Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) broke ground on its first Thin Film Solar R&D Center and Fab in Taichung’s Central Taiwan Science Park.

The centre marks TSMC’s entry into the thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) market.

TSMC president of New Businesses Rick Tsai said the research at the centre will help the firm achieve its goal of offering a thin-film solution and the production at this fab will pave the way for it to become a provider of solar PV modules.

TSMC will invest $258m for the first phase of the Thin Film Solar R&D Center and Fab, with the facility receiving equipment in second quarter of 2011.

The centre will achieve initial volume production of 200MW per year in thin-film photovoltaic modules in 2012.

TSMC also intends to expand in a second phase, which will bring up production at the facility to over 700MW.