Careers at Applied Materials
Applied Materials’ mission is to be the leading supplier of semiconductor fabrication solutions worldwide through innovation and enhancement of customer productivity with systems and service solutions.
Applied Materials is a provider of equipment, software, and services for the manufacture of products in the semiconductor, display, solar photovoltaic, and related industries. The company operates four reportable business segments:
- Silicon Systems – Includes equipment used to manufacture semiconductor chips (also known as integrated circuits, or ICs). Equipment is used for deposition, ion implantation, metrology and inspection, rapid thermal processing, and wafer packaging, among other processes.
- Applied Global Services – Includes integrated solutions for the optimization of equipment performance, including upgrades, spares, and general services.
- Display – Includes products for the manufacture of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and other display technologies for personal computers (PCs), television sets, smartphones, tablets, and other consumer devices.
- Energy and Environmental Solutions – Includes products for the manufacture of crystalline-silicon solar PV cells and roll-to-roll deposition equipment for flexible electronics and other applications.
In the late 1960s, the semiconductor industry was still underdeveloped. Then in 1967, Michael A. McNeilly and a group of fellow engineers built a device that would revolutionize the sector – the first chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor, the AMV 300. The device could be used for the fabrication of semiconductor wafers. The team founded a company for the distribution of the technology to product manufacturers, called Applied Materials. It was funded with seed capital from investors.
In the next few years Applied Materials achieved significant success, to the extent that it was able to go public in 1972. Between 1967 and 1973, revenues grew at a rate of more than 40% per year, and the firm’s market share ballooned. Over the next few decades the company increased its global presence, with a major expansion of its offering to Asia. It also introduced a slew of new innovations such as flat panel display equipment. It now offers the widest product array of any chip-maker.
Business model of Applied Materials
Applied Materials has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at integrated device manufacturers and foundries that need semiconductors in their products.
Applied Materials offers two primary value propositions: innovation and brand/status.
The company has been a pioneer in the semiconductor industry, introducing many innovations. These include the following:
- The Precision 5000 CVD, a system featuring single-wafer, multichamber processing that can handle larger and more complex microchips
- The AME 8100 Series Plasma Etch Systems, which represented a breakthrough in the dry etching of semiconductors
- The Precision Etch 8300A, which offered higher levels of automation than previously seen and significant improvements in contamination control
The company has built a powerful brand. As one of the early innovators in the microchip space, it is well-established. It has also won several honors as a result of its success. The Precision 5000 CVD was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection of technology for the Information Age. In addition, in 2015 alone the firm garnered Intel’s Preferred Quality Supplier Award for the fifth consecutive year, received TSMC’s supplier award for a sixth year, and was recognized as “World’s Most Ethical Company“ by the Ethisphere Institute for the fourth year in a row.
Applied Materials’ main channel is its direct sales team, which operates through 81 locations in 18 countries, including the U.S., Canada, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and various parts of Europe. The company promotes its offerings through its website and social media pages.
Applied Materials’ customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website includes two types of customer portals – the “My Applied” Customer Portal that provides access to service, support, and materials; and the Software Portal that enables users to receive the most up-to-date software upgrades, patches, and enhancements. The site also provides a Product Library where users can easily obtain information on its equipment and technologies.
Despite this orientation, there is also a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Applied Materials’ business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products for customers. The company maintains manufacturing facilities in Germany, Italy, Israel, the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, and other countries in Asia.
Applied Materials’ primary partners are the numerous vendors that supply parts and assembly services for the manufacture of its products. They operate in many of the same countries that contain its manufacturing facilities. Specific suppliers include XP Power Limited, Ichor Systems, Sanmina Corporation, Brooks Instrument, Foxsemicon Integrated Technology, Meopta-optika, and Rockwell Automation.
Applied Materials’ main resource is its staff of research/development and engineering employees, which works constantly to generate new, innovative offerings for the company. Other important human resources include its sales employees, who are spread out in offices around the world, and its customer support staff, which includes contract employees. The company places a high priority on intellectual property, and has 10,200 patents issued in the U.S. and other countries.
Applied Materials has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is cost of products sold, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of research/development/engineering, sales/marketing, and administration, all fixed costs.
Applied Materials has two revenue streams:
Product Revenues – Revenue generated from the sale of its products to manufacturers
Service Revenues – Revenue generated from the sale of its services to manufacturers; these include upgrades and consulting
info: Gary earned a B.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri, Rolla and an MBA from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He previously served as CEO of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates and as President of KLA-Tencor.
info: Bob earned a B.S. and MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has been a Certified Public Accountant. He previously served as EVP and CFO of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates and CFO of Ionics.
info: Omkaram earned a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He previously served as VP of Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and held key R&D leadership positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies.
info: Jay has over 20 years of experience in global logistics and high-tech, phamaceutical R&D, and IT transformation. At Applied Materials, he oversees long-term technology vision and leads the Global Information Services (GIS) organization.
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