Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) is China’s biggest contract chip maker, and may soon also be their biggest producer of polysilicon. Currently, talks are going on about getting the technology for polysilicon production, and with China’s reputation for bulk manufacturing cheap stuff, it could mean that less expensive solar panels are in the near future – hopefully without the environmental degradation that seems to follow in the wake of mass manufacturing in China.
This activity is a big step. More than just contracting with China to be the home-base of American production of polysilicon, this is a rapidly growing country taking up a new technology and doing its own planning and production. And competition is already in the air. Several Chinese companies, like Suntech Power, are making solar power equipment are starting to get into production of key materials so they can be in a better position on the solar supply chain.
SMIC is in talks with a so-far-unnamed German company to obtain the necessary technology. All this is still up in the air, and pretty hush-hush, but we can still hear the murmuring through the walls.
Via GoodCleanTech; Photo via Clearly Ambiguous