The world around us is changing rapidly, as society becomes increasingly automated and connected. We rely on a broad range of electronic devices, often connected, to control our homes, offices, vehicles, and communications, whereby mobile devices are evolving in many forms. We operate in a fast changing world, wherein semiconductors are becoming more and more part of everyone's life.
Over time these devices have become smarter, for example enabling office building environments and public transportation to be optimized in real time, without human interaction. They also allow individuals to speak to their electronic personal assistants for guidance, carry out information searches, or to execute tasks. Another example is artificial intelligence, where advanced processors and computing networks are used to automate decision making and action taking. Smart cars and trucks are driving autonomously. This connected and automated world is creating the demand for massive amounts of data, requiring ever-greater computer processing power and storage, capable of analyzing and acting on the data quickly and effectively. Making this possible requires the constantly increasing processing power of semiconductor chips. And it is our technology that is playing a vital part in making it all possible.
A key driver in the semiconductor industry is the continuous demand for smaller, faster, and cheaper semiconductor components. Through technology advances in the manufacturing process, semiconductor manufacturers are continuously scaling chips to smaller dimensions. This enables more transistors to fit in the same physical space, thereby reducing the costs and increasing the speed and performance of a device. Moore's Law states that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double approximately every two years, and the cost per transistor will reduce by half over the same time frame. The industry’s relentless push to follow Moore’s Law and the continuous demand for smaller, faster, and cheaper semiconductor components drives the technology advances in the semiconductor manufacturing process.
We serve the wafer processing equipment segment, which is part of the capital equipment segment. Demand for semiconductor capital equipment is driven both by growth in the market for semiconductor devices and the new technology needed to realize the next generation of devices.
We also supply equipment to leading manufacturers of analog semiconductor devices, which are important for enabling the growing semiconductor content used in most products worldwide.
The analog market includes a wide array of chip types, including:
A few years ago, the industry adopted the phrase ‘More than Moore’, to identify and acknowledge a strongly-growing market of various types of analog chips which are not driven by the same Moore’s Law technology scaling inflections of mainstream logic and memory chips. But these 'More than Moore' devices often have their own technology challenges. For example power devices typically require relatively thick layers of epitaxial silicon, which is challenging for epi chamber performance in volume production.
We design, manufacture, and sell wafer process equipment and services to our customers for the production of semiconductor devices, or integrated circuits (ICs). Semiconductor ICs, often called chips, are a key technology that enable the advanced electronic products used by consumers and businesses everywhere. Our innovative technologies are used by the most advanced semiconductor manufacturers in their wafer fabrication plants.
Our customers’ goal is to build faster, cheaper, and more powerful semiconductors. We work closely with them to make this a reality, forging mutually beneficial partnerships that enable us to help them develop their technology roadmap. At the same time, our customers become expert users of our equipment, and their insights help us to continuously improve our systems, resulting in greater productivity and lower operating costs per wafer, benefiting us, them, and the end consumer. The result is value creation not only for our customers, but for all of our stakeholders. Furthermore we provide an overall benefit to society by helping our customers produce the chips needed for advanced electronics that deliver a world of improvements and opportunities.
Creating this stakeholder value requires a strong, well-educated workforce, enabling us to develop and maintain technologies at the edge of what is technologically possible. But we cannot achieve this on our own. This is why collaboration is such a vital part of our success, and why we have developed close ties with many of our stakeholders. For example, we maintain partnerships with technical institutions and universities to carry out cutting-edge research and development (R&D). At the same time, working closely with our suppliers helps us manufacture, service, and sustain our products efficiently.
The process of making semiconductor chips at our customers' premises is both highly complex and very costly. Semiconductor fabrication plants, called fabs, house a large set of wafer-processing equipment which perform a series of process steps on round silicon wafers, which are typically 300mm in diameter. The equipment is operated in cleanrooms, which filter the air to avoid contamination from small particles that could negatively affect the circuitry on the chips. The dimensions of the features within each chip continue to get smaller, as the demand for performance continues to expand. Certain chips are also getting taller, such as 3D-NAND memories, where density is increased by stacking layers vertically.
Many individual steps are performed using various types of wafer process equipment to create a semiconductor chip, including photolithographic patterning, depositing thin-film layers, etching to remove material, thermal treatments, and other steps. Our systems are designed for deposition processes when thin films, or layers, of various materials are grown or deposited onto the wafer. Many different thin-film layers are deposited to complete the full sequence of process steps necessary to manufacture a chip. After testing the individual circuits for correct performance, the chips on the wafer are separated and then packaged in a protective housing before ultimately becoming part of a set of semiconductor chips on circuit boards within an electronic product.
Over the past 50 years we have grown to become a leading global supplier
of semiconductor wafer processing equipment. A company that develops
innovative process solutions for our customers, and manages itself in the best
interests of our investors, our employees, society, and other stakeholders.
Yet now is the time to enter a new era of innovation, to embark on the next
phase of growth. We understand that this requires commitment and strength
across many areas. From innovation in R&D, to advancing new technologies
and addressing new applications. From developing our people, to creating
even stronger relationships with key customers.
This is how we will take the next leap forward.
ROADMAP TO THE FUTURE
Our roadmap to the future will enable us to not only
achieve our next phase of growth, it will ensure we
can continue to help our customers achieve their
technology roadmaps for next-generation devices.
Our technology helps drive innovation, increasing the number of scientific breakthroughs, many of which are achieved from our advanced process equipment that deposits new materials with precision and productivity, positively benefiting society in sectors from healthcare and education, to transport and energy.
For semiconductor manufacturers, scaling chips
to smaller dimensions is an ongoing challenge.
Our innovations and equipment are vital in helping make many of these transitions happen.
Striving for efﬁciency ensures that our
customers get the products, services,
and results they expect. Intensifying
our focus on efﬁciency will make us a
stronger company, ready to take the
next leap forward.
We are a multinational company that
embraces diversity in every sense
of the word. With 29 different
nationalities working across the
company, we combine our talents
to drive innovation.
Achieving our ambitions takes intelligence, knowledge, skill,
determination, and dedication. And it is this combination of
qualities that we nurture in our people.
Our goal is to impact tomorrow’s generation
as positively as we’ve impacted today’s.
Making this happen takes the xtraordinary
talent of our people, who work together
to drive innovation and deliver excellence.
Collaboration is fundamental to our
continued success; from working
with our customers to optimize our
equipment and processes to enable
their technology roadmaps, to
creating partnerships on cutting-edge
research and development.
Operational excellence is one of the essential
pillars of our strategy, which enables us to provide
our customers with the high-quality, leading-edge
products and services they demand.
R&D is central to our development,
leading to new device architectures,
new materials, and new processes
that strengthen our competitive
positioning and enable our customers
to deliver the next-generation chips.
By extending our technological scope with a
more diverse product portfolio, we can help our
customers continue to advance their business
while growing our own in new market segments.
We create long-term value for our
stakeholders in a variety of ways.
From working with our customers
to develop innovative solutions, to
ensuring value creation growth
and positive investor returns.
We are committed to positively
contributing to society and
reducing our impact on the
environment. Only then can
we truly say we are helping
create more with less.
We believe sustainability takes many forms.
From developing sustainable technology
roadmaps for our customers, to creating
a sustainable living environment for all.
Safety is a front-line requirement,
which is why our ZERO HARM!
policy outlines our vision on product
safety, and our CR policy lays out
our commitment and expectations
towards health and safety.