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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 2006 - issue > Company Profile

Applying Thought

Vidya Balakrishnan
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Vidya Balakrishnan
There has been an air of war between Intel and AMD for the multi-core processors, which help PCs run faster while consuming less energy. Few people actually understand how silicon is transformed into semiconductors. And fewer can name a single company that develops tools that semiconductor manufacturers use to transform chip architectures into actual products.
Applied Materials is changing all that.

Applied Materials, is the global leader in nanomanufacturing technology solutions for the electronics industry. It makes big, expensive machines that create tiny, precious microchips. “We are in every semiconductor [fabrication plant] and every flat panel fab in the world,” said Michael Splinter, CEO of Applied Materials.

The semiconductor equipment industry is a roughly $30 billion market; he estimates that related services constitutes about $11 billion, while the market for equipment for making flat-panel monitors and TVs is another $5 billion. Applied, which is expected to record $8.7 billion in revenues for its 2006 fiscal year ending in October, has a chance to gain market share, thanks to increasing demand for flat-panel displays and new trends such as multi-core processors. Applied Materials’ customers include chip makers such as Intel, Samsung and Texas Instruments, as well as companies who make semiconductor integrated circuits and manufacture the flat-panel displays used in monitors and TVs.

Chips are going to get more complex as we see more functions added to microprocessors. And with the industry moving towards systems-on-a-chip, it is critical for Applied Materials to adapt to the changing landscape. Advances in chip technology - including the shift from aluminum to copper, trimming of feature sizes to nanometer sub-micron levels and the move to 300-millimeter wafers – mean that in order to remain the envy of the equipment universe, Applied Materials must continue to extend its technical advantages while maintaining its close relationships with the chip manufacturers.

Manufacturing nanoscale chips encompasses hundreds of processes and each of these is implemented by complex equipment, sometimes as large as the device that they are being used to create. A single flat panel processing machine is shipped on Boeing 747 jet!

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