Intermolecular, Inc.
INTERMOLECULAR INC (Form: 10-K, Received: 03/28/2016 16:45:51)

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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549


FORM 10-K


 

 

 

 

(Mark One)

 

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                                to

 

Commission file number: 001-35348


Intermolecular, Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

Delaware

(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)

 

20-1616267

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3011 N. First Street

San Jose, California

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

95134

(Zip Code)

 

(408) 582-5700

(Registrant's Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value

 

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:   None


Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of regis tr ant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer 

 

Accelerated filer 

 

Non-accelerated filer 

(Do not check if a

smaller reporting company)

 

Smaller reporting company 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes      No 

As of June 30, 2015 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second quarter), the aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock, par value $0.001, held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $49.8 million based upon the closing price reported for such date by the NASDAQ. Shares of the registrant's common stock held by executive officers and directors of the registrant and by each person who owned 10% or more of the outstanding common stock have been excluded because such persons may be deemed to be affiliates of the registrant. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

As of March 24 , 2016, the number of outstanding shares of the registrant's common stock, par value $0.001 per share, was 49,521,793 .

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant's Definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A in connection with the registrant's 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed subsequent to the date hereof, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report. Such Definitive Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the conclusion of the registrant's fiscal year ended December 31, 2015. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K, the Proxy Statement is not deemed to be filed as part of this Form 10-K.

 

 


 

Table of Contents

INTERMOLECULAR, INC.

FORM 10-K FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

Item 1.  

Business

Item 1A.  

Risk Factors

10 

Item 1B.  

Unresolved Staff Comments

31 

Item 2.  

Properties

31 

Item 3.  

Legal Proceedings

31 

Item 4.  

Mine Safety Disclosures

31 

 

PART II

 

Item 5.  

Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

32 

Item 6.  

Selected Financial Data

34 

Item 7.  

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

38 

Item 7A.  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

58 

Item 8.  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

59 

Item 9.  

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

90 

Item 9A.  

Controls and Procedures

90 

Item 9B.  

Other Information

91 

 

PART III

 

Item 10.  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

92 

Item 11.  

Executive Compensation

92 

Item 12.  

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

92 

Item 13.  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

92 

Item 14.  

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

92 

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.  

Exhibits, Financial Statem e nt Schedule

92 

 

Signatures

93 

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The following di s cussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes that appear elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, particularly in Part I, Item 1: "Business," Part I, Item 1A: "Risk Factors" and Part 2, Item 7: "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations." These statements are often identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "should," "estimate," or "continue," and similar expressions or variations. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking, including, but not limited to: any projections of financial information; any statements about historical results that may suggest trends for our business; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations; any statements of expectation or belief regarding future events, technology developments, our customers and programs, expenses, liquidity, cash flow, growth rates or enforceability of our intellectual property rights and related litigation expenses; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, we caution you not to place undue reliance on these statements. For Intermolecular, particular uncertainties that could affect future results include: our limited operating history; fluctuations in quarterly results; our ability to achieve profitability, which is dependent on, among other things, (i) customer acceptance of our HPC platform as an alternative to conventional research and development; (ii) our ability to provide customers with   the technological innovations they seek; (iii)our ability to evaluate engineered thin-film materials for next generation technology products (iv); our dependence on a limited number of customers;; rapid technological changes and market cyclicality in the semiconductor industry; the early stage of development of the new market sectors and the challenges each industry within the sector faces; our ability to scale our development services to accommodate more programs; our ability to make the substantial research and development investments required to stay competitive in our business and to be able to address a wider range of markets and customers; our ability to adequately protect against potential conflicts of interest and breaches of confidentiality among our customers; our ability to work cooperatively with our customers' materials suppliers and equipment manufacturers; the ability of our suppliers to deliver sufficient quantities of materials in a timely manner; our ability to manage our future growth, including an increasing number of employees, customers and programs; our ability to scale our development efforts and secure new programs with new or existing customers and the timing of those programs; the degree to which existing CDPs and programs are completed or expanded; our ability to realize any expected growth, synergies or benefits from acquisitions, strategic investments or joint ventures we may enter into; our potential need for additional capital to finance our business for purposes that could include potential acquisitions as well as repayment of debt; the potential loss of key personnel; our general ability to compete successfully in challenging markets; risk associated with transactions with related parties; product liability for our HPC tools and for our customers' products that incorporate technology developed through our programs; the costs and risks associated with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations; global or regional economic, political and social circumstances that could adversely affect our business; business interruptions such as earthquakes and other natural disasters; our ability to use our tax credit carryforwards; our ability to effectively protect our intellectual property, including patents, trade secrets and other proprietary information; any potential involvement in intellectual property litigation; and any potential payments to our customers resulting from our intellectual property indemnification policies and obligations. For a discussion of some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements, see the discussion on risk factors that appear in Part I, Item 1A: "Risk Factors" of this Form 10-K and other risks and uncertainties detailed in this and our other reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The forward-looking statements in this Form 10-K represent our views as of the date of this Form 10-K. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to

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update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this Form 10-K.

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PART I

ITEM 1.    BUSINESS

Overview

We are a trusted partner for the innovation of advanced materials using high throughput experimentation.  Advanced materials are critical to sustaining and advancing many industries, including semiconductors, consumer electronics, aerospace and automotive.  Using traditional experimental techniques, it can take many years to discover new advanced materials and many more years to deploy them in the marketplace.  By leveraging our proprietary high productivity combinatorial (HPC™) platform and multi-disciplinary development team, we strive to enable our customers to more rapidly discover advanced materials and tailor them to suit their needs. 

Our HPC platform, which consists of our Tempus™ processing tools, our unique, automated characterization methods, and our Informatics analysis software, is purpose-built for research and development (“R&D”) using combinatorial process systems in concert with established CVD, physical vapor deposition (“PVD”) and atomic layer deposition (“ALD”) deposition methods. Combinatorial processing is a methodology for experimentation, discovery and development that employs parallel and other high-throughput experimentation, which allows R&D experimentation to be performed at speeds up to 100 times faster than conventional R&D platforms, which are optimized for manufacturing rather than for R&D.  Our development team included approximately 98 scientists and engineers (of whom approximately 58% have PhDs) or approximately 56% of our total headcount as of December 31, 2015. 

We currently target large markets that rely on advanced materials for differentiation.  Within these broad markets, we target customers that have track records of technological innovation, have significant materials-based R&D, and are pursuing technical advancements that are critical to their success and strategy.  Each of Guardian Industries Corp. (“Guardian”), Micron Technology, Inc. (“Micron”) and SK Hynix accounted for more than 10% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2015. Each of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Guardian and Micron accounted for more than 10% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014, and each of ATMI, First Solar, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Micron accounted for more than 10% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013. To date, we have received the substantial majority of our revenue from customers in dynamic RAM (“DRAM”), flash memory, complex logic, materials and energy-efficient applications in flat glass.

Generally, our approach is most relevant to industries that rely heavily upon advanced thin film materials such as those achieved using PVD and ALD processing tools; however, our approach is also relevant to discovering and understanding advanced materials more broadly, including advanced bulk materials such as metal alloys.  Historically, we have partnered most extensively in the semiconductor industry and particularly in the area of semiconductor memory such as DRAM and new non-volatile memory (“NVM”) technologies.  Going forward, we plan to continue growing our footprint within semiconductors, including partnering in logic, while significantly expanding our engagements in areas such as architectural glass, display, consumer electronics, aerospace and automotive.

We have a flexible engagement model that allows our customers to choose how best to leverage our HPC platform and whether and how to work with our development team.  Historically, we offered only multi-year collaborative development programs (“CDPs”), which typically required the customer to pay a fixed annual fee during the engagement and an ongoing royalty stream upon our customer’s commercialization of technology we developed under the program.  Such engagements typically took nine to twenty-four months to negotiate and often were conducted at or below cost to secure the royalty obligation, which was contingent upon our customer’s successful introduction of the developed technology under the CDP.

 

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As demonstrated by the relatively long sales cy cle, the CDP model is subject to substantial resistance by many potential customers, and in particular semiconductor customers, who typically budget for R&D annually (not across multiple years) and are averse to paying ongoing royalties in addition to paying for the initial development work.  The CDP model, if not priced to ensure profitability during a collaboration, is also subject to substantial risk because there is no guarantee of success in R&D.  Accordingly, today our preferred approach is to engage with customers using a multi-year umbrella agreement that allows our customer during the term to selectively engage in multiple projects, each typically having a duration of six to twelve months and each subject to its own payment obligations, which can include success fees or royalties depending on how the project leverages our development team or incorporates our background technology.  Generally, if a project requires us to both direct the project and meet a target specification, as is typically the case for CDPs, we seek success fees and/or royalties in addition to insisting on being profitably compensated during the term of the project.  Similarly, we seek an additional fee if a customer decides to commercialize our background technology.  Our new, flexible engagement model has substantially reduced our sales cycle and significantly improved our operating results.

We believe there are opportunities for us to develop our own advanced materials while preserving the trusted relationship with our customers.  By pursuing the discovery and development of novel materials required for new applications, we believe we can effectively complement our current customers markets and serve additional industries such as automotive and aerospace.  We believe that the licensing of our proprietary materials has potential to produce a more robust stream of royalty revenues than has been the case with CDPs, which rely upon our customers’ commercialization of our technology.

Our Advantage

We have pioneered, developed and patented a proprietary platform and methodology for improving R&D in our target markets. Our strengths include:

·

Proprietary and patented HPC platform .  Our HPC platform employs proprietary and patented combinatorial methods to parallel and rapid-serial process up to 192 experiments on a single substrate as compared to conventional methods, which typically allow only a single experiment at a time.

·

Flexible technology platform configurable for and extendable to multiple markets .  Our HPC platform can be configured for many applications and extended to address a broad set of markets. Because of the similarities and synergies in materials deposition, manufacturing processes and device integration complexities across markets, our platform allows us to create unified workflows and support innovation across multiple markets.

·

Seasoned engineering team with multi-disciplinary expertise.  We have assembled a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers with expertise across various disciplines, fields and technologies, including materials science, chemistry, physics, engineering, process equipment development, software and informatics, process development and integration, device technologies and device integration.

·

Deep expertise in advanced materials, processes, integration and device architectures .  We have accelerated innovation for a broad set of customers across multiple markets. Our team and our platform enable more rapid comprehension and learning about advanced materials, processes, integration and device architectures, some of which is applicable across markets.  We generate our own IP such as materials characteristics, optimized processes and interoperability of systems and architectures that can be applicable in many fields of use and potentially generate license fees for Intermolecular.

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·

Our revenue is built on c ustomer programs and licensing fees .   Our customer programs may/are designed to generate predictable services revenue throughout the length of the engagement.  In some cases, we also receive success fees or licensing fees for our work and technology.   Licensing and royalty revenue over the past three years has accounted for 25 %, 36% and  22% of revenue in the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. Included in licensing and royalty revenue, during the year ended December 31, 2014, is an accelerated payment in th e amount of $4.2 million (or nine percentage points of revenue) from a customer in connection with the suspension of program activities with that customer .

Embedded throughout our platform, which is a combination of hardware and software, our proprietary technology is based upon the parallel and/or rapid serial experimentation capabilities of combinatorial methods. High-productivity combinatorial (or “HPC”) methods generally refer to techniques that vary materials, unit processes, process, and device integration sequences across multiple regions of one or more substrates, the output of which can then be evaluated in parallel or rapid serial fashion. Our informatics software and analytical methods characterize and analyze these combinations of materials, unit processes, process, and device integration sequences for the most promising solutions in a structured, automated and throughput-matched fashion. The relationship between materials, processes, integration and device output are established earlier in the development process, so that performance and manufacturability considerations are taken into account from the outset, instead of late in the R&D process.

