advanced photovoltaic cells.

"We have provided critical materials for semiconductor and thin film solar applications for more than twenty-five years," said John de Neufville, president of Voltaix and an early contributor to amorphous materials research. "We believe that thin film solar cell production, particularly products that can support building integrated photovoltaics, is poised for significant expansion. This financing will help enable us to construct a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to meet growing demand for thin film energy technologies."

"Materials innovation is critical to enabling new capabilities in semiconductor device manufacturing," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive VP. "Our financing of Voltaix is part of Intel Capital's manufacturing strategy to foster innovation around IC manufacturing and complementary cleantech areas such as thin film photovoltaics."

According to Deutsche Bank estimates, production of thin film photovoltaics (using amorphous silicon, CdTe and CIGS technologies) will increase more than four-fold between 2007 and 2010. Yole Development estimates that the market segment for thin film photovoltaics will reach $6.7 billion by 2015.

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