SVTC makes solar inroads with new site, exec

Apr. 28, 2008 – SVTC Technologies created through the Dec. 2007 merger of SEMATECH’s R&D foundry subsidiary Advanced Technology Development Facility (ATDF) and Cypress Semiconductor’s Silicon Valley Technology Center, is launching a new initiative in the photovoltaics (PV) arena to compete directly against established PV R&D activities in Europe and Japan.

The formation of SVTC Solar includes >85,000 sq. ft of newly leased space in San Jose, CA (including a 30,000 sq. ft Class 10,000 cleanroom and 20,000 sq. ft for lab space), to house a PV development center as well as partners offering equipment and services including reliability, testing, and certification. Initially, the business will serve about 10 PV companies, with a three-year plan to expand to 25-30 large and small firms working in silicon and GaAs-based PV development.

Dave Bergeron, SVTC’s CEO, said in a statement that SVTC Solar aims to offer a support infrastructure that can “match the explosion in development efforts by new and existing solar manufacturers” and compete with Germany’s Fraunhofer institute and proprietary centers in Japan. He added that SVTC Solar will provide “the same kind of development alternative and business model that SVTC offers the semiconductor industry — where SVTC successfully enables cost-effective commercialization of new technologies.”

Simultaneously, SVTC has hired a solar industry exec: Kurt Laetz, formerly VP of sales/marketing at XsunX, charged with developing and tuning services and capabilities specifically for companies in the solar industry. He has more than a decade of experience in marketing thin-film deposition technologies to semiconductor manufacturers, including a stint as COO of Symetrix, a CMOS/FeRAM technology IP licensing company.

“I believe SVTC Solar will be a crucial catalyst for the solar industry, and I am very excited to be joining this venture at its inception,” stated Laetz. “The photovoltaic community is hungry for the type of development services that SVTC delivers so effectively.”


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