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As the market for solar continues to grow, the tech giants are starting to wade in. After IBM said today that it will work on thin-film solar technology, Intel said that it has spun out and funded a solar startup called SpectraWatt. Both announcements come just […]

As the market for solar continues to grow, the tech giants are starting to wade in. After IBM said today that it will work on thin-film solar technology, Intel said that it has spun out and funded a solar startup called SpectraWatt. Both announcements come just weeks after solar startup Xtreme Energetics said it would license technology from HP to make clear transistors for more efficient solar panels.

SpecraWatt will make photovoltaic solar cells, focusing on reducing the cost of manufacturing, and will also work on “advanced solar cell technology” (that could mean a lot of things; we’re waiting for clarification). Intel’s investing arm, Intel Capital, is also leading a $50 million investment into the startup. Other investors in the round, which will close later this year, include Goldman Sach’s subsidiary Cogentrix Energy, the PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund, and German solar maker Solon.

This isn’t Intel Capital’s first cleantech investment; earlier this month the fund said it was investing in WiMax-based smart-grid software developer Grid Net. The high-profile backer also seems to like aggressive timelines: SpectraWatt says it hopes to “break ground” on a manufacturing facility in Oregon in the second half of this year, with plans to ship product by the middle of next year. The company has likely been lining up its production plans while working within Intel.

The newly spun-out startup is moving fast to get a piece of the rapidly growing solar market. Installations of photovoltaic solar systems increased by 2,826 MW in 2007 globally, according to Solar Buzz. And as that market grows, more the companies with experience in chips and IT are looking to get a piece of the action.

Chip equipment manufacturing company Applied Materials has has spent billion over the past year buying up solar equipment makers. Some analysts think the company’s solar revenue could reach $1.2 billion in 2009.

  1. [...] Earth2Tech: Tech gaints are going solar. Intel spins out (and funds) SpectraWatt. [...]

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  2. [...] 19th, 2008 at 6:30 pm in Misc Intel’s SpectraWatt Gets Silicon from PV Crystalox Solar: We already told you chipmaker Intel spun out solar startup Spectrawatt. Now the spin-off has sourced its silicon for [...]

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  3. [...] Katie Fehrenbacher No Comments Posted July 9th, 2008 at 9:48 am in Startups On the heels of Intel’s announcement that it had spun out and funded a solar startup doing “advanced solar cell technology” called [...]

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  4. [...] Capital has been increasingly investing in both cleantech and solar. The firm spun out SpectraWatt and led a $50 million round for the solar startup. Then earlier this month, Intel put some $37.5 million into German thin-film solar module maker [...]

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  5. [...] Capital has been increasingly investing in both cleantech and solar. The firm spun out SpectraWatt and led a $50 million round for the solar startup. Then earlier this month, Intel put some $37.5 million into German thin-film solar module maker [...]

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  6. [...] venture-funded startups like Nanosolar in the market? Intel just threw its hat into the ring by spinning off SpectaWatt with $50 million in venture funding, as well as investing $37.5 million in German thin-film player Sulfurcell. But [...]

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  7. [...] new developments, including the SolarWorld and Sanyo facilities, as well as the Solaicx, XsunX and Spectrawatt [...]

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  8. [...] in Intel’s growing portfolio. Intel has already invested in three solar startups this year – SpectraWatt, an Intel spin off, German thin film maker SulfurCell and Voltaix, manufacturer of chemicals for chip and solar [...]

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  9. [...] Intel’s growing portfolio. Intel has already invested in three solar startups this year — SpectraWatt, an Intel spin off, German thin-film maker SulfurCell and Voltaix, a manufacturer of chemicals for chip and solar [...]

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  10. [...] Intel’s growing portfolio. Intel has already invested in three solar startups this year — SpectraWatt, an Intel spin off, German thin-film maker SulfurCell and Voltaix, a manufacturer of chemicals for chip and solar [...]

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