We begin the development and discovery process by working with our customers to design experiments to synthesize, characterize and understand the material sets they want to explore.  We then use our HPC platform to run those experiments.  Once an experiment is processed, the data sets of each experiment are stored in a secure database and analyzed for desired properties. As with processing, our clean room labs include a broad array of characterization and metrology instruments and software to evaluate different properties under a wide variety of process conditions. These properties include physical, electrical, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and optical properties. In general, we are able to design, process and characterize tens to hundreds of experimental results in a single day.

Intellectual Property

Our success depends in part on our IP, including patents, trade secrets and know-how. We have patented and continue to seek patent protection for combinatorial methods and systems included in our HPC platform, and we will also seek patents for advanced materials and related technologies we develop outside of development services for our customers, e.g., technologies developed as internal research and development or part of a joint development effort with a partner. Historically, we also patented innovations arising from CDPs and will continue to do so to the extent required by agreements with our customers; however, generally, we no longer seek patent protection for technology arising from customer development services .

Our Customers

Our customers serve large and growing markets, including the markets for semiconductors, flat glass, advanced alloys, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), flat-panel displays, and other applications. Success in these markets requires rapid and cost-effective product innovation, fast time-to-market, competitive pricing, production scalability and the ability to achieve specific product performance requirements. Our semiconductor customers’ products are typically manufactured using thin-film deposition of advanced materials through customized processes that create a specific device architecture. These thin-film structures must then be scaled and integrated into cost-effective manufacturing processes to serve high-volume end markets. Conventional R&D approaches are increasingly challenged by the ever increasing device complexity and the market need to manage innovation in our target markets.

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Empowered with our inter-disciplinary team and unique technology through our HPC platform, we believe we are well positioned to assist manufacturing industries that increasingly rely on the discovery and introduction of new materials, which traditionally have required intensive, time-consuming experimentation due to the fact that advanced materials are not well-understood and accurate, robust models do not exist. Ironically, the greater expertise and higher costs required to discover and introduce advanced materials have led to increased specialization among materials, capital equipment, semiconductor manufacturing and IC (integrated circuit) design companies. This specialization has left gaps in the industry knowledge base with respect to the complex interactions among materials science, process technology, device integration and the ability to scale to high-volume, high-performance IC production.  Our HPC platform allows us to accelerate the rate of experimentation, and our inter-disciplinary team has been assembled to address such gaps.

The majority of our revenue during 2015 came from our semiconductor customers, w hich represented a combined 77% of our total revenue during the year ended December 31, 2015.  The majority of our revenue during 2014 came from our three largest customers for that period, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Guardian and Micron, which represented a combined 62% of our total revenue during the year ended December 31, 2014. The majority of our revenue during the year ended December 31, 2013 came from our four largest customers for that period, ATMI, First Solar, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Micron, whi ch represented a combined 55%.

Research and Development

We conduct R&D activities for customers and for internal research and development on both workflow platform development and application R&D. As of December 31, 2015, we employed a resea rch and development team of 126 full-time employees. This R&D team includes many experienced engineers, scientists and managers with advanced degrees from leading universities around the world and experience with leading chip manufacturers, solar PV companies and equipment and materials suppliers. We believe these R&D professionals on our team have enabled us to develop our HPC platform, support customer programs, implement our technology roadmap rapidly and provide us with the foundation for our technology advancement in the future.

We devote a substantial portion of our resources to engineering of our next-generation platforms by integrating future generations of technology and developing standardized software and hardware modules. We work closely with multiple vendors during the development of new workflows or workflow modifications for use in our future platforms. The synergies among existing and new workflows often enable us to operate with adjacent vertical technologi es. Our R&D expenses were $28.6 million, $24.3 million, and $24.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively; th is represented approximately 63 %, 51% and 36%, of our revenue in those years, respectively.

Competition

The principal capabilities required to be competitive in our market include technical expertise, processes and integration capabilities, diversity of platform offerings, development speed and performance, quality and reliability of engineers, depth of collaboration with customers and technical support. We believe we compete favorably with respect to these factors because of the breadth of capabilities of our HPC platform, the depth of multi-disciplinary expertise of our internal research team and external engineering teams who collaborate with customers and our use of combinatorial processing and throughput matched characterization and analysis. These differentiating factors allow us to explore more comprehensive materials sets and provide faster results to our customers. We are not aware of any companies that currently compete or have to date competed with us in the use of combinatorial methods for thin-film development ; however, we do believe that we compete for the R&D resources of our customers with third-party IP licensors, equipment suppliers, industry consortia, alliance partnerships and university research teams. In addition, many of our customers design, develop, manufacture and market solutions based on their own unique device architectures and develop their own intellectual property in-house.

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A portion of our revenue is generated from the sales of end products by our customers, and our competitive position therefore is dependent on their competitive positions. The markets for our customers' products that incorporate technology developed through our programs are intensely competitive and characterized by rapid technological change. These changes result in frequent product introductions, short product development cycles and increased product capabilities typically representing significant price and performance improvements.

Environmental Regulation

We are subject to various foreign, federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations governing, among other matters, emissions and discharges of hazardous materials into the air and water, the use, generation, storage, handling, transportation and disposal of, and exposure to, hazardous materials and wastes, remediation of contamination and employee health and safety. In addition, under certain of these environmental laws, liability can be joint and several and without regard to comparative fault. Our operations involve the use of hazardous materials and produce hazardous waste, and we could become liable for any injury or contamination that could arise due to such use or disposal of these materials. Failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations or to obtain or maintain required environmental permits could result in the imposition of substantial civil and criminal fines and sanctions, could require operational changes or limits or the installation of costly equipment or otherwise lead to third party claims. Future environmental laws and regulations, stricter enforcement of existing laws and regulations, or the discovery of previously unknown contamination or violations of such laws and regulations could require us to incur costs, or become the basis for new or increased liabilities or subject us to fines or other sanctions.

Employees

As of December 31, 2015, we had a total of 175 full-time employee s. None of our employees are represented by a labor union, and we consider our employee relations to be good.

Financial Information about Segment s and Geographic Areas; Backlog

We derive a significant portion of our revenue from customers that are based in foreign countries, particularly those based in Asia including Japan. Revenue generated from custo mers in Asia including Japan accounted for 35 %, 10 % and 23 % of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.  We expect that a significant portion of our total future revenue will continue to be derived from companies based in Asia and Japan.

For geographic information, see Note 12 to our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report on Form 10-K. We report all of our business activities as a single reporting segment.

Our backlog as of December 31, 2015 was $32.3 million .  Our backlog as of December 31, 2014 was $39.5 million, of which $25.5 million was scheduled to be recognized as revenue during 2015 and $14.0 million is scheduled to be recognized as revenue in periods beyond 2015. As of December 31, 2013 we had backlog of approximately $56.4 million.

Corporate and Available Information

We were originally incorporated as The BEP Group, Inc. in Delaware in June 2004. In November 2004, we changed our name to Intermolecular, Inc. We are headquartered in San Jose, California.

Our Internet address is www.intermolecular.com. Information included on our website is not part of this Form 10-K. We make available free of charge on our website our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. See http://ir.intermolecular.com .

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In addition, copies of our annual reports are available free of charge upon written request. The SEC also maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that site is http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar .

 

ITEM 1A.                   RISK FACTORS

We describe our business risk factors below. You should carefully consider the risks described below together with the other information set forth in this Form 10-K, which could materially affect our business, financial condition or future results. The risks described below are not the only risks facing our company. Risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

 

Risks Related to Our Business, Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

We have a limited operating history and are substantially changing our business model, which makes it difficult for investors to evaluate our current business and future prospects .

 

We are substantially changing our business model while reducing our reliance on licensing and royalty revenues to achieve profitability, and we have not yet demonstrated that this new model can scale successfully.  Additionally, we do not have a long history of operating results on which you can base your evaluation of our business. As a result, it may be difficult for analysts and investors to evaluate our future prospects. Furthermore, because of our limited operating history under the new model and because we are seeking to grow revenue by addressing industries we have not previously engaged, such as automotive and special metal alloys, we have limited experience in analyzing and understanding the trends that may emerge and affect our business. If we are unable to obtain significant licensing and royalty revenue from products that use or incorporate our proprietary technology, whether developed for our customers under CDPs or developed independently by the Company, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected .  

 

Under our new business approach, we have a tiered engagement model with customers where royalties or license fees are not included in most levels of customer engagements, and we may not be able to achieve significant profitability without these fees .

While we continue to offer royalties and license fees as a component of our compensation to customers who prefer them, our typical customer engagement no longer requires such fees and often does not include them.  Instead of relying upon future royalty payments to recover losses incurred in performing a project, we now seek appropriate compensation through value pricing of the basic offering and, upon occasion, the payment of one time success fees or commercialization fees, when the details of the engagement permit them (for example, when the engagement requires use of our background technology in our customer’s end product).  In an effort to further improve our profitability and mitigate the potential loss of royalty revenue due to forgoing the prior CDP model, we are independently developing advanced materials for licensing.  However, our new business model may not yield the level of profitability expected of the prior CDP model.

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Under our new business model, customer engagements are typically 6 to 12 months in duration and maintaining and growing the business requires substantially more marketing and business development resources than under the CDP model.  If we cannot begin new customer engagements as old customer engagements are ending, our revenues may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter .

 

Under our new business model, customer engagements typically involve a multi-year umbrella agreement under which our customer may have multiple active projects and can easily add new projects, if desired.  Most projects are 6 to 12 months in duration.  While our new approach has reduced our typical sales cycle for new customer engagements from 9 to 24 months to 2 to 6 months, the lack of multi-year projects requires a robust sales pipeline of customers to ensure projects begin as current projects end.  Given the importance of current projects to our customers, it can be difficult to focus a customer on the next project in a timely manner in order to secure it without a gap between the end of one project and the beginning of the next.  Also, customers may have no further need of us once a particular project ends.  As a result of these changes to our business model, our reported backlog will likely be substantially reduced, and the success of our business will depend largely on constantly growing and refreshing our sales opportunities

 

Our operating results may fluctuate from quarter to quarter, which may make it difficult to predict our future performance .

 

Our revenue, expenses and operating results have fluctuated, and may in the future continue to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter due to a number of factors, many of which are outside our control. Factors that may contribute to these fluctuations include the following, as well as other factors described elsewhere in this Form 10-K:

 

·

our dependence on a limited number of customers;

·

the nature and length of our sales cycles for customer engagements, which make it difficult to predict the timing of new or expanded customer engagements

·

the additional development required by our customers to integrate technology developed under our prior CDPs (“CDP Technology”) into their products, which makes it difficult to predict the timeframe in which CDP Technology will be available for commercialization ;

·

fluctuations in the volume and prices of products manufactured and sold by our customers that use or incorporate technology developed under our CDPs (CDP Products) and that generate licensing and royalty revenue for us;

·

our revenue mix, which may vary from quarter to quarter as (i) we enter into new customer arrangements; (ii) existing customer engagements, particularly for significant customers, are completed, extended, contracted or undergo a change in scope; (iii) licensing arrangements take effect; and/or (v) we enter into IP sale transactions;

·

the highly cyclical nature of and price volatility in the semiconductor industry;

·

the financial stability of any of our customers;

·

the timing and extent to which we enter into new customer engagements or complete, extend the duration, expand the scope or reduce the duration or scope of existing customer engagements;

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·

non-cash charges relating to stock-based compensation, amortization of intangible assets, write-down expenses related to inventory, and impairment expenses related to long-lived assets;

·

any involvement in significant litigation, and in particular IP litigation;

·

any payments resulting from our IP indemnification policies and obligations;

·

any need for significant additional capital to finance our business;

·

any delay in shipments caused by shortages of components used or incorporated in program services, design errors, manufacturing problems, or other difficulties or delays in completing contracted results; and

·

business interruptions such as power outages, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

 

You should not rely on quarter-to-quarter comparisons to predict our future performance. Unfavorable changes in any of these or other factors may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations .

