The intersection of the semiconductor and solar industries has yielded yet another investment — this time it’s from Intel’s VC arm Intel Capital, which is investing $12.5 million into Voltaix, a manufacturer of chemicals and gases used in both chip and solar cell fabrication. This is Intel’s fourth cleantech investment recently and its third solar play in the last two months.
Voltaix, headquartered in Branchburg, N.J., was the former ChemOvonic division of Energy Conversion Devices, from which it was spun off in 1986. The company plans to use this funding to build out its business to sell into the growing thin-film solar industry and sees particular potential in the realm of building integrated photovoltaics. However, not all thin-film manufacturing require Voltaix’s chemical products, and startups are working on printing systems that don’t require vacuum chambers or dangerous gases to achieve even and cheap deposition.
Intel 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 Sulfurcell. Outside of solar, Intel invested an undisclosed sum into Grid Net, a smart-grid software developer.