Plasma Control Technologies
Radio frequency components and systems solutions for plasma applications
Radio frequency (RF) power
Systems solutions to provide RF technology, consisting of:
- Impedance matching networks
- RF generators
- Vacuum capacitors
- Industrial x-ray modules and components
- X-ray tubes
- High-voltage generators
High-end x-ray system solutions for industrial environments, from R&D to production settings.
- X-ray and computed tomography inspection systems
- Software for x-ray visualization and analytics
- Customized services based on machine learning and artificial intelligence
Four growth markets, with semiconductor & electronics the primary focus
Strong prospects for RF power
Comet is focused on four core markets with expected strong long-term growth. First and foremost, the semiconductor and electronics sector offers the largest growth potential for both the plasma control and x-ray businesses. The automotive, aerospace and security markets are also an important focus, as these sectors provide growth opportunities in selected areas (e.g., inspection of batteries for electric vehicles).
The semiconductor and electronics space is Comet’s key market. This focus has taken on even greater significance amid the accelerated pace of digitalization and the ceaseless development of new, more powerful and more energy-efficient technologies. We are experiencing demand on an unprecedented scale. Based on existing announcements alone, 112 new semiconductor fabrication plants are expected to come on stream between 2021 and 2025. Further announcements of new fabs can be expected. While at the end of 2020, experts were forecasting semiconductor industry investment of USD 1.33 billion in RF power subsystems in 2025, as of the end of 2021 the prediction for 2025 had increased to USD 1.98 billion. At the same time, the industry’s spending for RF power subsystems as a share of its total wafer fabrication equipment spend will rise at a disproportionately stronger rate (source: VLSIresearch). In this market, Comet expects its high-tech x-ray and plasma control solutions to generate up to 70% of the Group’s sales in 2025.
Growing opportunities for x-ray
In addition, Comet sees attractive long-run potential to continue to utilize its technology in the automotive, aerospace and security inspection markets. These “traditional” markets are in a gradual process of recovery after the dramatic drop in demand caused by the pandemic. In the medium and long term, Comet identifies clear opportunities in these markets, which are themselves becoming more and more digital and are expected to account for approximately 30% of the Group’s sales in 2025. With the heightened awareness of climate change, it appears likely that companies and consumers will increasingly switch to electric transport. Experts project that from 2020 to 2025, worldwide sales of light vehicles will increase at a rate (CAGR) of 6% annually, and that in 2025 around 20% of all new light vehicle registrations will be for fully electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. This means the content of semiconductor technology in vehicles is rising, and with it the volume of non-destructive inspection of these components to ensure that safety and other requirements are met. A similar situation can be seen in the aerospace sector. With the growing number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 and the loosening of government restrictions, a renewed rise in travel is already apparent. Industry analysts expect flights to increase by about 28% per year between 2020 and 2025. In airplanes, too, the trend is toward use of hybrid electric drives (which are more environmentally friendly) and hence implies the use of more semiconductors and thus additional need for inspection.