TSMC spins off green solar and LED lighting outfits

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co has announced that it will go green with the spin off of two subsidiary businesses to move into the solar and LED lighting markets.

The firm’s board of directors gave the nod for the firm to go ahead with its independent businesses at a meeting yesterday, with the new ventures likely to split from the main body of the company after August 1.

The reason given for the two ventures operating as subsidiary entities is to motivate a sense of entrepreneurship, and to “strengthen overall competitiveness and operational efficiency” according to a statement made by TSMC.

The Taiwanese firm has made some headway in both markets in the past, with investment in the solar industry with partnerships with module maker Motech Industries, as well as CENTROSOLAR in the polycrystalline silicon business. It’s also beginning construction of a copper indium gallium selenide based solar cell factory.

In the LED lighting field, TSMC has begun pilot production in a wafer fab situated in the Hsinchu Science Park, with the TSCM-held VisEra Technologies offering packaging and test service to the LED fab.

The newly christened TSMC Solar will have initial paid-in capital of $416 million, with capital for TSMC Solid State Lighting at $93.

The aim of the moves is to supplement the firm’s chip income with a slice of the solar capacity demand increase, which is expected to climb annually to 2015, though the new spin offs will have to be okayed by shareholders when they get a chance to vote on June 6.