Pivotal Systems provides the best-in-class gas flow monitoring and control technology platform for the global semiconductor industry.
Pivotal Systems provides the best-in-class gas flow monitoring and control technology platform for the global semiconductor industry. The company’s proprietary hardware and software utilizes advanced machine learning to enable preventative diagnostic capability resulting in an order of magnitude increase in fab productivity and capital efficiency for existing and future technology nodes.
The platform includes Pivotal’s Gas Flow Controller (GFC) product lines that offer high-accuracy, real-time monitoring and control of the most critical parameters difficult to control in wafer processing today: Gas Flow and Chamber Condition.
Pivotal’s Ultra-High Speed GFCs operate at speeds down to ≤ 10msec on/off for process set point response time. This represents a significant speed improvement over other suppliers in the industry. At the same time, Pivotal can guarantee flow accuracy of ±0.5% of set point for the actual gas at these speeds. This leads to improved chamber matching and potential process improvements.
Pivotal’s new High Flow GFCs flows up to 50 slm. Leading manufacturers are already qualifying the High Flow GFCs into their fabs for the most advanced CVD and ALD processes.
IDMs, foundries and OEMs use Pivotal’s products to dramatically improve yield and productivity by avoiding catastrophic scrap events, tightening process windows and matching chambers more effectively.
To meet strong industry demand, Pivotal Systems now operates high-capacity manufacturing facilities in the United States and Korea, and the company has annually doubled its total unit production each year since 2014.
As process geometries within the semiconductor industry continue to shrink to 10 nm and beyond, the need for highly accurate, responsive and repeatable gas flow control during wafer processing is essential. With the emergence of low gas flow rates, short processing times and continuous plasma processing, best-in-class MFCs are struggling to meet the accuracy, settling time and repeatability requirements demanded to ensure high yield and matched chambers.
Pivotal Systems’ GFC paves the way for the future of gas flow control. The GFC combines Pivotal’s patented, high accuracy GFM™ system with patented control valve technology. As such, it leapfrogs the current MFC technology by offering an order of magnitude improvement on key flow metrics, thereby enabling advanced wafer-manufacturing processes.
GFC5L™ | GFC20L™ | GFC50L™ HIGH FLOW GAS FLOW CONTROLLER (GFC)
John Hoffman has over 25 years of global high technology management experience building growth organizations in both the semiconductor and information technology markets.
Prior to joining Pivotal Systems, John was a Senior VP with Spencer Trask Ventures, a New York based venture capital firm. While at Spencer Trask, John was primarily involved in the solar and integrated circuit efforts of the firm. Prior to Spencer Trask, John was the Chief Executive Officer of RagingWire Enterprise Solutions, an Inc 500 fastest growing private company. John reorganized the company and enabled record growth in revenue and profitability during his tenure. Prior to RagingWire, John worked in various general manager roles at Applied Materials for 18 years. He was the President of the billion dollar “Etch Product Business Group”, VP and GM of the Process Control and Diagnostic Business Group and the General Manager of the Customer Service Division which grew by over 300% during his tenure.
John has a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an Executive MBA (AEA) from Stanford University. He currently serves on several Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards.
President and CTO
Joseph Monkowski has extensive experience in the semiconductor industry focused on providing process equipment and metrology solutions for next generation device manufacturing.
Prior to joining Pivotal, Monkowski was the SVP of Business Development for Advanced Energy Industries, where he led the company’s M&A strategy to expand its product portfolio and position the company as a market leader in the semiconductor subsystems space. Previously, he held senior executive positions at Pacific Scientific, Photon Dynamics and Lam Research, where he served as EVP and CTO. During his career, Monkowski led efforts to design and build a number of leading CVD and plasma etch systems, winning the R&D 100 award and multiple Semiconductor International Best Product awards. He has authored numerous patents and publications.
Joseph Monkowski has a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Materials Science, all from Penn State University. He also served as a Professor of Electrical Engineering for six years at Penn State University.
Omesh Sharma has 20+ years of financial management experience in the public and private sectors.