 

We have incurred operating losses since our inception and may not be able to achieve or maintain sustained profitability

 

We have generated net losses each year sinc e our inception, including $21.0 million, $21.8 m illion and $8.8 million for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. Our accumulated deficit a s of December 31, 2015 was $152.9 million. We will need to significantly increase revenue and operating margins to achieve sustained profitability, which we may not be able to accomplish.

 

Our ability to achieve and maintain profitability will depend, in large part, on our success in transitioning to the new business model, as well as the other risk factors in this Item 1A:

 

We may be unable to achieve broad customer acceptance of our HPC platform and approach as an alternative to conventional research and development activities .  

 

Historically, semiconductor companies have conducted R&D activities internally using conventional research methods, and they have vigorously protected the confidentiality of their R&D activities. In order for us to increase revenue, we must convince these companies that our technology and capabilities justify collaborating with us on their basic R&D programs. This may require us to make significant investments in the expansion of our sales and marketing efforts. We must also convince potential customers in industries outside of the semiconductor industry that our HPC platform and approach are useful tools in their field. We may not achieve the levels of customer acceptance necessary for us to maintain and grow a profitable business. Failure to achieve the necessary customer acceptance to extend or add current or new customer relationships would adversely affect our revenue and profitability.

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We may be unable to achieve broad customer acceptance of our HPC platform and approach as an alternative to conventional research and development activities, and our customers may not be successful in commercializing products that use or incorporate technology and IP developed under our CDPs with them .  

 

Even if we achieve sufficient levels of customer acceptance of our HPC platform as an effective tool for R&D, we may not achieve significant revenue or profitability from a CDP if a project to which we have devoted technology and significant resources fails to produce any measurable success or value to our customers in the form of differentiated technology and IP. 

 

Further, even if we are successful in developing valuable technology for our CDP customers, they still face significant challenges in commercializing products that use or incorporate the technology. The markets for products related to our CDPs are intensely competitive and are characterized by rapid technological change. These changes result in frequent product introductions, short product life cycles and the necessity of continually increasing product capabilities. We cannot assure you that our CDP customers will dedicate the resources necessary to successfully execute their business strategies for these products. Our CDP customers are not contractually obligated to us to make or sell any CDP Products. They may not have the financial strength to cost-effectively manufacture the CDP Products at high volume and in quantities sufficient to meet demand, or the competitiveness to price, market and sell the CDP Products in intensely competitive markets. They may experience delays in shipments caused by shortages of components incorporated in the CDP Products, design errors or other manufacturing problems associated with the CDP Products. A decline in demand or average selling prices in the end markets for CDP Products could result in declining sales revenue for our customers and could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Any failure of a customer to achieve market success for CDP Products could also negatively affect the customer's willingness to work with us on other collaborations and could more generally harm our reputation and business prospects. Even if a CDP customer is able to successfully commercialize a CDP Product, there may be a significant delay before we receive any licensing or royalty revenue due to the complexities inherent in production and manufacturing in our customers' target markets. 

 

Existing and potential customers may be resistant to paying license and royalty fees, and we may face challenges in monitoring and enforcing royalty agreements with existing customers .

 

Our royalty-bearing licenses with our CDP customers lay the framework for ongoing royalty revenue from CDP Products. Although our R&D activities under CDPs generate revenue for us, in order to achieve profitability we must be able to structure, negotiate and enforce agreements for the calculation and payment of higher-margin license and royalty revenue. Unless we adequately demonstrate the value of our platform to our customers and potential customers, we may face resistance to structuring royalty arrangements in the future that are acceptable to us, or our customers and our potential customers may not agree to enter into royalty-bearing licenses with us at all. 

 

If we are able to negotiate royalty-bearing agreements, we will need to rely on our customers to make royalty payments on a timely basis. Licensing and royalty revenue we may receive in the future may be based on sales of CDP Products. In order to accurately report our financial results on a timely basis, we will need to receive timely, complete and accurate information from our customers regarding their sales and resulting payments they owe us .

 

 

 

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If the information that we receive is not timely, complete or accurate, we may not receive the full amount of revenue to which we are entitled under these arrangements on a timely basis, which could result in adjustments to our financial results in a future period. Although we typically have audit rights with these customers, performing this type of audit could be harmful to our collaborative relationships, expensive and time-consuming and may not be sufficient to reveal any discrepancies in a timeframe consistent with our financial reporting requirements

 

If a CDP to which we have devoted technology and significant resources fails to produce any measurable success or value to our customer in the form of differentiated technology and intellectual property that our customer can successfully commercialize, we may not earn licensing and royalty revenue sufficient to recover our upfront investment in the CDP, which could adversely affect our revenue and profitability .

 

Under the CDP model, we are compensated with program revenues during the development stage, and we are owed royalties or success fees upon the successful commercialization of Program technology.   The program revenue we receive from our customers during the development stage often is not sufficient for us to fully recover our costs and cash invested in HPC platforms dedicated to customer engagements, and our business model relies on licensing and royalty revenue based on the sales by our customers in the end-markets of CDP Products. Our CDPs involve complex R&D, and our ability to develop the differentiated technology and intellectual property sought by our customers is inherently uncertain and difficult to predict, as is our customers’ ability to commercialize such technology in a timely manner. If a CDP fails to produce any measurable value to a customer, or if we are otherwise not successful in maintaining and managing a CDP, we may not receive sufficient amounts of licensing and royalty revenue to recover our upfront investment in the CDP.   Even if we are successful in delivering CDP technology that a customer is able to commercialize, we will need to rely on our customers to bring the CDP technology to market and to make royalty payments on a timely basis. Some of our CDP agreements include provisions that require minimum annual royalty payments to maintain exclusivity, and a customer may elect to forego such minimum payments and exclusivity, for example, if commercialization of the CDP technology is delayed or uncertain.  Licensing and royalty revenue we may receive in the future may be based on sales of CDP Products. In order to accurately report our financial results on a timely basis, we will need to receive timely, complete and accurate information from our customers regarding their sales and resulting payments they owe us. If the information that we receive is not timely, complete or accurate, we may not receive the full amount of revenue to which we are entitled under these arrangements on a timely basis, which could result in adjustments to our financial results in a future period. Although we typically have audit rights with these customers, performing this type of audit could be harmful to our collaborative relationships, expensive and time-consuming and may not be sufficient to reveal any discrepancies in a timeframe consistent with our financial reporting requir ements .

 

We depend on a limited number of customers, and a loss of any of them, or a significant reduction in revenue from any of them, would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations .

 

Our customer base is highly concentrated. Revenue has historically come from a few customers, and we expect that revenue from a small number of customers will continue to account for a high percentage of our revenue for the foreseeable future. Our three la rgest customers accounted for 64 % of revenue in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.  Our three largest customers accounted for 62% of revenue in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, and our four largest customers accounted for 55% of our revenue in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.

 

 

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Our lar gest customer accounted for 36 %, 3 5 % and 17% of our revenue in each of these periods, respectively, and as of December 31, 2015 our lar gest customer accounted for 48 % of our account receivables. Our concentration of customers is somewhat a reflection of the concentrated nature of manufacturers in the DRAM, flash memory and complex logic markets, and our revenue is and may continue to be heavily reliant on key high-volume customers. The loss of any of these customers or a decrease or delay in the manufacturing or sales volumes of the CDP Products, or a renegotiation of the licensing or royalty revenue owed to us by our customers, or their failure to pay amounts due to us or renew, extend or maintain their existing relationships with us, and the related impact on our future anticipated licensing and royalty revenue, would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, and we may not be   able to replace the business from these customers. Additionally, any significant decrease in revenue from one or more key customers may require reductions in our employee workforce, which could reduce our ability to grow as well as expose us to an increased risk of employment and labor claims against us.

 

As an example, in February 2014 our customer GLOBALFOUNDRIES suspended development activities under its CDP with us through the remainder of calendar year 2014. Accordingly, we experienced a reduction in the scope of R&D activities, associated employee workforce and associated CDP revenue, which has adversely affected our business, financial condition and results of operations this fiscal year. Similarly, Toshiba and SanDisk did not renew or extend the term of our CDP with them. As of March 15, 2014, Toshiba and SanDisk no longer pay us fees for development services. In 2015 and 2014 o ur customer Micron notified us that they would stop further development work in the NVM portion of the CDP effective April 1, 2015 and in the DRAM portion of the CDP effective April 1, 2016.

 

The semiconductor industry is highly cyclical, subject to significant downturns, price volatility, and other dynamics that make the industry very unpredictable. These factors can have a material adverse impact on our business both directly, and indirectly through the impact on our customers in the industry.

 

The semiconductor industry is highly cyclical and has been subject to significant economic downturns at various times, characterized by diminished product demand, accelerated erosion of average selling prices and production overcapacity. The semiconductor industry also periodically experiences increased demand and production capacity constraints. The timing and length of these cycles is extremely difficult to predict, which makes it challenging for us to forecast our operating results, make business decisions and identify risks that may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the semiconductor industry has historically experienced price volatility. Because the substantial majority of our revenue comes from customers in the semiconductor industry, we may experience significant fluctuations in operating results due to the cyclicality and price volatility of the industry.

 

The industry has also been affected in recent years by uncertainty in the credit markets. In addition, future  uncertainty may cause sudden changes in our customers' manufacturing capacity requirements and spending, which depend in part on capacity utilization, demand for products using or incorporating our technology by consumers, inventory levels relative to demand, and access to affordable capital.

 

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Industry consolidation (including but not limited to the transition of semiconductor manufacturing to foundries and large-scale manufacturers, and the subsequent concentration of research and innovation in manufacturing process development) has increased in recent years, and we may continue to see consolidation in the future. This will likely result in fewer small companies, and more large companies with greater financial resources - companies that may be less likely to become our customers than smaller companies with more limited R&D resources. Furthermore, if any of our existing customers are acquired, the acquiror may not continue to engage in a CDP with us or may choose to focus its product development and commercialization on technologies not covered by our CDP.

 

If we are unable to scale our development services to accommodate new customer engagements, our growth prospects would be limited and our business, financial condition and results could be adversely affected.

 

We have limited space and internal capacity, both in terms of personnel as well as capital equipment resources, to meet new demands from our customers. If the demand for our services and products exceeds our capacity to meet such demand, we may be required to turn down potential opportunities, which would cause us to lose potential revenue, and our potential customers may take their business to a competitor or decide to develop or expand internal R&D capabilities. If we are unable to scale our development services to meet demand, our future growth may be hindered and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

 

We may be unable to make the substantial R&D investments required to remain competitive in our business.

