During 2022, Smoltek has achieved significant progress in its semiconductors business area. This applies to both development of the company's capacitor technology and the start of development of engineering samples of a first capacitor product together with its partner YAGEO, one of the world's largest manufacturers of passive components.
"Within the semiconductors business area, we will in 2023 have full focus on achieving all milestones for the first phase of the MoU, the joint development agreement (JDA) between our group company Smoltek Semi and a subsidiary of YAGEO. This is required for the parties to be able to form a joint venture company for commercialization and global sales of ultra-thin capacitors. The formation of the joint venture company will also lead to an additional capital injection from our partner," says Smoltek's CEO Håkan Persson.
The prospects are very good that the joint venture company will be able to establish itself as a significant commercial player and reach substantial market shares with several capacitor products.
Updated strategic objectives
Overall progress in the business area
In 2022, Smoltek and YAGEO Group completed an evaluation to verify the commercial potential of Smoltek's technology. Subsequently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with YAGEO in June, followed by a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) in August for the development and later commercialization of ultra-thin capacitors. Both of these agreements concern products within the large discrete capacitor market, which in turn consists of several market segments. The parties have since successfully initiated collaboration to develop a capacitor product for use as a decoupling capacitor in mobile phones. Additionally, Smoltek and YAGEO are giving joint presentations about the upcoming product family to educate customers and the market about the merits of the technology.
The road to market
Smoltek is now conducting intensive technical development at the same time as technical and commercial analysis is carried out in dialogue with YAGEO for additional potential products within the family of ultra-thin capacitors. When the technical characteristics and commercial conditions are met for a certain product, productization and scale-up to volume production of the product will be initiated. This allows Smoltek to reach the market more quickly and cost-effectively with more products that, in each individual case, can meet specific design and performance requirements.
By being in control of the entire chain, from product development to global sales, the volume production can be scaled up at an optimal rate. This translates into a significant risk minimization combined with higher cost efficiency.
Carbon growth tool
The industrial machine for large scale manufacturing of carbon nanofibers, which has been ordered by Smoltek, is under development and will be delivered in 2023.
The recruitment plan has been adjusted to take into account an increased focus on technical development and technical and commercial analysis of additional potential products and market segments, and recruitment has been completed for several positions.
The objective is to reach a sales volume of at least 400 MSEK for the business area in 2027 which corresponds to a market share of approximately 20% within the first announced market segment*. The goal is to gradually scale up the sales volume by adding more products within the product family of ultra-thin capacitors. If the joint venture company with YAGEO is established, the key figures regarding sales volume and profit margin may change.
Timeline for strategic objectives
The above illustration shows the overall process for developing, validating and scaling up ultra-thin capacitor products to volume production.
Summary of strategic objectives and potential sales volume
- In 2023: Achieving all milestones in the Joint Development Agreement with YAGEO required to reach the next phase: to form a joint venture company for volume production and global sales.
- In 2023-2024: Form a joint venture company with YAGEO and manufacture prototypes (engineering samples) of the first product.
- During and after 2024: Continuously productize and scale up, volume manufacture and sell several products (including not yet announced) with YAGEO and reach a significant market share by expanding into several segments.
- Sales volume objective: Smoltek deems it as possible to reach a sales volume for the first product of at least 400 MSEK in 2027, and then successively multiply the sales volume by adding more products within the family of ultra-thin capacitors.
* Refers to decoupling capacitors for application processors in mobile phones. See the press release (https://news.cision.com/smoltek-nanotech-holding-ab/r/smoltek-updates-on-the-company-s-strategic-objectives,c3561510) published on May 5, 2022 for detailed information and source references.