Prior to joining Pivotal Systems, Sharma held several key senior financial and management positions at RagingWire Enterprise Solutions, Media Arts Group Inc. and Nortel Networks, where he was responsible for implementing business processes, procedures, financial and operational metrics, and controls. His demonstrated ability to streamline operational procedures has helped a number of companies achieve significant cost-efficiencies. While at Nortel Networks, Sharma received two Top Talent awards and was recognized with numerous Pride awards for his outstanding contributions to the company.
Omesh holds Master’s degrees in finance, business administration and economics.
Firsthand Capital Management
Kevin Landis is chief investment officer of Firsthand Capital Management (FCM), an investment management firm he founded in 1994.
FCM is the investment adviser to Firsthand Technology Value Fund (NASDAQ: SVVC), a publicly-traded venture capital fund. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Mr. Landis has over two decades of experience in engineering, market research, product management, and investing in the technology sector.
Mr. Landis holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
David Michael is Managing Director at Anzu Partners, an investment partnership which invests in innovative industrial technology companies. In addition to his role at Pivotal Systems, he is also Board member of Nuburu (industrial lasers), Axsun (MEMS-based sensors for medical and industrial uses), and Terapore (nanofiltration membranes for ultrapure water and other applications.
Mr. Michael was formerly Senior Partner and Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where his career spanned numerous leadership roles across the firm. He formerly led BCG’s Greater China business and their Asia Technology Practice. He served a range of clients in semiconductors, components, hardware, software, and services. He was based for 7 years in Silicon Valley and for 16 years in Greater China. He remains a Senior Advisor to the firm.
Mr. Michael is also a board member of Taiwan Cement Corporation, a publicly traded industrial conglomerate whose businesses include specialty chemicals, lithium ion batteries, and power generation.
Mr. Michael holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford.
Ryan A. Benton has been the chief financial officer of Brainchip (ASX: BRN) since August 2017. Prior to joining BrainChip, Mr. Benton served as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member at Exar Corporation (NYSE: EXAR), which was acquired by MaxLinear Corporation (NASDAQ: MXL) in May 2017. Mr. Benton joined Exar as Chief Financial Officer at Exar in 2012. Prior to joining Exar, Mr. Benton was chief financial officer of SynapSense Corporation, a private venture-backed company. Prior to SynapSense, from February 2007 to May 2012, Mr. Benton was chief financial officer of SoloPower, Inc., a manufacturer of thin-film solar cells and flexible solar modules. From November 2004 to February 2007, Mr. Benton served as a financial consultant for the United States subsidiary of ASM International NV in Phoenix, Arizona, a semiconductor capital equipment company. He also served as chief financial officer for PB Unlimited, an advertising specialty manufacturer from April 2002 through November 2004. Mr. Benton served as corporate controller for eFunds, which was a public company that provides information technology solutions for the financial service industry, where he was employed from September 2000 to March 2002.
Mr. Benton began his career in 1991 at Arthur Anderson after receiving a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Benton is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Pivotal Systems Introduces the GFC-H Product
September 15, 2017
Pivotal Systems introduces its new Flow Controller, GFC-H-5L, GFC-H-20L and GFC-H -50L , for precise flow control up to maximum of 50 liters at an accuracy of ±1.0% of set point and a turn-on/turn-off time of of ≤200msec for 10% to 100% of the full scale flow. This new product compliments the existing GFC product family of GFC-20, GFC-200, GFC-1000 and GFC-2000 which will encompass all of the semiconductor processes.
Joseph Monkowski, CTO and President for Pivotal Systems, said, “Multiple repeat orders for the GFC-H placed by leading device manufacturer’s and equipment companies show the quick acceptance of our latest technology. We are quite pleased to once again bring solutions to the industry leaders.” Nori Kobayakawa, VP of Global Marketing for Pivotal Systems, added, “Flow from 2L to 50L require a new level of technical capability in both flow accuracy and control. We are pleased to provide that new level of performance to the industry. The introduction of the GFC-H enables Pivotal Systems to provide solutions across the entire semiconductor gas flow range.”