 

The industries we serve require substantial investment in R&D to develop and bring to market new and enhanced technologies and products. To remain competitive, we anticipate that we will need to continue to increase our levels of R&D expenditures to keep pace with the development efforts of our customers. We are continually working to develop and broaden our HPC platform, including our software and informatics capabilities, to address a wider range of markets and customers for multiple applications within our target markets. This is an extremely complex and costly process. We expect R&D expenses to continue to increase in absolute dollars for the foreseeable future, due to the increasing complexity and number of platforms and solutions we plan to develop both for our customers and internally, the expansion of our customer base, and any associated increase in upfront R&D costs. If we are unable to build new systems, or configure, modify, expand or customize our existing systems for these fields and develop our expertise to support these fields, our business growth might be limited, and our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Although we are making progress in certain fields of technology, we have limited expertise and experience in other fields. We may be required to invest significantly greater resources than anticipated in our R&D efforts. If we are unable to develop expertise or experience in these fields, or if the investment of our resources in these fields is unsuccessful, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

 

 

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Our strategy includes conducting proprietary R&D efforts in collaboration with and on behalf of multiple customers. Any failure on our part to adequately protect against potential conflicts of interest and breaches of confidentiality by us would harm our reputation and our relationships with our customers, and our business prospects and operating results would be materially and adversely affected. Moreover, some customers may hesitate to grant us access to their proprietary information, which could impair our ability to provide value for such customers.

 

Our strategy includes conducting proprietary R&D efforts in collaboration with and on behalf of customers who in some cases may have overlapping interests and technologies. We seek to structure our collaborative agreements and business practices to minimize any potential conflicts among customers and the possibility of any breaches of confidentiality. We may need access to some of our customers' proprietary information, and they may be reluctant to share it with us because of the risk of a potential conflict between us and/or our customers and other potential customers and the risk of a breach of confidentiality. In an effort to address these significant potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality concerns, we have implemented internal restrictions on resource and information sharing. However, we cannot ensure that our existing and potential customers will perceive these measures to be adequate and effective, or that they will be, in all circumstances. Our failure to adequately and effectively address these concerns could result in our inability to attract new customers or retain existing customers, or lead to our having incomplete information with respect to existing customers that could impair our ability to fully address the customers' needs and demonstrate the value of our technology to the customers. Even though we make significant efforts to isolate each development activity from other development activities, we may fail to meet our contractual confidentiality commitments to one or more customers. Moreover, even if we meet these commitments, conflicts of interest between a customer and us, or between or among customers, could nevertheless arise. In either event, we may become involved in a dispute with our customers regarding the solutions developed during the collaboration or the rights to these solutions, including possible litigation. Disputes of this nature could harm the relationship between us and our customers, have a material adverse effect on our ability to retain and to enter into new customer engagements, and cause our revenue and operating results to decline significantly.

 

Our business strategy requires us to evaluate, integrate and develop elements of our customers' value chains, including development and manufacturing processes. Our ability to evaluate these effectively may sometimes depend on the cooperation from our customers' materials suppliers and equipment manufacturers as well as access to their data and tools. If these third parties do not cooperate with us or provide us access to the necessary data, materials, tools or equipment, we may not be able to deliver effective solutions to our customers, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations .

 

We have to evaluate multiple elements of our customers' value chains to help them test and develop end products that meet their specifications, including the materials, tools and equipment used by them during the manufacturing process. Our ability to evaluate a customer's value chain effectively may sometimes depend on cooperation from such customer's materials suppliers and equipment manufacturers and on access to their data and tools. Our evaluation of the materials and equipment in the value chain must be unbiased to maintain credibility with our customers, and our evaluation sometimes results in recommendations that our customers change materials and tools providers or equipment manufacturers. Our recommendations may negatively impact our relationships with materials and tools providers and equipment manufacturers. Tensions in our relationships with these providers and manufacturers may cause these parties to limit or deny our access to their newest materials and equipment, which would in turn limit our ability to complete our development activities with our customers or control the quality of the combinatorial methods applied to our development efforts on their behalf, which would adversely affect our business and operations.

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Our future growth may present challenges to our management and administrative systems and resources, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

In order to successfully expand our business we will need to grow in all operational areas and to successfully integrate new employees. In particular, we expect growth as we expand our R&D capacity for current and additional customer engagements. The expansion of our business may place a strain on our management, as well as our operational systems and facilities, which may make it difficult for us to implement our business strategy. We have experienced employment and labor claims against us by our employees in the past, and we may experience such claims in the future.

 

To effectively manage our operations and any future growth, we must continue to expend funds to enhance our operational, legal, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures, and to attract and retain sufficient numbers of talented employees. If we are unable to implement these enhancements efficiently, effectively and quickly, we will not be able to successfully grow our business in the future. Our future operating results will also depend on our management's ability to:

 

·

improve our sales, marketing and customer support programs;

 

·

improve our R&D efforts;

 

·

enhance our operational and financial control systems;

 

·

expand, train and manage our employee base and promptly replace departing employees with key skills; and

 

·

effectively address new issues related to our growth as they arise.

 

We may not manage our expansion successfully, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Acquisitions, strategic investments, joint ventures or strategic asset sales may harm our business and operating results, cause us to incur debt or assume contingent liabilities, or dilute our stockholders.

 

We have made and may in the future make strategic investments, acquisitions, asset sales, or enter into joint ventures with third parties where there is an opportunity to expand the potential applications and reach of our capabilities, including our HPC platform. Exploring and implementing any investments, acquisitions, asset sales or joint ventures may place strain upon our ability to manage our future growth and may divert management attention from our core businesses. There are also other risks associated with this strategy. We cannot assure you that we will be able to make investments, acquire businesses or sell assets on satisfactory terms, that any business acquired by us or in which we invest will be integrated successfully into our operations or be able to operate profitably, or that we will be able to realize any expected growth, synergies or benefits from such investments, acquisitions, sales or joint ventures.

 

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Our relative inexperience in effecting such transactions heightens these risks. In addition, to finance any acquisitions, investments or joint ventures, we may utilize our existing funds, or might need to raise additional funds through public or private equity or debt financings. We may be unable to obtain financing to fund future acquisitions or investments on attractive terms, or at all. Additionally, equity financings may result in dilution to our stockholders. We cannot predict the number, timing or size of investments, acquisitions or joint ventures, or the effect that any such transactions might have on our operating results.

 

We may need additional capital in the future to finance our business.

 

Our future capital requirements may be substantial as we continue to develop our business and expand our collaborative development efforts. In particular, we may be required to raise additional capital if we choose to expand our business through strategic investments or acquisitions. Our need for additional capital will depend on many factors, including our rate of revenue growth, our expansion of our sales and marketing activities and overhead expenses, the timing and extent of our spending to support our R&D efforts and our ability to expand CDPs in the semiconductor and clean energy industries, whether we are successful in obtaining anticipated levels of payments from customers, the financial stability of our customers, whether we can enter into additional collaborations in our target industries and markets, the progress and scope of collaborative R&D projects performed by us and our customers, the effect of any acquisitions of other businesses or technologies that we may make in the future, the filing, prosecution, maintenance and enforcement of patent claims, how much we need to develop or enhance our solutions or HPC platform, and any necessary responses to competitive pressures.

 

If our capital resources are insufficient to meet our capital requirements, and our revenue is insufficient to support any of these activities, then we will have to raise additional funds. If future financings involve the issuance of equity securities, our then-existing stockholders may suffer dilution. If we raise additional future debt financing, we may be subject to restrictive covenants, which would further limit our ability to conduct our business. We may not be able to raise sufficient funds on terms that are favorable to us, if at all. If we fail to raise sufficient funds and continue to incur losses, our ability to fund our operations, take advantage of strategic opportunities, develop products or technologies or otherwise respond to competitive pressures could be significantly limited. If this happens, we may be forced to delay or terminate R&D programs, curtail or cease operations, obtain funds through collaborative and licensing arrangements that may require us to relinquish commercial rights, or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us. If adequate funds are not available, we may not be able to successfully execute our business plan or continue our business.

 

If we lose one or more of our key personnel without obtaining adequate replacements in a timely manner, or if we are unable to retain and recruit skilled personnel, our operations could become disrupted and the growth of our business could be delayed or restricted.

 

Our success depends, in large part, on the continued contributions of our senior management team. None of our senior management is bound by written employment contracts to remain with us for a specified period. The loss of any of our senior management could harm our ability to implement our business strategy and respond to the rapidly changing market conditions in which we operate.   Upon hiring or promotion, new senior management personnel must spend a significant amount of time learning our technology, business model and management systems and their new roles, in addition to performing their regular duties.

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Accordingly, we may experience disruption to our ongoing operations. Moreover, the loss of a member of our senior management or our professional staff would require the remaining management to divert attention to seeking a replacement.

 

Our future success and competitiveness depends on our ability to retain and motivate our unique team of highly skilled scientists and engineers, and to recruit and hire similarly qualified replacements for any who leave the company. These scientists and engineers have expertise across various disciplines, fields and technologies, including engineering, materials science, process development and integration, equipment, device process technologies and device integration. In addition, as we grow, we will have to continue to retain, attract and motivate qualified and talented personnel, including our scientists and engineers, management, sales and marketing and legal and finance personnel. The loss of key scientists or engineers or other personnel could have an adverse effect on our ability to deliver results to a customer in a timely manner or at all. We do not know whether we will be able to retain all of these employees or hire appropriate replacements for any who leave the company, as we continue to pursue our business strategy. Competition for personnel is intense in the Silicon Valley.

 

We may encounter difficulties in hiring qualified scientists and engineers because there is a limited pool of scientists and engineers with the specialized expertise required to understand and implement our platform in conjunction with our customers. Further, we may have difficulty or delays in obtaining visas permitting entry for some of our employees who are foreign nationals into the United States, and in obtaining visas permitting entry into other key countries for several of our key personnel, which could disrupt our ability to strategically locate our personnel. The loss of the services of key employees or our inability to retain, attract and motivate qualified scientists and engineers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If we cannot compete successfully in our industry, our results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.

 

Competition in our markets may intensify in the future, which could slow our ability to grow or execute our strategy and could lead to increased pricing pressure, negatively impacting our revenue and ability to attain and maintain profitability. Our current and potential customers may choose to develop their own methods to accelerate R&D activities, including their own combinatorial development methods, particularly if we are slow in developing or deploying our solutions or improving them to meet market needs. We currently face indirect competition from the internal R&D groups of our current and potential customers, particularly those of our customers who work with us to develop knowledge of combinatorial methods and who may then use our methods independently. They often compete with each other and with us in various applications. Our customers are generally much larger and have significantly greater resources than us. We also face indirect competition from university collaborations, consortia and alliance partnerships .   In addition, there may be other providers of high-throughput or combinatorial solutions for the design of and accelerating R&D relating to integrated devices of which we are not aware, and there may be new entrants to the industry in the future, particularly if acceptance of these solutions grows .   In addition, we believe that the demand for solutions that address the need for better integration between the design and manufacturing processes may encourage direct competitors to enter into our market. Other potential competitors include fabrication facilities that may decide to offer solutions competitive with ours as part of their value proposition to their customers. If these potential competitors change the pricing environment or are able to attract industry partners or customers faster than we can, we may not be able to grow and execute our strategy as quickly or at all.

 

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A portion of our revenue is derived from business arrangements with related parties, and such arrangements could create conflicts of interest that could adversely affect our business and results of operations .

