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TJRodgers.jpgTJ Rodgers is chief executive of Cypress Semiconductor, which is the primary shareholder of the fast-growing silicon panel company, SunPower.

SunPower has excelled in the market by focusing on making silicon more efficient — even if silicon looks feeble compared to promise other, newer materials. CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide), for example, is cheaper and more flexible, scientists say — it can be sprayed like paint onto just about any surface.

But Rodgers, an outspoken Ayn Rand adherent, says silicon has been studied so much in recent decades, and is therefore so reliable, that his company will wipe out newcomers like Nanosolar, which is unveiling a product based on CIGS.

“Silicon has a reliability record which is unmatched by any other material,” he told CNET. “They could rename the company NanoDollar, because that’s all they are going to be left with after we get done kicking their butt,” Rodgers said referring to Nanosolar.

This is a counterpoint to the comments of venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, about how science trumps everything — when it comes to multiplying resources. Translation of science into actual business application is unpredictable, and can take a long time for superior science to take over a market.

We’ll see if this is true for Nanosolar, which is due out on the market soon.


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