Pivotal Systems Introduces New Ultra High-Speed Gas Flow Controller (UHS GFC)
July 10, 2017
Pivotal Systems, the leading provider of best-in-class monitoring and process control technology for the semiconductor manufacturing industry, today introduced its new Ultra High-Speed Gas Flow Controller (UHS GFC) at SEMICON WEST 2017. The UHS GFC operates at speeds down to 10msec response time, compared to the current industry leading 100msec guarantee available today on the standard Pivotal Systems’ GFC.
“The UHS GFC will improve the accuracy, repeatability, and ramping capability for leading plasma etch, atomic layer deposition and epitaxy (ALD/ALE) processes,” said Joseph Monkowski, CTO and President for Pivotal Systems. “We are seeing flow controllers being moved much closer to process chambers to maximize this new capability. We also believe that our industry leading control systems enable much better process controls for both device manufacturers and equipment companies.”
Pivotal’s current product line of Gas Flow Controllers (GFC) offers both the highest accuracy and real-time monitoring and control of the most critical gas flow parameters in wafer processing today. Leading IDMs, foundries and OEMs use Pivotal’s products to dramatically increase yield and productivity by avoiding catastrophic scrap events, tightening process windows, and matching chambers and eliminating off line flow calibration.
“We see the UHS GFC as yet another game changer because there are no other technologies in the market today that can flow accurately at these speeds,” said Nori Kobayakawa, VP of Global Marketing for Pivotal Systems. Speed and nanometer control of our flow controllers enable industry leading precision.
The UHS GFC has already begun shipping to leading customers and Pivotal has received multiple repeat orders.
Pivotal Systems Selected as a 2016 Red Herring Top 100 Global
November 17, 2016
Red Herring announced its Top 100 Global in recognition of the leading private companies from North America, Europe, and Asia, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries.
Red Herring’s Top 100 Global list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, and eBay would change the way we live and work.
“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across the globe to the Top 100 Winners. We believe Pivotal Systems embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Pivotal Systems should be proud of its accomplishment.”
“Pivotal Systems is much honored to win this prestigious award again. The introduction of the high flow controller (HFC) and ultra low flow GFC5 in 2016 demonstrates our continued mission of introducing innovative products for the semiconductor manufacturing industry” remarked Nori Kobayakawa, Pivotal System VP Global Marketing.
Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality, strategy, and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track records and standing of startups relative to their peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models from around the world.
Firsthand Technology Value Fund Announces Record Quarterly Results
October 31, 2016
Firsthand Technology Value Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: SVVC) (the “Fund”), disclosed today that Pivotal Systems, Inc. (“Pivotal”), a Fund holding since 2012, has announced results for the quarter ended September 30, 2016. Pivotal achieved record revenues and bookings in excess of $4 million, based on the accelerating adoption of the company’s Gas Flow Controller™ (GFC) technology by leading semiconductor companies. The company also noted that it already has received multiple repeat orders for its new line of High-Flow controllers (HFC), signifying rapid customer acceptance of the new products.
Pivotal Systems Completes a Series D $8.0 Million for Funding Manufacturing Expansion
October 14, 2016
Pivotal Systems Corporation, a developer of best-in-class gas flow monitoring and control technology for the semiconductor manufacturing industry, today announced that it has raised $8.0 million in new equity funding. Anzu Partners, headed by David Michael, was the lead investor along with other accredited investors. Existing investors, including Firsthand Technology Value Fund (NASDAQ: SVVC), Pivotal Systems’ largest shareholder and Quan Fund (Geneva, Switz.) also participated in the new round.
Pivotal Systems’ flagship Gas Flow Controller (GFCTM) product, which was launched in 2012, replaces traditional mass flow controllers (MFCs) and provides real-time, in situ process monitoring and control technology to semiconductor manufacturers. With semiconductor manufacturing process technology scaling below 10 nanometers, Pivotal Systems has seen tremendous growth in 2016 and sees a significant increase in the demand in 2017 and beyond. “2016 has been a very solid year for growth and we expect continued substantial increase in semiconductor market share in 2017. To support this growth we will be expanding our manufacturing capacity by adding a facility in Asia,” said John Hoffman, Pivotal Systems’ Chief Executive Officer.
