February 13, 2007 – Acknowledging that it’s caught in a “commodity” endgame, Applied Materials Inc. says it will cease development of beamline implant products, and close its Applied Implant Technologies group in Horsham, UK. The company plans to supply new and refurbished tools, with support including field support and spares provided through Applied Global Services.
“The implant equipment business has changed over the past few years and moved towards commoditization,” noted Mike Splinter, Applied president/CEO, in a statement, adding that future financial expectations for the business “does not warrant further expenditure in next-generation beamline implant products.”
About 270 employees, located primarily in Horsham, will be affected by the closure, which is expected to be completed by year’s end at a rough cost of $90-$130 million.
An Applied spokesperson noted that the commoditization is due to a new environment that is “very price competitive” for a unit that is “R&D intensive.” He also indicated that Applied investigated other options, including a possible sale, before deciding to shutter the business. However, Applied is keeping patents and IP relating to other implant technologies, instead of exiting the market entirely, he added.