Tokyo Electron & Sharp Form Joint Venture Produce Photovoltaic Cell Production Equipment

February 19, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Tokyo Electron (TEL) announced that, after extensive exploratory research in the field, the company has decided to form a new business around photovoltaic (PV) cell production equipment. TEL has reached an agreement with Sharp Corp., a leading company in PV cell technology to establish a joint venture to commercialize plasma CVD systems for thin-film silicon PV. The agreement applies only to plasma CVD systems for thin-film silicon PV cells, and is not a comprehensive alliance covering FPD production equipment or other business activities.

The joint venture between TEL and Sharp is expected to result in the development of high-productivity plasma CVD systems for use in thin-film silicon PV cell production. The systems will be developed by combining TEL’s learning from vacuum plasma technology for semiconductor and FPD production equipment businesses, with the thin-film silicon PV cell production technology that Sharp has accumulated.

The development of the equipment will be carried out by the joint venture financed by TEL and Sharp. The manufacturing and sales of the equipment will be conducted solely by TEL, with the first shipments planned for 2009.

The joint venture will be called the Tokyo Electron PV Ltd., located in Nirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture, with capital of 50 million yen.