Applied Materials have announced plans to restructure their Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) segment which will include the loss of between 400- 500 jobs within the company World-wide and costs up to $425 million.
The plan is to put more emphasis on crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar and advanced energy, including light emitting diode (LED) technology to make EES more profitable by next year.
As part of the restructuring, Applied will discontinue sales to new customers of its SunFab fully-integrated lines for manufacturing thin film solar panels and will offer individual tools for sale to thin film solar manufacturers.
R&D will maintain their efforts to improve thin film panel efficiency and high-productivity deposition. The company will continue to support existing SunFab customers with services, upgrades and capacity increases. Applied's solar R&D center in Xi'an, China will concentrate on advancing its c-Si solar and other technologies.
"While Applied has delivered significant innovations with our SunFab production line and made substantial progress on our technology roadmap, the thin film market has been negatively impacted by several factors, including delays in utility-scale solar adoption, solar panel manufacturers' challenges in obtaining affordable capital, changes and uncertainty in government renewable energy policies, and competitive pressure from crystalline silicon technologies," said Mike Splinter, chairman and CEO of Applied Materials.
The company also plans to divest its low-emissivity architectural glass coating products, while continuing development activities in emerging technologies such as "smart" electrochromic glass.
A number of affected employees may transfer to other groups or functions within the company.
For more attend: Printed Electronics and Photovoltaics USA 2010.
Reference: Applied Materials