had to happen sooner rather than later for Applied Materials! What I
mean is that they would inevitably win a contract in the solar power
space to build a turnkey production line, front-to-back equipment and
processes as well as automated factory software.
AMAT executives have touted for a year that the synergies between
solar production and AMAT’s equipment and services portfolio in the
chip biz were too good to miss out on. Although AMAT had to acquire
Applied Films to fill in the technology gaps, what was expected to
happen has now happened with the announcement that AMAT is to supply
the world’s first ‘Generation (Gen) 8.5 Thin Film Solar Module
Production Line’ to Moser Baer in India. Ultimately, the new factory is
expected to produce 200 megawatts by 2009.
The deal puts AMAT on
the map as far as the solar industry is concerned, and with the company
offering Flat Panel as well as thin film solar technology and processes
it will be interesting to see in which area AMAT gains market traction.
Of course it could well be both, but it could be an interesting
With the tremendous growth of solar energy
projected to continue for many years to come, I am a little surprised
that other equipment companies have not put more than their toes in the
solar water. Perhaps the news from AMAT will push a few more to get