Table of Contents
quarter. Occasionally, this results in subsequent reductions in the December quarter. This annual seasonality can occasionally be overshadowed by effects of the broader semiconductor cycle. Macroeconomic factors also affect the industry, primarily through their effect on business and consumer demand for electronic devices, as well as other products that have significant electronic content such as automobiles, white goods, and telecommunication equipment. Our Equipment segment is primarily affected by the industry's internal cyclical and seasonal dynamics in addition to broader macroeconomic factors which positively and negatively affect our financial performance. The sales mix of IDM and OSAT customers in any period also impacts financial performance, as this mix can affect our products' average selling prices and gross margins due to differences in volume purchases and machine configurations required by each customer type. Our Expendable Tools segment is less volatile than our Equipment segment. Expendable Tools sales are more directly tied to semiconductor unit consumption rather than capacity requirements and production capability improvements. We continue to position our business to leverage our research and development leadership and innovation and to focus our efforts on mitigating volatility, improving profitability and ensuring longer-term growth. We remain focused on operational excellence, expanding our product offerings and managing our business efficiently throughout the business cycles. Our visibility into future demand is generally limited and forecasting is difficult and we may experience typical industry seasonality. To limit potential adverse cyclical, seasonal and macroeconomic effects on our financial position, we have de-leveraged and strengthened our balance sheet. In fiscal 2012, we fully repaid our 0.875% Convertible Subordinated Notes (the "Notes") with cash in the principal amount of
$110.0 millionat maturity. As of June 29, 2013, our total cash, cash equivalents and investments was $508.5 million, a $68.2 millionincrease from the prior fiscal year end. We believe this strong cash position will allow us to continue to invest in product development and improve our production capability throughout the semiconductor cycle. Technology Leadership We compete largely by offering our customers among the most advanced equipment and expendable tools available for the wire, wedge and die bonding processes. Our equipment is typically the most productive and has the highest levels of process capability, and as a result, has a lower cost of ownership compared to other equipment in its market. Our expendable tools are designed to optimize the performance of the equipment in which they are used. We believe our technology leadership contributes to the leading market share positions of our various wire bonder and expendable tools products. To maintain our competitive advantage, we invest in product development activities designed to produce a stream of improvements to existing products and to deliver next-generation products. These investments often focus as much on improvements in the semiconductor assembly process as on specific pieces of assembly equipment or expendable tools. In order to generate these improvements, we often work in close collaboration with customers, end users, and other industry members. In addition to producing technical advances, these collaborative development efforts strengthen customer relationships and enhance our reputation as a technology leader and solutions provider. In addition to gold and aluminum wire, our leadership in the industry's use of copper wire for the bonding process is an example of the benefits of our collaborative efforts. By working with customers, material suppliers, and other equipment suppliers, we have developed a series of robust, high-yielding production processes that have made copper wire commercially viable, significantly reducing the cost of assembling an integrated circuit. During fiscal 2010, many of our customers began converting their bonding wire from gold to copper wire, and we believe the conversion was accelerated by fabless companies in the consumer segment. Gradually, the level of confidence and the reliability of data collected have enabled a larger segment of the customer base to increase copper capabilities. Since this initial conversion, a majority portion of our wire bonder sales are copper capable bonders. We expect this conversion process to continue throughout the industry for the next several years. This could potentially drive a significant wire bonder replacement cycle, as we believe much of the industries' installed base is not currently suitable for copper bonding. Based on our industry leading copper bonding processes and the continued high price of gold, we believe the total available market for copper configured wire bonders is likely to continue demonstrating solid growth. Our leadership has allowed us to maintain a competitive position in the latest generations of gold and copper ball bonders, which enable our customers to handle the leading technologies in terms of pitch, silicon with the latest node and complex wire bonding requirement. We continue to see demand for our large bondable area ("LA") configured machines. This LA option is now available on all of our Power Series ("PS") models and allows our customers to gain added efficiencies and to reduce the cost of packaging. We also leverage the technology leadership of our equipment by optimizing our bonder platforms, and we deliver variants of our products to serve emerging high-growth markets. For example, we have developed extensions of our main ball bonding platforms to address opportunities in LED assembly. The LED backlights for flat-screen displays have been the main driver of the LED market in the last few years where we have successfully competed in LED assembly equipment. We expect the next wave of growth in the LED market to be high brightness LED for general lighting, and we believe we are well positioned for this trend.