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January 28, 2013

Bill Ruff, Vice President -- Marketing, AMETEK Programmable Power

Bill Ruff, Vice President -- Marketing, AMETEK Programmable Power
Bill Ruff, Vice President -- Marketing, AMETEK Programmable Power
AMETEK Programmable Power has been a key supplier of precision power supplies to semiconductor tool manufacturers for many years. Tool manufacturers value our reliability, precision power conversion and advanced features.

Our products are typically used in ion implantation and plasma confinement, as well as, more recently in metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), where our Sorensen DC source technology is employed to drive the tools' heating elements.  This is the manufacturing technology critical to the sector where we're seeing the most growth, High Brightness LEDs (HBLED). While previously growth in the HBLED market was driven by LCD monitor and TV backlighting applications, it is increasingly being driven by solid state lighting (SSL) demand.

As manufacturers  aggressively continue lowering the cost of manufacturing, HBLED based solid state lighting becomes more cost effective across the spectrum of lighting applications. Current estimates indicate that the HBLED market for SSL applications will grow in the range of 30% per year.

Our customers, the tool manufacturers, are continually working with their customers to increase throughput and yields to increase manufacturing efficiencies and capital utilization. They are increasing the size of the reactors and adopting "cluster tool" concepts common in silicon processing. They are also adopting increasingly sophisticated process controls to improve the deposited thin film consistency and,  hence, device yield.

We work closely with the tool manufacturers to provide the precision power products they need. In the case of the MOCVD tool manufacturers, we are providing new power architectures that address the much higher process power (> 200kW) and power densities inherent in the new reactors and "cluster tool" footprints.

Our recently introduced designs use fully digital control loop technology to provide precision power control in a process where process temperature variations of 1C in a process running at 800C can impact the results. In addition, the all digital architecture provides the ability to monitor and record load parameter data that can be used for process improvements, troubleshooting and predictive maintenance ("flight data recorder" function).

Our semiconductor equipment customers face unique challenges as they pioneer the technologies that help bring to society the conveniences and quality of life resulting from modern electronics. We continue to work closely with them to help power those technologies.

Bill Ruff, Vice President -- Marketing
AMETEK Programmable Power