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TSMC brings the curtain down on solar biz

Posted: 31 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TSMC? LED? solar? Epistar? CIGS?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSMC) has revealed that it will put an end to its six-year foray into solar and LED manufacturing as diversifying alternatives to IC foundry work. The company said its 100 per cent subsidiary TSMC Solar will terminate manufacturing operations at the end of August this year, indicating that its solar business is no longer practical.

The company said it would honour all product warranties and offer jobs to all the employees working at TSMC Solar in Taiwan. TSMC Solar's wafer fab is at Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung.

Solar panels

TSMC said that despite the world-class conversion efficiency of Tower Solar's copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cells the company's late entry into the market and a lack of economies of scale led to a substantial cost disadvantage. The remaining solar panel inventory will be installed at TSMC buildings and facilities.

"TSMC continues to believe that solar power is an important source of green energy and that solar module manufacturing remains a robust and growing industry, but despite six years of hard work we have not found a way to make a sustainable profit," said Steve Tso, chair of TSMC Solar and SVP of TSMC.

TSMC made its move into LED and solar markets during the depression in 2009 when its main IC foundry business suffered a collapse and the company was looking to diversify its risk.

In January 2015 TSMC announced its decision to sell its LED-making subsidiary TSMC Solid State Lighting, to Epistar Corp. for about $25.8 million.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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