As we entered into 2019, I think everyone in the industry was aware that the global semiconductor market was going to offer challenges to us all. But when we saw the market take a significant drop in the first half, it may have come as a surprise to some. At Palomar, we’ve seen shifts over our 40+ years in the industry, and one thing we are grateful for in these uncertain times are the relationships that we have built with our many customers across numerous industries. Our work and our collaboration with our customers is embodied in our mission to create simple solutions for the complex problems that our customers are solving around the world. We are honored to have some of the greatest industry giants as Palomar customers.
We are also grateful for having created a broad range of technology solutions all geared towards helping our customers to deliver their new products faster, more inexpensively, and with higher quality. This includes our Innovation Centers strategically located in the US and Singapore, where we provide prototyping, process development, and contract manufacturing. In 2019, while the market for capital equipment was challenging, our Innovation Centers were working overtime with many bright, young start-ups researching and developing the latest technologies that will soon be powering our connected world.
To fulfill our vision of enabling our customers to become leaders in their markets, we made some significant investments to better serve our customers:
- Launched the new SST 8300 Series Automated Vacuum Pressure Soldering System for IGBT power electronics.
- Expanded our footprint in Europe with a new demonstration/prototype center through our partnership with Electronics and Photonics Innovation Center (EPIC).
- Grew our footprint in Southeast Asia by expanding our new Innovation Center in Singapore to meet the needs of our customers in this region.
- Developed a solution for pressure-less silver sintering for power electronics.
Lastly, we are grateful for our employees. Our people are our greatest strength and we are fortunate to have the talent and experience necessary to respond to rapidly changing and growing markets. Their drive and initiative proves invaluable in the development of new technologies and processes to offer our customers. Our research into the use of SLA 3-D printing could change the way we do rapid prototyping for both new equipment and for our customers.
Our employees also found time to give back to the community. In July, Palomar's Innovation Center - Asia was honored to host the Numata Girl's High School and their hosts, BlueSky Education (UK). Educating young women on the opportunities within the STEM fields is part of our effort to increase diversity and ideas in the exciting world of microelectronics and photonics. The girls toured the Innovation Center and got a demonstration of die and wire bonding.
In early August, Palomar Technologies employees in Carlsbad, California took part in a program for Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. Palomar employees donated money for resources and took part in packing 108,000 meals - enough to feed 300 children 3 meals a day for a year.
Moving into 2020, we see positive signs in the industry as SEMI reports that the 2019 third quarter worldwide semiconductor billings are up 12% and expected to continue into 2020. The future is bright!
On behalf of the men and women who comprise the Palomar family, I’d like to wish you all the best for a happy and prosperous new year.
President & CEO
Palomar Technologies, Inc.