 

Some of our customers and other business partners hold a significant stake in our capital stock. Related party transactions, which includes transactions with both ATMI and SanDisk, disclosed in our financia l statements accounted for $3.3 million   (7.3%) of our revenue in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.  Transactions with those parties accounted for $5.6 million (11.7%) of our revenue in the year ended December 31, 2014, and $12.8 million (19.0%) of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013. For more information about these transactions, see Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements in this Form 10-K.

 

T hese relationships could create, or appear to create, potential conflicts of interest when our board of directors is faced with decisions that could have different implications for us and our related parties or their affiliates. In addition, conflicts of interest may arise between us and our related parties and their affiliates. The appearance of conflicts, even if such conflicts do not materialize, might adversely affect the public's perception of us, as well as our relationship with other companies and our ability to enter into new relationships in the future, including new CDPs with competitors of such related parties, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to do business.

 

Compliance with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations could increase costs or cause us to incur substantial liabilities.

 

We are subject to various foreign, federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations governing emissions and discharges of hazardous materials into the air and water; the use, generation, storage, handling, transportation and disposal of, and exposure to, hazardous materials and wastes; remediation of contamination; and employee health and safety. In addition, under certain of these environmental laws, liability can be joint and several and without regard to comparative fault. Our operations involve the use of hazardous materials and produce hazardous waste, and we could become liable for any injury or contamination that could arise due to such use or disposal of these materials. Failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations could result in the imposition of substantial civil and criminal fines and sanctions, could require operational changes or limits or the installation of costly equipment or otherwise lead to third party claims. Future environmental laws and regulations, stricter enforcement of existing laws and regulations, or the discovery of previously unknown contamination or violations of such laws and regulations could require us to incur costs or become the basis for new or increased liabilities, which could impair our operations and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

Global or regional economic, political and social conditions and foreign currency exchange rates could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We operate in multiple jurisdictions throughout the world and are subject to foreign business, political and economic risks. In particular, we are subject to risks arising from adverse changes in global economic conditions. Global economic uncertainties in the key markets of many of our customers may cause our customers to delay or reduce R&D and technology purchases and investments. The impact of this on us is difficult to predict, but if businesses require fewer program services, or if consumers defer purchases of new products that use or incorporate technology developed under our CDPs, our revenue could decline. A decline in revenue would have an adverse effect on our results of operations and our financial condition.

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In addition, some of our largest customers are located outside of the United States, primarily in Asia, which further exposes us to foreign risks. Also, a substantial portion of the consumer products market that serves as the end-market for the products we help our customers to develop is located in Asia. As a result, our operations are subject to substantial influence by political and economic conditions. Reduced end user demand as well as disruptions to the supply chain for our customers resulting from these or other events could lead to a reduction in our revenue and an adverse impact on our financial condition. Our licensing and royalty revenue is derived from sales of products that use or incorporate technology developed under our CDPs. To the extent that sales for these products are denominated in U.S. dollars, the currency conversion and foreign exchange laws and regulations in the foreign countries in which we do business may delay or preclude us from receiving payment from our customers, which would have an adverse impact on our operations and financial condition. Additionally, to the extent that sales for these customer products are denominated in a foreign currency, an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to such foreign currencies could also adversely affect our licensing and royalty revenue irrespective of the volume of such products sold, which could adversely affect our business and operating results.

 

We expect that a significant portion of our total future revenue will continue to be derived from companies based in foreign countries. If the U.S. dollar increases in value relative to the currencies in any of these countries, the cost of our CDPs, which have historically been billed in U.S. dollars, will be more expensive to existing and potential customers in those countries, which could adversely affect our ability to generate new or expand existing CDPs.

 

We are also subject to general geopolitical risks in connection with international operations, such as political, social, and economic instability, terrorism, interference with information or communication of networks or systems, potential hostilities, changes in diplomatic and trade relationships, and disease outbreaks, and any disruptive effect these events would have on our business operations. For example, an imposition of economic sanctions by the U.S. government against the Russian Federation may have an adverse impact on our ability to do further business with one of our current customers, Ulyanovsk Center for Technology Transfer of the Russian Federation. Although to date we have not experienced any material adverse effect on our operations as a result of these types of factors, we cannot assure investors that these factors will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results or require us to modify our current business practices. Inconsistencies among, and unexpected changes in, a wide variety of foreign laws and regulatory environments with which we are not familiar, including, among other issues, with respect to employees, currency controls, foreign exchange, protection of our intellectual property, and a wide variety of operational regulations and trade and export controls under domestic, foreign, and international law may also have unexpected, adverse impacts on our operations and financial condition.

 

Business interruptions could delay or prevent our business activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our headquarters are located in the San Francisco Bay Area near known earthquake fault zones and are vulnerable to significant damage from earthquakes. We are also vulnerable to other types of natural disasters and other events that could disrupt our operations, such as cybersecurity breaches, terrorist acts and other events that may be beyond our control. We do not carry insurance for earthquakes and we may not carry sufficient business interruption insurance to compensate us for losses that may occur. Our business can also be impacted if our customers experience business interruptions as a result of natural disasters or other disruptive events. Any losses or damages we or our customers incur could have a material adverse effect on our cash flows and success as an overall business.

 

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Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards to offset future taxable income, and our ability to use our tax credit carryforwards, may be subject to certain limitations.

 

In general, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) to offset future taxable income and its ability to utilize tax credit carryforwards. As of December 31, 2015, we reported U.S. federal NOLs in the amount of $91.3 million .  In general, an “ownership change” occurs if the aggregate stock ownership of certain stockholders (generally, 5% shareholders, applying certain aggregation and look-through rules) increases by more than 50 percentage points over such stockholders' lowest percentage ownership during the testing period (generally, three years). We have not determined whether an ownership change has occurred in the past. If we have experienced an ownership change in the past, our ability to utilize NOLs and tax credit carryforwards could be limited. Furthermore, future changes in our stock ownership, such as certain stock issuances and transfers between stockholders, some of which changes are outside of our control, could result in ownership changes under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code. For these reasons, we may not be able to utilize a material portion of our NOLs and tax credit carryforwards, even if we attain profitability.

 

Specific Risks Relating to Our Intellectual Property

 

We may be unable to effectively protect or monetize our intellectual property, which would negatively affect our ability to compete.

 

We depend on our proprietary HPC platform for our success and ability to compete. If others are able to reproduce our technology, our business will suffer significantly unless we can prevent them from competing with us. As of December 31, 2015, we owned or had exclusive licenses to 833 U.S. patents and patent applications (some of which also have foreign counterparts), which we believe protect our rights in our HPC platform and our rights in the technology developed internally and under our customer engagements. While we have been filing patent applications to seek protection for the further advancements of our HPC platform, patent laws provide only limited protection. Furthermore, we may not be able to sustain the high rate of patenting we maintained in the previous three years due to the expense and resource-intensiveness of the patenting process. Finally, we actively manage our patent portfolio and regularly discontinue pursuing patent protection for inventions we believe are not or will not be commercially relevant or significant, and we could be mistaken in our judgments about which patents are valuable and which are not .

 

For these and other reasons, we cannot assure you that we have sought or that we will seek patent protection of all our rights in our HPC platform and our rights in the technology developed internally and under our customer engagements in all jurisdictions. We also cannot assure you that all maintenance fees have been paid or that all filings have been made with the appropriate regulatory or governmental authorities with respect to any IP rights (including patents) registered or applied for outside of the U.S. In addition, patent protection in foreign countries may be limited or unavailable where we need this type of protection .  

 

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The patent positions of technology companies, including ours, are often uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions. We will be able to protect our proprietary rights from unauthorized use by third parties only to the extent that our proprietary technologies are covered by valid and enforceable patents, or are effectively maintained as trade secrets or other forms of legal protection. We apply for patents covering our HPC platform and further advancements of our HPC platform as we deem appropriate. However, we may not obtain patents on all inventions for which we seek patents. Further, any patent claims we file for may be challenged during prosecution or any patent claims we are issued may be challenged after issuance. This may result in the claims being narrowed in scope or extinguished as a result of these challenges. Additional uncertainty may result from the recent and ongoing consideration and passage of patent reform legislation by the United States Congress, legal precedent as handed down by the United States Federal Circuit and Supreme Court as they determine legal issues concerning the scope and construction of patent claims, and inconsistent interpretation of patent laws by the lower courts. For these reasons, among others, our existing patents and any future patents we obtain may not be sufficiently effective in preventing others from practicing our technologies or from developing similar or superior products. In that case, our revenue and operating results could decline.

 

Historically, our customer engagement strategy included obtaining patent protection for technology developed for our customers under CDPs, and portion of our revenue from our CDP customers derives from the licenses granted by us to our customers under these patents. In certain instances our ability to obtain patent protection may require customer approval. If the customer does not provide its approval, we cannot proceed with patent protection and the technology will be subject to trade secret protection only. If we are unable to obtain patent protection, we would not be able to enforce patent rights to the technologies in question.  While the CDP model remains available to customers who prefer it, our baseline customer engagement strategy no longer includes a patent licensing component but instead relies upon a combination of value pricing and certain additional fees that can be triggered by technical success and/or commercial adoption of our technology.

 

In most instances, with respect to patents obtained for technology developed in collaboration with our customers, we grant our customers an exclusive license within a specific field-of-use under these patents thus reserving for us the right to grant licenses to third parties outside such field-of-use.  In some cases, our customers must pay minimum annual royalties to maintain exclusivity, and the failure to make such minimum payments results in the license becoming non-exclusive. While a license is exclusive, we cannot grant licenses to third parties within the customer’s exclusive field-of-use and may not be able to grant such third party licenses outside the field-of-use, which would not allow us to realize additional revenue from licensing such patents .

 

We have developed in the past, and may develop in the future, patented technology with U.S. federal government funding. When new technologies are developed with U.S. government funding, the government obtains certain rights in any resulting patents, including a nonexclusive license authorizing the government to use the invention for non-commercial purposes. These rights may permit the government to disclose our confidential information to third parties and to exercise “march-in” rights to use or allow third parties to use our patented technology. The government can exercise its march-in rights if it determines that action is necessary because we fail to achieve practical application of the U.S. government-funded technology, because action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs, to meet requirements of federal regulations, or to give preference to U.S. industry. In addition, U.S. government-funded technology may be subject to restrictions on transfer to foreign entities, and some U.S. government-funded data may be subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

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Many of our customers and competitors have significant operations outside the United States. However, foreign laws may not afford us sufficient protections for our intellectual property, and we may not always seek patent protection outside the United States. We believe that our success depends, in part, upon our ability to obtain international protection for our IP rights. However, the laws and judicial systems of some foreign countries may not be as comprehensive as those of the United States and may not be sufficient to protect or enforce our proprietary rights abroad. Accordingly, our international competitors could obtain foreign patent protection for, and market overseas, products and technologies for which we are seeking patent protection in the United States, and may also be able to successfully enforce such patents in such foreign countries against us or against our customers.

 

Confidentiality agreements with employees and others may not adequately prevent disclosures of trade secrets and other proprietary information.

