California-based Applied Materials is looking to expand its portfolio of specialty chips with the acquisition of Finland-based semiconductor equipment company Picosun Oy.
The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal has been approved by Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
“Picosun is a pioneer in ALD technology with products that serve fast-growing segments of the specialty foundry-logic market,” Gary Dickerson, president, and chief executive of Applied Materials said in a statement.
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) technology is primarily for specialty semiconductors, the US company said. ALD is a widely used manufacturing process that allows the creation of thin films during chipmaking by depositing materials in exact places with greater accuracy.
This reduces the number of patterning steps in the chip manufacturing process and allows the use of new materials and designs.
Picosun also brings with it a deep R&D capability, a team of talented individuals, and strong relationships with top research institutions and universities.
The Picosun team will continue to operate from Finland and will report to Applied Materials’ ICAPS Group which provides materials engineering solutions to customers in Internet of Things (IoT), communications, automotive, power, and sensors.
Kustaa Poutiainen, former chairman of the Board of Picosun said, Picosun has a strong history of innovation, with roots dating back to the invention of ALD technology nearly 50 years ago.
“As we look ahead to our next phase of growth, we believe starting a new journey as part of Applied Materials – a company we have long admired – is the best path forward and will create exciting opportunities for our employees, customers, and research partners,” he added.
As electronic products become smarter and more connected, their dependence on specialty chips also increases, the company said in a statement.
The pandemic-led boom in digital transformation and shift to online platforms and hybrid work has spurred demand for chips for laptops, IoT, smartphones, servers, and automobiles. This has forced the semiconductor industry to expand production and forge new partnerships.
Applied Materials makes engineering solutions that are used in the manufacturing of silicon chips and advanced displays. In April, the US company announced that it will invest $50 million to buy land in Bengaluru to build an R&D lab.