SEMI-MEMS & Sensors Industry Group

The Bankability of PV Tech: The New Key to Success

A decidedly non-technical term was in vogue this week at the very technical 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EUPVSEC). The term “bankability” was often used to describe the likelihood of success of a given technology. In these days of scarce capital, the only projects that will be funded are those that banks and insurers have deemed to be fund-worthy (outside of China anyway). “Banks demand extensive performance and reliability…

3 Facts from EUPVSEC

The one and only driving factor in the photovoltaics industry is cost per Watt. This is primarily a function of efficiency – how much of the sun’s power is converted to electricity — and the cost of manufacturing and installation. The ultimate goal of course is to achieve grid parity, where the cost of producing power with PV is the same or better than that achieved by traditional means (coal,…

10 million solar roofs in U.S. bill passes

The Ten Million Solar Roofs Act of 2010 (S. 3460) was was passed by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 13 to 10 on July 21, 2010. It was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a member of the Senate energy and environment committees and chairman of the green jobs subcommittee. The bill sets a goal, to be met through this and other incentive and R&D programs,…

Where Have All the New Apps Gone?

Increasingly, we are hearing about consolidation in the semiconductor industry. Bill McClean of IC Insights has perhaps pointed this out most clearly, noting that the top 10 capacity leaders held about 60% of the total 2009 worldwide IC capacity, and the top 15% held a 71% share. Looking at only 300mm capacity, the consolidation is even more obvious: the top 10 leaders held an imposing 84% share with the top…

Moore’s Law: Will Lack of R&D Funding Kill It?

In the January issue of Solid State Technology, I wrote about life after the "reset" button and how the lack of R&D funding could well bring an end to Moore’s Law. That very issue was one of the key "take aways" from last week’s ISS. What I heard from a variety of speakers is this: A massive restructuring is underway that will leave only a handful of companies producing devices…

Acro Energy Prez Defines PV User Demands

Acro Energy Technologies Corp., a leading U.S. solar integrator, announced yesterday that it has signed a Stock Purchase Agreement with Energy Efficiency Solar, Inc., a California corporation headquartered in Pomona, Calif. ("EE Solar") and BillKorthof, the sole shareholder of EE Solar. EE Solar is a full-service solar energy company that has been installing residential and commercial solar systems in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties since 1989. EE Solar…

A Reality Check with Intel

The 55th International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) will be held next month, from December 7-9, at the Hilton Baltimore. One of the highlights of the year for us tech editors is when we receive the set of abstracts from the conference organizers, provided in advance so we can write our previews and plan our week at the conference. The conference is well known as the place where all the major…

Getting Fired up About Solar at EUPVSEC

The EUPVSEC (European photovoltaic solar energy conference and exhibition) was well attended, with 4000 registrants from 73 countries. More than 39% were from Germany and only 11% from the U.S. 943 exhibitors represented 34 countries, 49% from Germany, 10% from China and 9% from the U.S. By my rough estimate, about 1/3 of the exhibitors were pv cell/module suppliers, predominantly crystalline silicon, the rest thin film solar. The other 2/3ds…

Welcome to ElectroIQ!

Here you will find easy access to five different PennWell brands that address Electronics and Electronics Manufacturing: Solid State Technology, Photovoltaics World, Small Times, Advanced Packaging and SMT. Each brand corresponds to one of our topic centers: semiconductors, photovoltaics, nanotech MEMS, and surface mount technology. Navigate through our topic and subtopic centers to find the latest news and tech features, or use the search function to access all of our…

The Lean Manager: A Novel

I just started reading a new book titled "The Lean Manager, A Novel of Lean Transformation," and I’m already hooked. The authors, Michael and Freddy Balle, have taken what some would consider a pretty dry topic — the Toyota Production System — and brought it to life through a character by the name of Jenkinson, a new CEO at a fictional manufacturing plant. A quick excerpt: "Jenkinson stopped in front…

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