Trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Science and Technology Innovation Board, or STAR Market as it’s being called, began earlier this week. Among the first companies listing on China’s Nasdaq-style market is Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. China (AMEC), a Qualcomm Ventures portfolio company.
AMEC is one of only a few core equipment suppliers that engages in high-end IC processing in China. Its suite of solutions, which includes dielectric etch, TSV etch and MOCVD (Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition), are backed by independent research and the company’s expertise and innovation in high-end semiconductor device manufacturing.
We took notice of AMEC back in 2006, impressed by the company’s strong leadership team and business plan. Understanding a substantial amount of capital investment is required to fund the R&D and manufacturing of semiconductor equipment, Qualcomm Incorporated and other early investors provided financial support for the stable development of AMEC in its early years. We participated in its B round in 2007, and we’ve continued to support the company for more than a decade.
AMEC’s journey to success is admirable. The company was founded in 2004, the year China’s semiconductor industry was getting started. Inspired and excited by the rapid development of the industry, CEO and Founder Dr. Zhiyao Yin, along with his founding team, decided to enter the market and build the company from the ground up. Dr. Yin had nearly 30 years of experience working in the semiconductor industry prior to starting AMEC. He worked for many industry-leading companies and accumulated extensive experience in management and product development.
And that experience proved necessary: While the industry was developing quickly, scaling AMEC was particularly challenging because, at the time, the semiconductor device market was heavily dominated by foreign companies. Today, the company has close to 700 employees and is well-equipped with a powerful R&D team. At 380+, the R&D and technical personnel account for more than half of the total employee population.
AMEC also has an impressive patent list. Of the 1,200 patents applied for, 950 patents have been granted.
Fifteen years in, AMEC has not only found its place in the market, it’s also become a leading global semiconductor equipment supplier, in part, because of its solid technology accumulation and innovation-driven R&D.
According to 2018 VLSI Research data, AMEC ranked second among global professional suppliers of chip manufacturing equipment, third among global suppliers of wafer manufacturing equipment and fourth among suppliers of dedicated chip manufacturing equipment. It was also the only Chinese semiconductor equipment company to make the list, a tremendous accomplishment.
For China’s semiconductor industry, AMEC’s IPO is a significant milestone. As a world leader in silicon and telecommunication technology, Qualcomm is committed to support the development of China’s semiconductor industry. The investment in AMEC illustrates Qualcomm Ventures commitment to helping innovative Chinese enterprises scale their businesses.
We’re proud to be part of AMEC’s journey. Congratulations on reaching such a momentous milestone!
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