Tokyo Electron enters thin film PV equipment market



Electron (TEL) has established a new business, Tokyo Electron PV
Limited, with Sharp Corporation to develop and commercialize high
throughput plasma CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) systems for the thin
film silicon photovoltaics market based on TEL’s experience in the
large flat panel display industry.

According to TEL, it had undertaken a detailed field review of the PV industry before deciding to enter the market. The manufacturing and sales of the equipment will be conducted solely by TEL, with the first shipments planned for 2009.

The move was not unexpected after the entry by rival Applied Materials into the PV market via both acquisitions and development of in-house technology leveraging its FPD experience, specifically for thin film PV applications.

TEL will own 51 percent of the new enterprise while Sharp will have a 49 percent stake. Both companies will share the RD&E of the plasma CVD systems.

The companies did not say whether other tools would be developed for thin film applications or whether tools would be developed for silicon cell-based applications.

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