 

We rely in part on confidentiality and trade secret protection to protect our confidential and proprietary information and processes. However, trade secrets are difficult to protect. We have taken measures to protect our trade secrets and proprietary information, but these measures may not be effective. We require new employees and consultants to execute confidentiality agreements upon the commencement of an employment or consulting arrangement with us. These agreements generally require that all confidential information developed by the individual or made known to the individual by us during the course of the individual's relationship with us be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties. These agreements also generally provide that all rights in and to the inventions conceived by the individual in the course of rendering services to us shall be assigned to us. Nevertheless, employees, collaborators or consultants may still disclose or misuse our confidential information, and we may not be able to meaningfully protect such information or our trade secrets. In addition, others may independently develop substantially equivalent information or techniques or otherwise lawfully gain access to our trade secrets, and thereafter communicate this information to others without maintaining its confidentiality. Costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to obtain or maintain trade secret protection or enforce our trade secrets could adversely affect our competitive business position.

 

Significant litigation over intellectual property in the industry may cause us to become involved in costly and lengthy litigation, which could subject us to liability, require us to stop licensing our developed technology or force us to develop new technology.

 

Whether or not patents are granted to us, litigation may be necessary to enforce our IP rights, to defend against a claim of infringement of IP rights of others or to determine the validity and scope of our proprietary rights or the proprietary rights of others. Because infringement is a fact-intensive inquiry, and because patent applications in the United States and many foreign jurisdictions are typically not published until eighteen months after filing (or, in some cases, are not published until they issue as patents), we cannot be certain that we do not now, and will not in the future, infringe a third party's patent rights. We may also become party to claims by our customers to IP rights developed by us in connection with a CDP. If our customers become involved in disputes with third parties over allegations that our customers' practice of our IP rights infringes the IP rights of such third parties, it may also become necessary for us to become involved in such disputes.

 

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Any claim, even if without merit, could be time consuming to defend, result in costly litigation, or require us to enter into licensing agreements, resulting in unexpected operating costs and reduction in our operating profit. Moreover, our opponents in any litigation may have significantly more resources with which to defend against or assert claims in the litigation. A successful claim of infringement against us in connection with the use of our technologies could force us to stop using our technologies that incorporate the infringed IP; pay substantial monetary damages or royalties; grant cross-licenses to third parties relating to our own IP; obtain a license from the owner of the infringed IP, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all; or re-engineer our platform or products to avoid further IP infringement, which may be technically impossible or commercially infeasible. The occurrence of any of these eventualities could adversely affect our business. Even if we are successful in defending such a claim, litigation could also divert our resources, including our managerial and engineering resources. Any infringement claim or other litigation against or by us could have a material negative effect on our business.

 

Our intellectual property indemnification policies and obligations may adversely impact our business and operating results.

 

A third party asserting ownership or other rights to technology developed under our customer engagements could result in our customers becoming the target of litigation, and we may be bound to indemnify our customers under the terms of our license agreements. These obligations could result in substantial expenses to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition to the time and expense required for us to satisfy our support and indemnification obligations to our customers, any litigation could severely disrupt or shut down the business of our customers, which in turn could damage our relations with them and have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

 

Our stock price may be volatile, which may cause the value of our common stock to decline and subject us to securities class action litigation.

 

The market price of our common stock could be subject to significant fluctuations. Market prices for securities of early stage companies have historically been particularly volatile. The stock markets in general have experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected, and continue to affect, the market prices of equity securities of many companies. A portion of most future fluctuations in our stock price will likely be related to the risk factors described in this section. However, price fluctuations may be disproportionate, or even unrelated, to our operating performance. In the past, many companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have become subject to securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Securities litigation against us could result in substantial costs and divert our management's attention from other business concerns, which could seriously harm our business. Factors that could contribute to volatility in our stock price include but are not limited to the following:

 

·

fluctuations in our financial results or outlook, or those of our customers or of companies perceived to be similar to us;

 

·

changes in estimates of our financial results or recommendations by securities analysts;

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·

changes in market valuations of similar companies;

 

·

changes in our capital structure, such as future issuances of securities or the incurring of debt;

 

·

announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, acquisitions or strategic alliances;

 

·

litigation involving us, our general industry or both;

 

·

additions or departures of key personnel;

 

·

regulatory developments in the U.S., countries in Asia, and/or other foreign countries;

 

·

significant fluctuations in daily trading volume of our stock due to selling of large blocks of stock by significant stockholders;

 

·

investors' general perception of us; and

 

·

general economic and political conditions in the U.S. and globally, such as recessions, interest rate changes and international currency fluctuations.

 

We have incurred and will continue to incur increased costs and demands upon management as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies, which could harm our results of operations.

 

As a public company, we have incurred and will continue to incur significant accounting, legal and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. We have incurred and will continue to incur costs associated with existing and evolving corporate governance requirements, including requirements under Section 404 and other provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as rules implemented by the Securities Exchange Commission, or SEC, and the exchange on which we list our common stock. These rules and regulations have substantially increased our financial and legal compliance costs and may cause further increases in the future. These rules and regulations also make it more expensive for us to maintain director and officer liability insurance.

 

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We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting which could, if not remediated, adversely affect our ability  to report our financial condition or results of operations in a timely and accurate manner, which may adversely affect investor confidence in our company and, as a result, the value of our common stock.

 

As a public company, we are required, under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures over financial reporting. The results of this assessment are included in Item 9A of this annual report. For fiscal year 2015, we disclosed a material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting .   This material weakness is a combination of control deficiencies that resulted in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected.  We have concluded that, as a result of the material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as of December 31, 2015 .   The assessment was based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission. We are actively engaged in remediation activities designed to address the material weaknesses, but our remediation efforts are not complete and are ongoing.  If our remedial measures are insufficient to address the material weakness, or if additional material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control are discovered or occur in the future, it may materially adversely affect our ability to report our financial condition and results of operations in a timely and accurate manner. Although we continually review and evaluate internal control systems to enable management to report on the sufficiency of our internal controls, we cannot assure you that we will not discover additional weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. In the future, if we identify one or more new material weaknesses or   are unable to timely remediate our existing weakness, we may be unable to assert that our internal controls are effective. If we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an opinion on the effectiveness of our internal controls, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which would have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock and possibly impact our ability to obtain future financing on acceptable terms .

 

We cannot assure you that we will be able to remediate our existing material weakness in a timely manner, if at all, or that in the future, additional material weaknesses will not exist, reoccur or otherwise be discovered, a risk that is significantly increased in light of the complexity of our business. If our efforts to remediate this material weakness are not successful or if other deficiencies occur, our ability to accurately and timely report our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or key operating metrics could be impaired, which could result in late filings of our annual and quarterly reports under the Exchange Act, restatements of our consolidated financial statements or other corrective disclosures. Additional impacts could include a decline in our stock price, suspension of trading or delisting of our common stock, or other material adverse effects on our business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity. Furthermore, if we continue to have this existing material weakness or other material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in the future, it could create a perception that our financial results do not fairly state our financial condition or results of operations. Any of the foregoing could have an adverse effect on the value of our stock .  

 

We devote significant resources to hiring personnel and compiling the system and processing documentation necessary to perform the evaluation needed to comply with Section 404. In future ye ars, we will need to devote more

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resources to Section 404 compliance, and we may not be able to complete our annual evaluations, testing and any required remediations in a timely fashion. During the evaluation and testing process, if we identify one or more material

w eaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to assert that our internal controls are effective. As noted above, lack of effective controls could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial  

condition or results of operations. We cannot assure you that there will not be material weaknesses and/or significant deficiencies in our internal controls in the future .

 

The concentration of our capital stock ownership by our executive officers, directors and 5% stockholders will limit your ability to influence corporate matters.

 

Our executive officers, directors, current five percent or greater stockholders and entities affiliated with them together beneficially owned more than 50% of our common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2015 . Based on public filings and our internal records, entities affiliated with Raging Capital Management LLC, entities affiliated with Redpoint Ventures, entities affiliated with Presidio Partners, entities affiliated with U.S. Venture Partners ,   entities associated with Cowen Prime Advisors and Lloyd I. Miller b eneficially owned more than 5% of our common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2015. This significant concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price for our common stock because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning stock in companies with concentrated stock ownership. Also, these stockholders, acting together, will be able to influence our management and affairs and determine the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and the approval of significant corporate transactions, such as mergers, consolidations or the sale of substantially all of our assets. Consequently, this concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control, including a merger, consolidation or other business combination involving us, or discouraging a potential acquiror from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control, even if that change of control would benefit our other stockholders.

 

A significant portion of our total outstanding shares may be sold into the public market at any given time, which could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly.

 

I f our existing stockholders sell, or if the market believes our existing stockholders will sell, substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, the market price of our common stock could decline significantly. As o f December 31, 2015, we had 49 million shares of common stock outstanding. All of these shares can be resold at any time, subject in some cases to the volume limitations and other restrictions of Rule 144 promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and upon the lapse of our right of repurchase with respect to any unvested shares. Certain of our officers and directors may sell shares from time to time pursuant to 10b5-1 automated sales plans, and investors may react negatively to any insiders disposing of shares of our stock.

 

In addition, as of Decemb er 31, 2015, the holders of approximatel y   $12.0 million shares of our common stock are entitled to certain rights with respect to the registration of such shares under the Securities Act. If we register such shares of common stock, these stockholders could sell those shares in the public market without being subject to the volume and other restrictions of Rule 144.

 

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We also registered approximately $14.5 million shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under our equity plans. These shares can be freely sold in the public market upon issuance, subject to vesting restrictions described above.

 

If securities or industry analysts do not publish or cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they change their recommendations regarding our stock adversely, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

 

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If any of the analysts who cover us change their recommendations regarding our stock adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, our stock price would likely decline. If any analyst who covers us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

 

Anti-takeover provisions contained in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law, could impair a takeover attempt.

 

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it more difficult for stockholders to elect directors and take other corporate actions. These provisions include:

 

·

staggered board of directors;

 

·

authorizing the board to issue, without stockholder approval, preferred stock with rights senior to those of our common stock;

 

·

authorizing the board to amend our bylaws and to fill board vacancies until the next annual meeting of the stockholders;

 

·

prohibiting stockholder action by written consent;

 

·

limiting the liability of, and providing indemnification to, our directors and officers;

 

·

eliminating the ability of our stockholders to call special meetings; and

 

·

requiring advance notification of stockholder nominations and proposals.

 

 

 

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Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law prohibits, subject to some exceptions, “business combinations” between a Delaware corporation and an “interested stockholder,” which is generally defined as a stockholder who becomes a beneficial owner of 15% or more of a Delaware corporation's voting stock, for a three-year period following the date that the stockholder became an interested stockholder.

 

These and other provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws could discourage potential takeover attempts, reduce the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, and result in the market price of our common stock being lower than it would be without these provisions.

 

ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.    PROPERTIES

Facilities

Our facilities currently consist of an aggregate of approximately 146,000 square feet of office, research and development clean room space in San Jose, California, pursuant to a lease that expires in 2025. As of December 31, 2015, we were using approximately 65% of the capacity of our clean room space in San Jose. We have historically expanded and invested in our facilities to support the growth of our programs and we expect to be able to continue to do so on commercially reasonable terms as we engage in new programs in the future. We have no reason to believe that additional space that we may need in the future will not be available on commercially reasonable terms.

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings and claims arising in the ordinary course of our business, including but not limited to legal proceedings and claims brought by employees or former employees relating to working conditions or other issues. We are not currently a party to any legal proceedings the outcome of which, if determined adversely to us, we believe would individually or in the aggregate have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, financial condition or cash flows.

