SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 31 -- Applied Materials Inc. has launched a venture capital fund to invest in emerging companies that are developing the next wave of semiconductor processing technologies and silicon optical devices.
The fund, called Applied Materials Ventures I LP, will invest in companies pursuing "promising thin-film processes and device innovations that potentially may create alternative manufacturing competencies for both the semiconductor and emerging optical communications components industries."
The fund is a limited partnership funded by Applied Materials. The semiconductor equipment supplier said Ventures I will work with other venture capital firms to provide funding and active project feedback to startups pursuing technologies for optical applications.
Applied said the total optical component market--including fiber optics and electronics segments is projected to reach $22 billion in 2005 from $12.6 billion in 2000, based on a forecast from Strategies Unlimited.