Sino-American buying TI epi spinoff, eyes EU PV inroads

December 21, 2007 – Sino-American Silicon Products, a Taiwanese maker of medium-and small-diameter silicon wafers (and second only to Green Energy Technology in terms of domestic wafer capacity), has agreed to buy TI spinoff GlobiTech for $45 million, to extend and upgrade its technology capabilities.

The deal allows SAS to extend its process capabilities from ingot growing, slicing, grinding, polishing into epitaxial deposition, according to the company, and upgrade to 150mm polished wafer and 200mm barrier layer EPI wafer production. Globitech also opens direct access to IDM customers including TI and X-Fab (200mm barrier layer epi), and On Semi, IRC, Vishay, FSC, Rohm, X-Fab, and others (150mm epi wafers). “The customers are our most wanted objective,” noted Sino-American Silicon spokesman, Andrew Lu, quoted by the Associated Press. He added that the company will invest around $215-$246M to build a second wafer plant by the end of next year, with planned eventual capacity of 400MW, more than tripling current levels.

Globitech, formed in 2000 from members of TI’s Epi division, actually expects sales to be down about 6% this year to $34M, offers an experienced team — the firm was with previous backgrounds at TI and MEMC; top management also has experience at TSMC and TI’s Singapore plant.

The technology upgrade comes as Sino-American basks in a recent order from the German branch of Canadian solar energy firm Arise Technologies, seen as opening doors to Europe’s $3B/year solar market and potential customers in Q-Cell and Solarworld, notes the Taiwan Economic News. Wafer shipments to Arise’s German branch starting next year will be enough to make 14MW of solar cells, probably totaling ~$31M in orders. Sino-American currently has key accounts with Sharp, Sony, Motech, E-Ton, and Suntech. Profits this year are projected at ~$55.7M, notes the paper.


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