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Intel exec bullish on semi startups

3/1/2010 09:00 PM EST
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re: Intel exec bullish on semi startups
Marketing Guru   3/2/2010 10:44:06 PM
I think the â??Invest in Americaâ?? strategy is long overdue and badly needed. Throughout my career, Iâ??ve watched technology and jobs migrate across the pond. The vast majority of it can never come back, regardless of how much money Intel et al are willing to invest. Don Mcleod, National Semiâ??s new CEO said recently that their company fabs are running at 50-60% capacity and he has no plans to trim it further, although their Arlington, TX fab will close this quarter. (What a shame!)â?¦but congrates on putting the brakes on, Don. We can sit back and blame politicians for not making their â??Invest in Americaâ?? contribution because they didnâ??t mimic offshore tax incentivesâ?¦or we can accept the hand we are dealt and turn lemons into lemonade. These fabs are gold mines to American ingenuity. Letâ??s mine the gold. Take the solar industry for example. All these global incentives to install alternative energy solutions are funneling dollars and Euros offshore to the silicon and thin-film solar companies Thatâ??s where the jobs are being created... in technology and manufacturing. Letâ??s turn it around. There are dozens of new companies here in the US (including one Iâ??m starting) with ideas for creating high efficiency solar cells and panels and everyone thinks theyâ??ll need to go offshore to produce them. Not true. Many of us are working on solutions approaching and exceeding 30% efficiency. Do the math. You and double the manufacturing cost, match the current low-ball wafer price from JA Solar (China) of $1.25/W and post a 50% GPM. US companies with idle fab capacity should open their doors to the American entrepreneurs and partner with them in this area, one of the few where quantum leaps in innovation are sitting right at their doorstep. Bob Frostholm

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