 

ITEM 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

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PART II

ITEM 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER REPURCHASE OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information for Common Stock

Our common stock has been listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market, or NASDAQ, under the symbol "IMI" since our initial public offering on November 18, 2011. The following table sets forth on a per share basis, for the periods indicated, the low and high sale prices of our common stock as reported by NASDAQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Low

    

High

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

1.55

 

$

1.99

 

Second Quarter

 

$

1.62

 

$

2.25

 

Third Quarter

 

$

1.72

 

$

2.44

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

1.79

 

$

2.35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Low

    

High

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

2.55

 

$

5.03

 

Second Quarter

 

$

2.10

 

$

3.45

 

Third Quarter

 

$

2.10

 

$

2.64

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

1.82

 

$

2.42

 

 

As of March   15 , 2016, there were approximately 32 holders of record of our common stock. In addition, a substantially greater number of stockholders may be "street name" or beneficial holders, whose shares are held of record by banks, brokers and other financial institutions.

Dividend Policy

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business, and do not plan to declare or pay any dividends on shares of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Subject to the foregoing, the payment of cash dividends in the future, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon a number of factors, including our earnings, capital requirements, requirements under the Delaware General Corporation Law, restrictions and covenants pursuant to any credit facilities we may enter into, our overall financial condition and any other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.

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Performance Graph

The following graph compares our total common stock return with the total return for (i) the NASDAQ Composite Index (^IXIC) and (ii) Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index (SOX) for the period from November 18, 2011 (the date our common stock commenced trading on the N ASDAQ) through December 31, 2015 . The figures represented below assume an investment of $100 in our common stock at the closing price of $9.50 on November 18, 2011 and in the NASDAQ Composite Index and Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index on November 18, 2011 and the reinvestment of dividends into shares of common stock. The comparisons in the table are required by the SEC and are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock. This graph shall not be deemed "soliciting material" or to be "filed" for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange   Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of our filings under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act .

PICTURE 3

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

Recent Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

None.

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ITEM 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read together with our consolidated financial statement and accompanying notes and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" appearing elsewhere in this Form 10-K. The selected consolidated financial data in this section is not intended to replace our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our future results.

We derived the consolidated statements of operations data for 2015, 2014, and 2013 and the consolidated balance sheets data as of December 31, 2015 and 2014 from our audited consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this filing. The consolidated statements of operations data for 2012 and 2011 and the consolidated balance sheets data as of December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements not included in this filing. The data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements, related notes, and other financial information included herein.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31, 

 

 

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

    

2011

 

 

 

(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

 

Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Program revenue

 

$

33,855

 

$

30,540

 

$

45,744

 

$

47,468

 

$

36,733

 

 Product revenue

 

 

75

 

 

84

 

 

6,726

 

 

3,495

 

 

2,717

 

 Licensing and royalty revenue

 

 

11,392

 

 

17,071

 

 

14,936

 

 

15,864

 

 

14,380

 

    Total revenue

 

 

45,322

 

 

47,695

 

 

67,406

 

 

66,827

 

 

53,830

 

Cost of revenue

 

 

19,304

 

 

24,651

 

 

32,485

 

 

28,403

 

 

25,469

 

    Gross profit

 

 

26,018

 

 

23,044

 

 

34,921

 

 

38,424

 

 

28,361

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Research and development

 

 

28,576

 

 

24,320

 

 

24,502

 

 

21,839

 

 

19,260

 

 Sales and marketing

 

 

5,881

 

 

5,770

 

 

6,475

 

 

5,433

 

 

4,285

 

 General and administrative

 

 

12,287

 

 

12,636

 

 

11,973

 

 

10,868

 

 

8,534

 

 Restructuring

 

 

 —

 

 

1,361

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Total operating expenses

 

 

46,744

 

 

44,087

 

 

42,950

 

 

38,140

 

 

32,079

 

(Loss) income from operations

 

 

(20,726)

 

 

(21,043)

 

 

(8,029)

 

 

284

 

 

(3,718)

 

 Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Interest (expense) income, net

 

 

(267)

 

 

(682)

 

 

(830)

 

 

(1,004)

 

 

(87)

 

    Other (expense) income, net

 

 

(12)

 

 

(29)

 

 

57

 

 

15

 

 

(26,167)

 

Total other income (expense), net

 

 

(279)

 

 

(711)

 

 

(773)

 

 

(989)

 

 

(26,254)

 

 Loss before provision for income taxes

 

 

(21,005)

 

 

(21,754)

 

 

(8,802)

 

 

(705)

 

 

(29,972)

 

 Provision for income taxes

 

 

8

 

 

7

 

 

17

 

 

51

 

 

43

 

Net loss

 

 

(21,013)

 

 

(21,761)

 

 

(8,819)

 

 

(756)

 

 

(30,015)

 

 Accretion on redeemable convertible preferred stock

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(8,660)

 

Net loss attributable to common stockholders

 

$

(21,013)

 

$

(21,761)

 

$

(8,819)

 

$

(756)

 

$

(38,675)

 

Net loss per share of common stock, basic and diluted

 

$

(0.44)

 

$

(0.47)

 

$

(0.20)

 

$

(0.02)

 

$

(3.99)

 

Weighted-average number of shares used in computing net loss per share of common stock, basic and diluted

 

 

48,158,378

 

 

46,718,495

 

 

44,958,120

 

 

42,966,448

 

 

9,698,880

 

Other Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA (unaudited)

 

$

(4,871)

 

$

(2,782)

 

$

6,907

 

$

12,895

 

$

6,367

 

Adjusted earnings (unaudited)

 

$

(15,340)

 

$

(14,379)

 

$

(3,336)

 

$

2,896

 

$

(842)

 

 

 

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Years Ended December 31, 

 

 

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

    

2011

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

 

$

35,332

 

$

65,069

 

$

72,083

 

$

78,283

 

$

81,002

 

Working capital

 

 

32,810

 

 

62,077

 

 

67,396

 

 

52,207

 

 

74,665

 

Total assets

 

 

69,677

 

 

105,437

 

 

124,482

 

 

123,685

 

 

127,814

 

Long-term debt, including current portion

 

 

 —

 

 

23,000

 

 

25,000

 

 

26,514

 

 

27,318

 

Total stockholders' equity (deficit)

 

$

56,099

 

$

70,265

 

$

84,852

 

$

85,517

 

$

80,173

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

We believe that the use of adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings, both non-GAAP financial measures, are helpful for an investor in determining whether to invest in our common stock. We include both adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings in this Annual Report on Form 10-K because (i) we seek to manage our business to consistent levels of adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings, (ii) these measures are a key basis upon which our management assesses our operating performance, (iii) they are primary metrics investors use in evaluating companies' performance in our industry and (iv) they are factors in the evaluation of the performance of our management in determining compensation. We define adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) less interest, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization expense, non-cash impairment charges, non-cash revenue adjustments as a result of common stock warrants issued to customers, derivative mark-to-market adjustments, restructuring related charges and stock-based compensation expense. We define adjusted earnings as net income (loss) less non-cash revenue adjustments as a result of common stock warrants issued to customers, derivative mark-to-market adjustments, restructuring related charges and stock-based compensation expense.

We use adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings as key performance measure s because we believe they facilitate operating performance comparisons from period to period by excluding potential differences caused by variations in capital structures, tax positions (such as the impact of changes in effective tax rates or fluctuations in permanent differences or discrete quarterly items), the impact of depreciation and amortization expense, the impact of non-cash impairment charges, the non-cash impact of common stock warrants issued to customers, restructuring related charges and the impact of stock-based compensation expense.

We believe adjusted EBITDA and similar measures are widely used by investors, securities analysts, ratings agencies and other interested parties in our industry as a measure of financial performance and debt-service capabilities. Our use of adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect our cash expenditures for capital equipment, restructuring related charges or other contractual commitments;

·

Although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements;

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the significant interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our indebtedness;

·

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect certain tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us; and

 

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·

Other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate adjusted EBITDA measures differently, which reduces their usefulness as a comparative measure.

We also believe adjusted earnings and similar measures are also widely used by investors, securities analysts, ratings agencies and other interested parties in our industry as a measure of financial performance and debt-service capabilities. Our use of adjusted earnings has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are:

·

Adjusted earnings do not reflect our cash expenditures for capital equipment, restructuring related charges  or other contractual commitments;

·

Adjusted earnings do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; and

·

Other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate adjusted earnings measures differently, which reduces their usefulness as a comparative measure.

Because of these limitations, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted earnings should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. When evaluating our performance, you should consider adjusted EBITDA and our adjusted earnings alongside other financial performance measures, including our net loss and other GAAP results.

The following tables present a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA and our adjusted earnings to our net loss, the most comparable GAAP measure, for each of the periods indicated:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

Adjusted EBITDA:

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

    

2011

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Net loss

 

$

(21,013)

 

$

(21,761)

 

$

(8,819)

 

$

(756)

 

$

(30,015)

 

Non-GAAP adjustments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

312

 

Interest, net

 

 

(267)

 

 

682

 

 

830

 

 

1,004

 

 

641

 

Provision for taxes

 

 

8

 

 

7

 

 

17

 

 

51

 

 

43

 

Depreciation, amortization and impairments

 

 

10,728

 

 

10,908

 

 

9,396

 

 

8,944

 

 

7,079

 

Mark-to-market derivative liability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25,865

 

Restructuring charges

 

 

 —

 

 

1,361

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock-based compensation expense(2)

 

 

5,673

 

 

6,021

 

 

5,483

 

 

3,652

 

 

2,442

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

$

(4,871)

 

$

(2,782)

 

$

6,907

 

$

12,895

 

$

6,367

 

 

 

 

 

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Years Ended December 31,

 

Adjusted Earnings:

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

    

2011

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Net loss

 

$

(21,013)

 

$

(21,761)

 

$

(8,819)

 

$

(756)

 

$

(30,015)

 

Non-GAAP adjustments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

312

 

Interest expense (preferred stock warrant mark-to-market)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

554

 

Mark-to-market derivative liability

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25,865

 

Restructuring charges

 

 

 —

 

 

1,361

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock-based compensation expense(2)

 

 

5,673

 

 

6,021

 

 

5,483

 

 

3,652

 

 

2,442

 

Adjusted earnings

 

$

(15,340)

 

$

(14,379)

 

$

(3,336)

 

$

2,896

 

$

(842)

 

 

(1)

Reduction in revenue as a result of common stock warrants issued in connection with a customer agreement

(2)

Includes stock-based compensation as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

    

2012

    

2011

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Cost of revenues

 

$

1,114

 

$

1,315

 

$

1,453

 

$

1,011

 

$

622

 

Research and development

 

 

1,668

 

 

1,234

 

 

1,301

 

 

872

 

 

462

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

651

 

 

1,470

 

 

1,175

 

 

774

 

 

770

 

General and administrative

 

 

2,240

 

 

2,002

 

 

1,554

 

 

995

 

 

588

 

Total stock-based compensation

 

$

5,673

 

$

6,021

 

$

5,483

 

$

3,652

 

$

2,442

 

 

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ITEM 7.    MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Our Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) is provided in addition to the accompanying consolidated financial statements and notes to assist readers in understanding our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows. Our MD&A is organized as follows:

·

Overview . Discussion of our business and overall analysis of financial and other highlights affecting the Company in order to provide context for the remainder of this MD&A.

·

Strategy . Our overall strategy.

·

Basis of Presentation . A summary of the primary elements of our financial results.

