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The machines for making TVsNot everything gets made overseas. CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos tours the Silicon Valley facilities of Applied Materials, where they make equipment for producing televisions and solar panels.
^M00:00:00 [ Music ] ^M00:00:20 >> Hi. This is Michael Kinellas at News.com. You're probably thinking what's he hanging out in front of a dental office for? Actually, this is building 91 of Applied Materials. This is the building where they make equipment to make Flat Panel TVs, and now they're getting into solar panels. Some people in the solar business are a little freaked out because Applied can come in and build some of these factories fairly cheaply. However, that's going to mean less expensive solar panels for you and me. Let's go check it out. Kilad [assumed spelling], give us an overview of what Applied's doing in the display business. >> So Applied's making the tools that are used to make the liquid crystal TVs, or LCD Flat Panel TVs. >> Mm-hmm. >> And we're making several of the tools, the key 1 and CVD tools - chemical preparation tools, PVD tools - physical paper preparation tools, essentially the tools that put on the layers that turns an ordinary piece of glass into a Flat Panel TV. >> This is the CVD chamber; make sure the chemicals are vaporized. >> Yeah. >> This will essentially take a piece of glass - display; high quality display glass will go in there. And it will coat it with the material that's gonna make the transistor on it. So it's the silicon, silicon nitrite, the various materials that are gonna make the material stack. That makes the transistor. This is the vacuum. It's connected to the mainframe, that big mainframe where you don't - we can't put in this building anymore; it doesn't fit - would here. It would be bigger than this chamber significantly. And then a big robot would be in the mainframe. This would open, and the robot would lower the piece of glass in, pull it back out, this would close, and the mechanical process would start. And it loads and moves them around. The glass is gonna sit there, below. The gas is gonna flow... >> Right. >> ...from the thing on top. All right, plasma's gonna be ignited there. There's a big RF source... >> Mm-hmm. >> ...that sort of drives that antennae, essentially, between the bottom and the top. Plasma's gonna be created. >> Mm-hmm. >> And the plasma is what's gonna take this gas, dissociate it, and cause materials to be deposited on the glass. >> Yeah. What are these...? >> These [inaudible]. >> Yeah. >> Okay. >> It was chained up like King Kong or something here. >> So looking at the glass from here, you see it's thick. >> What happened in the last two years is that solar opportunity became very real, and the need for solar became very strong. And where there are true leaders in the large sizes - we can make large size deposition of glass better than anyone else. So we took that large size and used that as our entrance point into solar. To this point today, no one is doing thin film solar on these large sizes. ^M00:02:33 [ Music ]