Review of 2022 – Plasma Control Technologies

Plasma Control Technologies 

2022 was a multi-faceted year for the PCT division. In the first nine months, the semiconductor industry ran at full speed despite persistent bottlenecks in the supply chains, the conflict in Eastern Europe and the restrictive measures to curb the pandemic in China. This brought record sales, booming new orders and high order backlogs. In the last three months of the year, however, the sentiment deteriorated rapidly.

Amid the impact of rising interest rates, global economic concerns, and the onset of overcapacity, particularly in memory chips, microchip manufacturers became increasingly reluctant to invest. This together with the restrictions imposed by the United States on exports to China caused a temporary downturn in the semiconductor cycle after three years of unrestrained growth. New orders and order backlog thus declined noticeably toward the end of the year.


“We managed our growth very effectively and reliably served our customers.”

Michael Kammerer

President, Plasma Control Technologies

Despite the dip in growth that has set in earlier than forecast, the PCT division steadfastly executed its strategy in order to be ready for the next upswing. With the market launch of the first variants of the Synertia® family of radio frequency generators, PCT has reached a milestone in the development of a complete RF power delivery subsystem. The launch of Synertia® unlocks a market with estimated annual sales in 2025 of well over CHF 1 billion. Outstanding feedback from prospective customers is witness to the great market opportunities for the new family of products. In combination with the also newly developed 3rd-generation technology platform, customers will gain a new level of real-time insight into plasma processes and thus achieve significantly better performance in semiconductor manufacturing than with the systems in use today.

In parallel with the market launch of Synertia®, production capacity was adjusted to meet the expected increase in demand over the next few years. In Flamatt, Switzerland, production capacity for vacuum capacitors was again increased in the existing facilities, and the transfer of volume production of RF matches from the US site in San Jose to Penang, Malaysia, was nearly completed. With the assembly lines in Penang fully utilized at the end of the year, it was decided to double the manufacturing capacity at this site. The additional capacity will be commissioned incrementally in the course of 2023 and is to meet the expected rise in demand up to 2025.

PCT increased sales by 24.6% to CHF 381.4 million, compared to CHF 306.1 million in the prior year. Thanks to the ramp-up of production at the best-cost site in Penang and general measures to reduce costs, PCT achieved 30.4% higher operating earnings of CHF 104.9 million at EBITDA level (prior year: CHF 80.5 million). The EBITDA margin thus improved to 27.5%, from 26.3% in the prior year. Excluding the one-off expense for Comet’s legal action against XP Power to defend Comet’s trade secrets, EBITDA of the PCT division amounted to CHF 113.9 million, at a margin of 29.9%.

Key financials of Plasma Control Technologies at a glance







Net sales






EBITDA margin



Number of employees worldwide



Sales of Plasma Control Technologies division by market