Intel (INTC) and Applied Materials (AMAT) are not the only semiconductor companies moving into solar. National Semiconductor (NSM) is now tackling the problem of reduced productivity caused by partial shading (WSJ):
National Semiconductor Corp. on Monday plans to announce technology that is designed to sharply reduce the impact of partial shading on solar panels, which generate electricity from sunlight….
The technology, dubbed SolarMagic, is being tested by REgrid Power Inc., a company in Campbell, Calif., that installs solar panels. Tom McCalmont, REgrid’s chief executive officer, estimates SolarMagic can recoup as much as 40% of the power that otherwise would be lost to partial shading. “We’ve seen a really dramatic difference,” he said….
SolarMagic product line could eventually grow to account for 25% of National Semiconductor’s sales. “It is the single most important and highest-prioritised initiative in the company today,” he said.