Taiwan-based equipment and automation firm, Mirle Automation has received multiple orders from TSMC worth a combined US$20 million for a batch of machinery equipment. Further details of the purchase were not disclosed.
However, the primary machinery equipment that Mirle Automation makes - that would be in-line with TSMC’s manufacturing operations - isn’t related to its semiconductor operations but rather it’s recently announced foray into thin-film photovoltaics manufacturing
Mirle Automation makes a range of thin-film equipment such as AZO conductive glass vacuum sputtering equipment and laser marking systems through to complete turnkey thin film manufacturing lines.
TSMC had previously announced plans to enter the thin-film market in collaboration with CIGSS thin film start-up Stion. The semiconductor foundry said last September that it would invest approximately US$258 million to build both an R&D and manufacturing facility, with the first-phase equipment move-in, planned for the second quarter of 2011.
Documents filed by TSMC to the Taiwan Stock Exchange do not reveal the nature of the capital equipment purchase.