Wed, 19 Oct 2011|
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Hi I'm Deborah fogler senior technical editor affordable -- its world magazine reporting from solar power international 2011. In Dallas Texas my guest is Steve we -- -- He is with CSMC solar North America. Welcome to the show. Thank you Deborah explosion bigger all right now this I guess you could call SPI kind of -- debut if you will -- TS and CEO solar North America. You recently announced at this showing actually completion of phase one equipment moving I'm moving for your new stamp could you tell -- -- Viewers a little bit about the fan as well as get into I think what's really fascinating the fab automation aspects. My pleasure and as you said this is our North America product launch. Media we have our six factory up and running our for solar fab came on line about a month ago. We've moved all the tooling in and we are currently fine tuning that and getting ready to produce product. Which will be shipped in the first quarter of next year -- 2012. One of the things that I think was most fascinating is is how we took our automation. Expertise from -- 25 years of semiconductor manufacturing and leveraging that into the solar. Business -- factory is very automated in his state of the art facility and again we we are anxiously looking forward to entering the North American market. It's -- -- technology is a proprietary six technology. How is that -- does it compare with Kenyan. Telluride for example and because implicit in that question is how is it going to compete with can't tell. Great question. Did is we we TS MC is world's largest semiconductor foundry. And we -- the solar space about two years ago raising a new business which we thought we had some sound experience and some ability to be successful. And one of the things we we were benefited by and coming late was was we are able to look at different technologies and between crystal silicon amorphous silicon can't tell -- what what was really the best technology if you Weller went in our opinion. And and we chose six spurt for a couple of reasons. It's -- inherent material science properties that we really like. It's got the ability we -- -- to manufacture. Fairly low cost competitive with the other thin film products including Chad tell. And and more importantly we think it's got the opportunity to get the efficiencies up very close to crystal silicon. So in in a nutshell were able to get high efficiency. Out of product that we think we can manufacture it fairly competitive low cost so. We we think six is is indeed a technology that that has a place in the future. And can compete effectively against crystal silicon as well as can't tell. I want to turn attention again today comparing the semiconductor manufacturing. And business if you will with solar. The solar industry. Those are very different cost challenges and -- TS MC. Is a leading edge IC manufacturer. And you're looking at today's developing 22 nanometer node technology. Going into do you view lithography at the sixty nanometer node at least everyone hopes -- does the sixty nanometer -- And -- and in transit -- to 450 millimeter wafers. Those are huge cost challenges. Why would you -- -- to solar now. All requested that especially in light of the last few months you're there you go -- I'm sure others have asked that same question. I think in in a nutshell again we we started looking couple years ago our chairman and founder and board really the senior management level said. He wanted to to really look at other opportunities -- industries it to see if CSMC. Had some ability and some other businesses we should you. And and quite candidly -- the results of that study its its solar. And -- -- which you industries that we felt a lot of our history and culture manufacturing prowess technology capability. Really had some synergy and we can leverage and success. So so we we added that the solar market in that city a couple of years ago and and really looking at how do we leverage that. -- that for competence. And I think as you point out semiconductor manufacturing is much more complex. Challenge I think what what we were victorious -- exit and PV manufacturing as is typical. It's not as easy as a lot of people like that it's not as complex as the -- business but -- nonetheless has its own difficulties it. Again we're we're learning. We have R&D line in additional production facility were at our facility were actually doing our -- The same time we're doing a production and back so again it's. You know wanna be humble -- and realize that there there are a lot of things we need to we need to learn and we need to execute on that. And we think we've got the basis to to certainly leverage that it gets started successfully. I wanna say and it is indeed a difficult job. Were ready for it. All right well now this may be departing interviewer and pushing my luck a little bit but. -- buzz has been reporting on capacity expansions. That don't match industry's demand. All right well how -- this reality going to jibe with TS NC Solarz planes. We we certainly looked at that I think certainly the last six months of -- opening for everybody in the -- business. -- I've personally been in the TV business about fifteen years myself and and we we seem to go through these these cycles of supply constraints demand. Constraints and certainly we we have a condition now worldwide where there is a bit of oversupply. Nobody would dispute that. I think what what we're doing is again where we're in the process of ramping up our capacity. And Andy where were taken very prudent and cautious. Conservative approach to building that capacity. I think certainly the last few months have they have made everybody go back and and sort of you know reflect on that and I will say we're not expanding any faster than we were planning on him and we're in this for the long -- It's it's long term business for us -- and certainly over the next three -- five years. I think all of us would agree we'd we'd like to see a dampening of those those boom and bust cycles. But I think -- were gonna take a conservative approach and and build the capacity as indeed we've we've planned out in our five year plan and and be prepared to increase that over the next few years says as hopefully the demand globally and continues to improve as we've seen in the last few years. My pleasure thank you never right.