2017 was a year of strong growth for our industry. Worldwide semiconductor industry sales increased by more than 20% and were for a large part driven by favorable market conditions and price increases  in the memory segments. The market for wafer fab equipment (WFE) grew by approximately 30%, primarily driven by memory customers.


In 2017 our revenue increased by 23% to a new record level. Single-wafer ALD equipment showed a clear recovery in 2017, with 3D-NAND being the main growth driver. After the drop in 2016, our ALD DRAM business remained at a relatively low level in 2017. Our DRAM business failed to show the recovery in 2017 that we had expected earlier in the year. Investments by DRAM customers increased in 2017 but were mainly made within existing fabs with more reuse of existing equipment as a result. In the logic/foundry segment of the single-wafer ALD market demand remained at a healthy level in 2017 following the strong sales increase that we achieved in 2016 in particular in foundry. During the year we achieved tool-of-record selections for multiple new ALD applications for the 7nm logic/foundry node.



We launched our new epitaxy tool in 2017, the Intrepid ES and we won our first process tool-of-record selection for the Intrepid ES for an advanced epitaxy application at a leading foundry customer. The new customer win for our Intrepid ES tool drove a strong increase in our epitaxy sales in 2017, which approximately doubled compared to a lower base in 2016. With the successful launch of the Intrepid ES we are substantially increasing our addressable market in epitaxy.

Our technology investments also resulted in a new win in our PECVD activity in the 3D-NAND market, which also contributed to our revenue growth in 2017.


We made significant progress in our quest for product stewardship in 2017. For example, our engineers developed a key upgrade to our Intrepid epitaxy reactors that allows us to maintain quartz chambers at a constant temperature during deposition. This keeps the chamber clean, eliminating the time and energy needed to perform a clean step after every wafer. This also reduces the environmental footprint in our labs and customer production facilities, as this allows them to extend the time between wafer clean cycles. This reduces the frequency of thermal cycling and exposure to corrosive chemicals.

Another notable improvement in 2017 involves heating the exhaust lines of our key products. This allows toxic effluents to be abated properly via a scrubber rather than being deposited as byproducts in the exhaust lines, which leads to hazardous waste management challenges.

In 2017, we also increased our focus on the responsible disposal of assets by actively sourcing end-of-life products back from the market and refurbishing them in lieu of a new product sale where possible. This extends the life of the equipment and reduces the end-of-life disposal requirements.