Neal Dikerman has a comprehensive post in the Cleantech Blog about IBM becoming a player in the solar cell business within the next 18-24 months. The company has made overtures about solar since 1978, but recently has become more active, obtaining about a dozen patents in the area recently.
According to Neal they are developing both both advanced crystalline technologies and CIGS processes with the potential for very high efficiency multi-junction cells in the foreseeable future.
The advent of Applied Materials and now IBM into this field is a sign that they believe the market for solar cells is becoming quite large and that they believe they can drive the production costs down with their technology improvements and manufacturing expertise. It is probably bad news for many of the small players in this field, who just can't keep up with these industry giants. It is another sign that consolidation of many of the small companies will be accelerated.