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TSMC beefs up solar, LED businesses

Posted: 18 Feb 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TSMC? solar? LED?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC) is eyeing to set up subsidiaries in the solar and LED spheres in preparation for the release of its solar and LED products.

TSMC has also disclosed that it will infuse additional capital of $5 million into TSMC Solar North America. Its board has also earmarked $2.9 billion in capital appropriations for capacity build-up and fab construction.

"As part of TSMC's strategic planning, the board of directors is also considering the formation of two wholly-owned subsidiaries for solar and LED businesses," said Lora Ho, senior vice president and chief financial officer for TSMC, in a statement.

As reported, TSMC took separate steps into the solar and LED fronts in 2009. TSMC will sell these products under its own brand name�which is a big departure from its foundry strategy.

TSMC has made strategic investments and formed partnerships with thin-film solar vendor Stion Corp. and crystalline silicon PV manufacturer Motech Industries.

Beginning in 2011, TSMC Solar will sell crystalline silicon PV modules in Germany and other key European markets. These modules will be designed and manufactured in Germany for TSMC Solar by Centrosolar Group AG.

"TSMC Solar will serve the global solar market with crystalline silicon PV modules manufactured in its own facilities, with production capacity reaching 1GW in the next three to five years. Construction began on the first production facility on September 16, 2010 in Taichung, Taiwan as the TSMC Solar Thin-Film R&D Center and fab broke ground," according to TSMC.

"TSMC plans to invest $258 million for the first phase of the facility which is scheduled to enter commercial production in Q1 2012 and reach volume production of 200MW per year in thin-film photovoltaic modules by the end of 2012. A second phase is planned for the 5.2 hectare site, which will expand production to over 700MW," according to the firm.

On the LED side, "TSMC will serve its global customers with LEDs produced in its own fab. TSMC's LED fab is located in the Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan. The company has invested $80 million to complete the facility's first phase and moved in the first equipment in September 2010. Commercial production is expected to commence in the second half of 2011," TSMC said.

- Mark LaPedus
??EE Times

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