Plasma Control Technologies
Radio frequency components and system solutions for plasma applications
Powerhouse for x-ray components and modules
High-end x-ray system solutions for industrial environments, from R&D to production settings.
Radio frequency (RF) power
System 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
- X-ray and computed tomography inspection systems
- Software for x-ray visualization and analytics
- Customized services based on machine learning and artificial intelligence
Focus strategy unchanged, implementation on course
By focusing on plasma control and x-ray technology, Comet has defined how it intends to exploit the significant potential of the digital world. Since the divestiture of the ebeam business in 2020, Comet is concentrating on the technology spaces of plasma control and x-ray as well as on the expansion of the service business by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Four growth markets, with semiconductor & electronics the key one
Comet is focused on four core markets with expected strong long-term growth. First and foremost, the semiconductor and electronics market holds enormous potential for both the plasma control and x-ray businesses. The aerospace, automotive and security markets offer Comet growth opportunities in specific areas, such as the inspection of batteries for electric vehicles.
Structural long-term demand growth in the semiconductor and electronics market
Semiconductor and electronics decidedly remain Comet’s key market sectors. Despite the cyclicality of these industries, the ambitious roadmaps of the leading semiconductor manufacturers to develop more powerful and energy-saving technologies are in the medium and long term driving growth and investment in infrastructure for semiconductor fabrication. Furthermore, governments are increasingly focused on developing regional supply chains independent of other geographies. Based on announcements to date, a total of 119 new semiconductor fabs are expected to come on stream in the USA, Europe and Asia by 2025. Experts currently expect investment in RF power subsystems to amount to USD 2.37 billion until 2025. The industry’s spending on RF power subsystems as a share of its total expenditure on wafer fabrication equipment continues to rise at a disproportionately higher rate due to ever smaller technology nodes (chip feature sizes) and complex microchip architectures (source: TechInsights). In this market, Comet expects its high-tech x-ray and plasma control solutions to generate up to 75% of the Group’s sales in 2025.
Attractive potential in automotive, aerospace and security thanks to digitalization
In addition, Comet sees continuing good opportunities for the utilization of its technology in the aerospace, automotive and security inspection markets. Comet’s traditional markets have gradually been recovering after the pandemic-related drop in demand and are expected to make up about one-quarter of the Comet Group’s sales in 2025. Here, too, digitalization is creating an opportunity. The automotive industry is now considered the largest single driver of semiconductor growth. This is because more and more sensors and microchips are needed to enable power control, environmental sensing, the internet of vehicles, real-time road monitoring as well as autonomous driving. Experts predict that the number of light vehicles produced worldwide will grow at a rate (CAGR) of around 5% annually in the four-year period from 2022 to 2025. They further expect an accelerated increase in the proportion of cars with electric or hybrid drive systems to about 28% in 2025 (source: IHS Markit 2023). This also increases the relative amount of safety inspection required. The situation is similar in the aerospace sector. Here, industry analysts expect an annual increase in semiconductor technology content of approximately 8.8% from 2022 to 2025 (source: Gartner Semiconductor Forecast Database for Q4 2022). In airplanes, too, the trend is toward employing hybrid electric drives (which are more environmentally friendly) and hence implies the use of more semiconductors and thus more inspection.