Feb 18, 2008

TEL Enters the Photovoltaic Cell Production Equipment Business


TOKYO- February 18, 2008-- Tokyo Electron (TEL) today announced that the company has entered the photovoltaic cell production business.



Photovoltaic (PV) cells have been the subject of much attention recently, as they offer a solution to the various environmental and energy-related issues confronting the world today. After extensive exploratory research in the field, TEL has decided to form a new business around PV cell production equipment.



Thin-film silicon PV cells, which contain a thin layer of silicon deposited on a glass substrate, are a type of solar cell that has attracted a lot of interest in recent years. TEL has reached an agreement with Sharp Corporation, 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 TELs 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.



Details of the joint venture are as follows:



Company name: Tokyo Electron PV Limited

Location: Nirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture

Capital: 50 million yen

Ownership ratios: TEL: 51%; Sharp: 49%

Date of establishment: February 6, 2008