“Pivotal Systems has developed game-changing gas flow technology and we believe it’s only a matter of time until it becomes the industry standard,” remarked Kevin Landis, CEO of Firsthand Technology Value Fund. “We are delighted to support the expansion of this dynamic company.”
Pivotal Systems has Record Bookings and Revenue in Q3 2016
October 14, 2016
Pivotal Systems, a leading manufacturer of the Gas Flow Controller (GFCTM), offering the fastest, most accurate gas flow control for the semiconductor manufacturing market, achieved record Q3 bookings (>$4.0 Mil.) and revenue due to the rapid adoption of the GFCTM at leading device manufacturers as well as leading semiconductor equipment companies.
John Hoffman, CEO, said, “Once again our leading customers have placed their faith in our technology. We are extremely grateful for the great support they provide us. As the semiconductor industry continues to move to more advanced technology nodes, it is becoming apparent that both our accuracy and repeatability are required.”
Pivotal Systems Selected as a 2015 Red Herring Top 100 Global
November 23, 2015
Pivotal Systems Selected as a 2015 Red Herring Top 100 Global. Red Herring announced its Top 100 Global in recognition of the leading private companies from North America, Europe, and Asia today, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries. Red Herring’s Top 100 Global list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, and eBay would change the way we live and work. “Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across the globe to the Top 100 Winners. We believe Pivotal Systems embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Pivotal Systems should be proud of its accomplishment.” Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality, strategy, and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track records and standing of startups relative to their peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models from around the world.
Inc. Magazine ranked Pivotal Systems No. 301 on it's 34th annual Inc. 500
August 12, 2015
Inc. magazine today ranked Pivotal Systems No. 301 on its 34th annual Inc. 500; an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.“Our goal is to be the leading global supplier of flow monitoring and control systems through meaningful innovation and enhanced customer productivity. The unrelenting commitment to our customers by our employees is what is driving Pivotal Systems’ success. We have been very fortunate that our customers are global industry leaders that welcome real innovation,” says CEO, John P. Hoffman.The 2015 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 18 to September 22) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 490%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000. "The story of this year’s Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “You have to remember that the average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don’t achieve that kind of success by accident." The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 21 through 23, 2015 in Orlando. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as Marcus Lemonis, host of the CNBC show “The Profit,” Robert Herjavec, one of the main "sharks" on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank,” KIND Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky, and Co-Founder of Goodshop.com JJ Ramberg.
Red Herring announced its Top 100 North America award winners
June 4, 2015
Red Herring today announced its Top 100 North America award winners in recognition of the leading private companies from the region, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries... “In 2015, selecting the top achievers was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “In fact, we had the toughest time in years because so many entrepreneurs had crossed significant milestones so early. But after much thought, rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across North America to the North America winners. We believe Pivotal Systems embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Pivotal Systems executive team and all its employees should be very proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was very strong.” Pivotal Systems CEO, John Hoffman added, “Pivotal Systems is extremely pleased to be selected by Red Herring as a top company for 2015. We take great pride in truly making a real difference in bringing advanced technology to the global market. To be selected by Red Herring tells us that we are on the right track”. Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technological innovation and intellectual property, DNA of the founders, business model, customer footprint and addressable market. A review of the track record and standing of startups relative to their sector peers, allowed Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models in North America, complement this assessment of potential.
Pivotal Systems has record-breaking Q4
January 7, 2015
Pivotal Systems, a leading manufacturer of the Gas Flow Controller (GFC), offering the fastest, most accurate gas flow control for the semiconductor manufacturing market, achieved record Q4 bookings and revenue due to the rapid adoption of the GFC at leading device manufacturers as well as leading semiconductor equipment companies. Joseph Monkowski, CTO and President for Pivotal Systems, said, “Our success in 2014 has been due to both the superior technology and production value of our GFC product as demonstrated by leading strategic device manufacturers around the world. I expect the sales to continue to grow at an accelerated pace as these customers continue to adopt the GFC in both their new leading edge production lines as well as retrofitting critical production tools on existing lines with our flow control technology.” Nori Kobayakawa, VP of Global Marketing for Pivotal Systems, added, “Our penetration into both strategic IDM’s and strategic global process equipment companies has shown the vision we had for the GFC was right on. This industry is about improving yield and reducing costs and the GFC Family of Products enables our key customers the opportunity to do both. We are extremely excited to continue to expand our global footprint and our product line at the direct request of our strategic customers.”
