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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Photovoltaics at SEMICON West 2007

Photovoltaics outshine the semi biz

Although SEMICON West 2007 wound down on July 20, 2007, I am just getting to pointing out presentations and providing multimedia about the programs, events, and exhibition. Here is the official SEMICON West 2007 Post-Show Report.

When I was looking for presentations from the keynotes and TechXPOTs from SEMICON West to be placed online based on a tip from an organizer, I stumbled upon this post Nano, MEMS and Energy Presentations Available on! on the lublog.

Instead of linking to the abstracts, the titles now link to the presentations. There is great information ranging from SunPower Public Relations type hype to thin film manufacturing equipment and solar grade silicon. This is the next best thing to attending SEMICON West 2007 and seeing all the presentations. I noticed official videos recorded at each session, but I have not seen any of these surface yet.

How Silicon Valley is Helping to Solve the Energy Dependence Problem
T.J. Rodgers, Chairman, SunPower Corporation

Solar Energy: The Next Great Growth Opportunity for the Semiconductor Industry
Rhone Resch, President, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

TechXPOT - Emerging Technologies - Nanoelectronic and Nanoenergy Applications:
Advances in Flexible Thin-Film Solar Cells
David Pearce, President and CEO, Miasolé

TechXPOT - Emerging Technologies - Renewable Energy: Solar and Fuel Cells:
Issues of Going to Gigawatt-scale Solar Manufacturing
Charlie Gay, VP and general manager, Solar Business Group, Applied Materials

Thin Film Silicon- Key to Photovoltaics
Hans Brändle, Head of Oerlikon Balzers Coating, executive VP Oerlikon

I apologize for not giving Oerlikon equal time. I misjudged my video recording capacity, and I was struggling to free space for photos throughout the TechXPOT. Dr. Brändle was very gracious and acknowledged Charlie Gay’s opening presentation. Even though Oerlikon sponsored this TechXPOT, the moderator made a mistake in allowing too many questions for Applied Materials to the detriment of Oerlikon and the following presenters.

Alternative Silicon Materials for Solar
Gaetan Borgers, Director Dow Corning Solar Solutions

Manufacturing High Efficiency Solar Cells
Nasreen Chopra, Director of Equipment R&D, SunPower Corporation

I am starting to see a pattern in SunPower presentations. Over half of this time slot was another SunPower hype flashback. No Public Relations minders were there to prevent Dr. Chopra from making a political correctness faux pas concerning the professionalism and quality of small specialty solar equipment manufacturers located in remote European alpine locations. Dr. Chopra, have you heard about globalization? You do realize your cells and modules are manufactured in a remote location in the Philippines and might travel down congested and infrastructure challenged highways to Manila for shipment all over the world?

Of course, you can expect further commentary on the various presentations and the exhibition to follow. I am under pressure to post or perish today.

If you haven’t seen them, I suggest checking out these posts over at the Cleantech Blog by Neal Dikeman:
When it Comes to Solar - Lest We Forget
Rising Solar Prices - Where is the Shakeout?
Is IBM Going Solar?

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