SunPower Opens High-Volume Solar-Cell Factory in Philippines

3/19/2004 - SunPower Corporation, a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp., announced the inauguration of its first high-volume manufacturing plant. SunPower Philippines Manufacturing Limited (SPML), located near Manila, is the first semiconductor fab in the Philippines and the first large-scale solar cell facility in Southeast Asia.

The plant will initially turn out 25-megawatts per year of high-efficiency silicon solar cells to meet the increasing worldwide demand for clean, reliable solar electric power systems. At this production rate, SPML will employ approximately 200 people. The SPML building footprint is designed to allow future capacity expansion to more than 100 MW.

The inauguration ceremony held today will include presentations by the president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Cypress CEO T.J. Rodgers—both of whom provided key support for the development, approval, financing and construction of SPML.

“The benefits of operating in the Philippines are significant,” said SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner. “We value the country’s highly-educated workforce, the proximity to key markets, and their rapidly improving infrastructure; we believe that solar is a particularly appropriate technology in rural areas and developing countries lacking large-scale power grids. The combination of a world-class facility, a cost-effective location, and proven high-volume silicon manufacturing expertise of Cypress will enable SunPower to deliver extremely high-performance solar cells with unique aesthetics at a competitive price."

SunPower, which has produced solar cells for a broad range of high-profile projects—including the NASA Helios solar-powered aircraft, which flew to a record altitude of 96,863 feet—recently sampled its first high-volume product, the A-300. The A-300 is the industry’s most-efficient, lowest-cost silicon cell, which measured at 21.5 percent efficiency—a world record—by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a laboratory used by the Department of Energy to handle research on renewable energy. The A-300 has also been named “Product of the Year” by analogZONE, an online engineering magazine, in the “Green” Technology category.

About SunPower
SunPower—a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY)—designs and manufactures high-performance silicon solar cells based on an interdigitated rear-contact design. SunPower’s latest A-300 solar cell achieves more than 20 percent efficiency, compared with currently available cells in the 12 to 15 percent range. The A-300 cell was developed and manufactured in SunPower’s Round Rock, Texas facility, which began operation in January 2003. The company’s initial products, introduced in 1992, were high-concentration solar cells with an efficiency of 26 percent. SunPower also manufactures a 22 percent efficient solar cell called Pegasus, which is the highest-efficiency non-concentrating silicon solar cell commercially available. An early application for the highly efficient and lightweight Pegasus solar cell was a high-altitude solar-powered aircraft. Pilotless solar-powered airplanes and blimps, which are nearing commercialization, can stay at a set altitude indefinitely and serve as telecommunications platforms over populated areas. SunPower solar cells were used on the NASA-sponsored AeroVironment airplane, “Helios,” that flew to a record altitude of 96,863 feet on August 13, 2001. For more information on SunPower or solar technology, please visit the SunPower website at

About Cypress
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: CY) is Connecting from Last Mile to First MileTM with high-performance solutions for personal, network access, enterprise, metro switch, and core communications-system applications. Cypress ConnectsTM using wireless, wireline, digital and optical transmission standards, including USB, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, Gigabit Ethernet and DWDM. Leveraging its process and system-level expertise, Cypress makes industry-leading physical layer devices, framers, and network search engines, along with a broad portfolio of high-bandwidth memories, timing technology solutions and programmable microcontrollers. More information about Cypress is accessible online at

Cypress and the Cypress logo are registered trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. “Connecting from Last Mile to First Mile,” and “Cypress Connects” are trademarks of Cypress.

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