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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Solar Energy

Intel Starts a Solar PV Cell Company in Oregon

Intel brings brains to solar cell chip manufacturing with a startup investment in SpectraWatt, based in Oregon.

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Intel Launches SpectraWatt to Manufacture Photovoltaic Solar Chips

Intel, Santa Clara, CA -- this California chip maker is starting a solar company to manufacture and supply photovoltaic cells for makers of solar modules. Intel's global investment arm, Intel Capital, is leading a $50 million investment round in the start-up, called SpectraWatt, which will be based in Hillsboro, Oregon. The project is scheduled to break ground in the second half of 2008, with shipments to begin by mid-2009.

The company will focus on improving solar cell efficiency--how well a panel converts light to electricity--as well as cutting the overall cost per watt. The company is still in the process of seeking intellectual property protections.

Andrew Wilson, the former general manager in the Intel New Business Initiatives group, will be SpectraWatt's CEO.

Intel is also investing in energy-efficiency processors and data center gear. And Intel Capital has invested in a smart-grid company Grid Net, which is using WiMax wireless networks to broker communications between electricity utilities and customers.

Intel's move into solar is a growing trend in computer technology companies, given the eletronics and semiconductor industry's intimate knowledge and resources in silicon design and production -- matched with the rapid growth of solar energy.

SOURCE: CNET and Yahoo News

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