Nova to Unveil a New Strategy Aimed to Reach $1B Sales

Nova Ltd. is planning to introduce a growth initiative planned to achieve $1 billion annual sales within a few years. According to Eitan Oppenhaim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nova, the plan will be introduced during during upcoming Virtual Analyst Day on September 21. “With the company revenues exceeding $500 million in the last four quarters, we mark the realization of our Nova 500 strategic plan. As we aspire to continue our strong momentum in the market, we will announce a new strategic plan, charting a course towards the $1 billion company in annual revenues.”

Nova provides material, optical and chemical metrology solutions for advanced process control in semiconductor manufacturing. The company announced record quarterly revenue of $141.6 million in Q2 2022. Up 45% year over year, and a total of $510 million in revenues during the last 4 consecutive quarters.

Oppenhaim said during the Earnings Conference Call last week that the new growth plan is based on the company’s own backlog levels, and general industry trends: “If we can see the process control growth this year versus process tools, we can see the process control is growing in a higher pace because of the complex transition in the technology nodes. The logic intensity grows at around 80% to 100% from node to node and memory is around 50%. So definitely when customers are moving to new node, we see a growth in intensity.”

US China Trade War Effect

“Regarding the U.S. deliveries and the CHIPS Act programs, I think that we started to see the development lines for those fabs already this year. And we expect that next year we’ll probably see more of those deliveries happening in both Arizona and Austin and maybe later on in the East as well. And definitely, we see also the other CHIPS Act programs that were established in other places like Europe, mainly for the automotive in Germany with some of the new joint venture that’s starting to invest in chip manufacturing, also in Japan, in Korea, Taiwan and definitely in China.

“Regarding the political issue – Nova is an Israeli company. So therefore, we are – continue to ship regularly to China. The only effect that we have is by the XPS tools (X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) that has been shipped from the U.S. Over there, we are working to get the export license for new products. We got the licenses for services. And if we want to talk about impact, it’s just limited to SMIC in Shanghai, which, in any case, is not large volume of the business for the XPS.”

Nova is Aiming the Emerging Market of GAA Transistors

Nova from Rehovot, Israel, announced a series of updates to its metrology solutions for semiconductor fabrication, that prepares them for the production of the newly gate-all-around (GAA) technology. “To address GAA needs, process control solutions must be more accurate and applicable for complex 3D structures and new materials, applied to more layers and utilized to more physical and chemical inline parameters.”

Gate-all-around, or GAA transistors, are a modified transistor structure where the gate contacts the channel from all sides and enables continued scaling. Unlike finFETs, where higher current requires multiple side-by-side fins, the current-carrying capacity of GAA transistors is increased by stacking several nanosheets vertically, while the gate is wrapped around these channels. GAA transistors are generally considered as successors to FinFETs, because they can be scaled to the specific performance required, and allows the creation on 3nm transistors.

The updates were added to all its mainstream systems: spectral interferometry system Nova PRISM, the integrated metrology platform Nova i570, providing high-volume profiles of the materials composition through Nova METRION system, the Raman spectroscopy system Nova ELIPSON and the in-die X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy system Nova VERAFLEX IV. Above all Nova announced that all these systems are are unified by the new machine learning software suite, Nova FIT 2.0.

As part of its GAA strategy, Nova recently added chemical metrology capability by acquiring ancosys GmbH, a privately held company headquartered in Germany. The transaction is valued at approximately $90 million, which is paid in cash, and includes a performance-based earnout of approximately $10 million. “Nova’s portfolio is built to meet the challenges of next-generation device fabrication,” said Eitan Oppenhaim, President and CEO.