Pivotal Systems raises $5.6 million in new equity funding
January 6, 2015
Pivotal Systems Corporation, a developer of best-in-class gas flow monitoring and control technology for the semiconductor manufacturing industry, today announced that it has raised $5.6 million in new equity funding. Network1 Financial Securities, a New Jersey-based broker dealer, was able to secure SJM Partners, headed by Stephen Garchik, as the lead investor along with other accredited investors. Existing investors, including Firsthand Technology Value Fund (NASDAQ: SVVC), Pivotal Systems’ largest shareholder, also participated in the new round. Pivotal Systems’ flagship Gas Flow Controller (GFC) product, which was launched in 2012, replaces traditional mass flow controllers (MFCs) and provides real-time, in situ process monitoring and control technology to semiconductor manufacturers. With semiconductor manufacturing process technology scaling below 14 nanometers, Pivotal Systems has seen tremendous growth in 2014 and sees a significant increase in the demand in 2015 and beyond. “2014 was a very solid year for growth and we expect substantial increase in semiconductor market share in 2015. We will also prepare to penetrate new markets like LED, flat panel and the solar,” said John Hoffman, Pivotal Systems’ Chief Executive Officer. “Pivotal Systems has very innovative technologies for gas flow control systems which could revolutionize this sector of the market,” added David Lerner, Vice President- Investments at Network 1 Financial Securities (Managing Member, Renrel Partners, LLC). “We are very pleased to partner with them in this unique high growth opportunity in the high technology sector.” Stephen Garchik, Managing Partner of SJM Partners, said, “We are excited to join the syndicate and assist in bringing this highly innovative and disruptive technology to new markets while accelerating market share gains in the highly competitive semiconductor space. Pivotal Systems has emerged as a global technology leader as evidenced by their outstanding technology as well as their superior distribution and support network.”
Pivotal Systems demostrates GFC tests between - 60° C to 110° C
October 17, 2014
Pivotal Systems working with Accolade Engineering Solutions, Irvine, CA has demonstrated through multiple highly accelerated lifetime (HALT) tests where temperature cycling between - 60° C to 110° C were run to check the reliability of the GFC. Kelly McDonough, VP of Engineering said, “The GFC has been designed for very reliable performance and has demonstrated it by running with corrosive gases like Cl2 running in production lines for over 34 months but, never did I think we would be running with no issues at the temperature ranges we tested.”
Pivotal Systems Quality Management System Certified to the ISO 9001:2008 Standard
September 24, 2014
Pivotal Systems is pleased to announce that the company’s quality management system has been certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard, an industry benchmark that ensures consistent, high-quality products and services are being provided to customers. The ISO 9001:2008 standard is based on recognized principles of superior quality control, strong customer focus, motivation of top leaders, and commitment to continual improvement. Pivotal system’s certification was awarded after independent inspection and verification by DNV-GL, the industry’s leading certification body. A variety of internal audits were performed to test the company’s quality management system and processes. By meeting all the applicable requirements, Pivotal received the certificate with zero non-conformances. The certification process has a number of benefits. As Pivotal Systems improved its processes, it was also able to increase its efficiency. Because of the Semiconductor industry’s focus on Quality, Pivotal Systems believes that this certification will give its customers confidence in the quality of its products. “When our customers are looking for industry leading gas flow performance, we want them to be assured that Pivotal Systems is able to provide those products at the highest quality level,” said CEO John Hoffman. “Our customers are the focus of everything we do,” said VP of Quality Joseph Hajost. “We pride ourselves on meeting or exceeding all industry standards for safety, service and quality.” The ISO 9001:2008 standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. Over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries have implemented the ISO 9001:2008 standard.
48389 Fremont Blvd. Suite 100
Fremont, CA, 94538
Phone: (510) 770-9125
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Contact Pivotal Systems
48389 Fremont Blvd. Suite 100
Fremont, CA, 94538
Phone: (510) 770-9125