·

Critical Accounting Estimates . Accounting estimates that we believe are most important to understanding the assumptions and judgments incorporated in our reported financial results and forecasts.

·

Results of Operations . An analysis of our financial results comparing the year ended December 31, 2015 to the year ended Dec ember 31, 2014 and the year ended December 31, 2014 to the year ended December 31, 2013.

·

Liquidity and Capital Resources . An analysis of changes in our balance sheets and cash flows, and discussion of our financial condition and potential sources of liquidity.

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes that appear elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. These statements are often identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "should," "estimate," or "continue," and similar expressions or variations. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the section titled "Risk Factors," set forth in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and elsewhere in this report. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K represent our views as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Overview

We are a partner for the innovation of advanced materials using high throughput experimentation.  Advanced materials are critical to sustaining and advancing many industries, including semiconductors, consumer electronics, aerospace and automotive.  U sing traditional experimental techniques, it can take many years to discover new advanced materials and many more years to deploy them in the marketplace.  By leveraging our proprietary HPC platform and multi-disciplinary development team, we strive to enable our customers to more rapidly discover advanced materials and tailor them to suit their needs .

We were founded in 2004 and are headquartered in San Jose, California. Our total revenue decreased to $45.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 from $47.7 million for the year ended December 31, 201 4.

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Our net loss decreased to $21 . 0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 from a net loss of $21.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. Since inception, we have incurred net losses leading to an accumulated deficit of $152. 9 million as of December 31, 2015.

 

Strategy

 

We currently target large markets that rely on advanced materials for differentiation.  Within these broad markets, we target customers that have track records of technological innovation, have significant materials-based R&D, and are pursuing technical advancements that are critical to their success and strategy. Generally, our approach is most relevant to industries that rely heavily upon advanced thin film materials such as those achieved using PVD and ALD processing tools; however, our approach is also relevant to discovering and understanding advanced materials more broadly, including advanced bulk materials such as metal alloys.  Historically, we have partnered most extensively in the semiconductor industry and particularly in the area of semiconductor memory such as DRAM and new NVM technologies.  Going forward, we plan to continue growing our footprint within semiconductors, including partnering in logic, while significantly expanding our engagements in areas such as architectural glass, display, consumer electronics, aerospace and automotive

 

Basis of Presentation

How We Generate Revenue

Our customer engagement process primarily generates revenue in two ways: program revenue; and licensing and royalty revenue.  Programs are our primary engagement model with customers and are structured to result in program fees, and in some cases licensing and/or royalty revenue arrangements .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program revenue

 

$

33,855

 

$

30,540

 

$

45,744

 

Product revenue

 

 

75

 

 

84

 

 

6,726

 

Licensing and royalty revenue

 

 

11,392

 

 

17,071

 

 

14,936

 

Total revenue

 

$

45,322

 

$

47,695

 

$

67,406

 

 

·

Program revenue.     Program revenue may include payments for research services, milestone payments, and subscription payments for dedicated and shared workflow tools used in the programs and reimbursed payments for consumables and outside services from third parties. Individual programs typically range from six months up to three years. Services revenue outside of programs are substantially comprised of support and maintenance fees and extended warranty agreements. Program revenue is recognized in a manner consistent with activities performed. As we engage new customers and negotiate extensions for existing customer agreements that are nearing completion, we expect program revenue to continue to fluctuate

·

Product revenue.  In 2015 and 2014, product sales were immaterial, but in 2013 we did record substantial product sales.  Product revenue consists of sales of our workflow hardware and embedded software. In support of our business strategy, we selectively sell our proprietary tools to increase opportunities for programs and licensing fees and royalties.

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As our other revenue streams increase we expect our product revenue to continue to decrease as a percentage of our overall revenue. Product revenue is recognized upon shipment (when title and risk of loss have passed to the customer), and customer acceptance, if required, is achieved.

 

·

Licensing and royalty revenue.    Licensing and royalty revenue consists of licensing fees and royalties for granting our customers rights to our proprietary technology and intellectual property (IP). Specifically, this includes licensing the HPC capabilities of our workflows, licensing our informatics and analysis software, and licensing fees and royalties on products commercialized by our customers that incorporate technology developed through our programs. In certain instances, minimum license fees and royalties may be guaranteed by customer contracts and are recognized as revenue ratably over the related periods. We anticipate our licensing and royalty revenue to continue to fluctuate based on the timing and amount of minimum license fees guaranteed by certain customer contracts and the timing of customer reported volume-based royalties .

Key Financial Metrics

We monitor the key financial metrics set forth below to help us evaluate growth trends, establish budgets, measure the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts, manage our human resources and assess operational efficiencies.

Revenue growth and mix .     We monitor revenue from programs for existing and new customers. To increase our ability to serve and accelerate innovation more broadly across certain market segments, we expect to engage in an increasing number of pre-competitive programs that allow us to accumulate, reuse and more broadly license information and innovation that we discover and develop.

Adjusted EBITDA.     We monitor our adjusted EBITDA to measure the profitability of our business. We use adjusted EBITDA as a key performance measure because we believe it facilitates operating performance comparisons from period to period by excluding potential differences caused by variations in capital structures, tax positions (such as the impact of changes in effective tax rates or fluctuations in permanent differences or discrete quarterly items), interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments on our indebtedness, the impact of depreciation and amortization expense, the non-cash impact of the mark-to-market of our derivative liability as a result of the Symyx asset purchase transaction and common stock warrants issued to customers, restructuring related charges, and the impact of stock-based compensation expense. See "Selected Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measure" for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to our net loss, the most comparable GAAP measure.

Adjusted earnings.     We monitor our adjusted earnings to measure the profitability of our business. We use adjusted earnings as a performance measure because we believe it facilitates operating performance comparisons from period to period by excluding potential differences caused by variations in capital structures, the non-cash impact of the mark-to-market of our derivative liability as a result of the Symyx asset purchase transaction and common stock warrants issued to customers, restructuring related charges, and the impact of stock-based compensation expense. See "Selected Consolidated Financial Data—Non-GAAP Financial Measure" for a reconciliation of our adjusted earnings to our net loss, the most comparable GAAP measure.

Factors Affecting our Performance

Reliance on continued customer engagement .      In our previous CDP’s, our success was tied to our customers' ability to successfully commercialize the products that incorporate technology developed through programs. Today our preferred approach is to engage with customers using a multi-year umbrella agreement that allows our customer during

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the term to selectively engage in multiple projects, each typically havi ng a duration of six to twelve months and each subject to its own payment obligations, which can include success fees or royalties depending on how the project leverages our development team or incorporates our background technology.  Generally, if a project requires us to both direct the project and meet a target specification, as is typically the case for CDPs, we seek success fees and/or royalties in addition to insisting on being profitably compensated during the term of the project.  Similarly, we seek an additional fee if a customer decides to commercialize our background technology.  While our new, flexible engagement model has substantially reduced our sales cycle it has made us more reliant on continued customer programs and customer satisfaction with our deliverables.

Exposure to semiconductor memory end markets.     Our performance is linked to the end markets in which our customers operate. Certain of these markets, such as the semiconductor memory markets have historically shown significant price volatility as a result of imbalances in supply and demand. As such, these markets have been traditionally challenging for participants. We attempt to manage this end market risk by participating in multiple end markets and by selecting customers that we believe will be successful in those markets.

Revenue mix.     Our revenue from programs vary from contract to contract depending on the customer's requirements and the scope of the service. The gross profit from programs may vary based on the size and scope of the contract.  We target an average gross margin contribution that is consistent across the industries and end markets we serve.

Extended sales cycles.     Our sales cycles can be extended, and we may commit significant resources and   expenses for a project before a potential customer commits to use our HPC platform or commits to a program. Under the CDP model, our sales cycles to date were typically ranged from 9 to 24 months, and under our new business model they have ranged between 3 and 9 months. Investment of time and resources in a particular customer engagement that does not ultimately result in material revenue will adversely affect our revenue and results of operations.

Customer concentration.     Due to the concentrated nature of manufacturers in the DRAM and complex logic markets, our revenue is and may continue to be concentrated to key high-volume customers. However, we believe there is an opportunity to expand our engagements with our customers into new applications over time. In addition, because our platform is broadly applicable to industries whose products rely on thin films for differentiation, including semiconductors, flat glass coatings and glass-based devices, special metal alloys, LEDs, flat-panel displays and other technologies, we believe we have significant opportunities to engage with a broad range of customers.

Related Party Transactions.     Some of our customers and other business partners hold a significant stake in our capital stock. Related party transactions disclosed in our financial statements accounted for $3.3 million and $5.6 million, or 7.3 % and 11.7%, respectively, of our revenue for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014. ATMI, which beneficially owns less than 5. 0 % of our capital stock accounted for $2.0 million and $3.7 million, or 4.5% and 7.8%, respectively, of our revenue for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014. T hese relationships could create, or appear to create, potential conflicts of interest when our board of directors is faced with decisions that could have different implications for us and our related parties or their affiliates. In addition, conflicts of interest may arise between us and our related parties and their affiliates. The appearance of conflicts, even if such conflicts do not materialize, might adversely affect the public's perception of us, as well as our relationship with other companies and our ability to enter into new relationships in the future, including new programs with competitors of such related parties, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to do business.

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Cost of Revenue and Operating Expenses

Cost of Revenue

The following table sets forth our cost of revenue by revenue category:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Cost of revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of program revenue

 

$

18,910

 

$

24,342

 

$

29,063

 

Cost of product revenue

 

 

55

 

 

16

 

 

3,175

 

Cost of licensing and royalty revenue

 

 

339

 

 

293

 

 

247

 

Total cost of revenues

 

$

19,304

 

$

24,651

 

$

32,485

 

 

Our cost of revenue is variable and depends on the product mix and type of revenue earned in each period relating to our customer programs.

 

·

Cost of program revenue.  Our cost of program revenue is primarily comprised of salaries and other personnel-related expenses (including stock-based compensation) for our research and development scientists, engineers and development fab process operations employees. Additionally, our cost of revenue includes costs of wafers, targets, materials, program-related supplies, third-party professional fees and depreciation of equipment used in programs. Inventory obsolescence and customer related asset impairments are included in cost of program revenue.

·

Cost of product revenue.     In 2015 and 2014, product sales were immaterial, but in 2013 we did record substantial product sales and cost of product revenue .   Our cost of product revenue primarily includes our cost of products sold, which we expect to continue to decrease as a percentage of overall cost of revenue. Cost of product revenue is recognized upon product shipment (when title and risk of loss transfer) and customer acceptance, if required. The cost of product revenue as a percentage of revenue is related to the quantity and configuration of products sold during the period.

·

Cost of licensing and royalty revenue.   Our cost of licensing and royalty revenue has been, and we expect will continue to be, primarily comprised of the amortization of acquired patents, which were acquired as part of our completion of the Symyx asset purchase transaction in November 2011, and licensing obligations.

Research and Development

Our R&D expenses consist of costs incurred for development and continuous improvement of our HPC platform, expansion of software capabilities and application research and development that are not associated with customer programs. R&D costs include personnel-related expenses (including stock-based compensation expenses) for our technical staff as well as consultant costs, parts and prototypes, wafers, chemicals, supply costs, facilities costs, utilities costs related to laboratories and offices occupied by technical staff, depreciation on equipment used by technical staff, and outside services, such as machining and third-party R&D costs. R&D overhead costs that are not allocated to a customer program are recognized as expenses within R&D. We expect our R&D expense to increase modestly in absolute dollars in the near-term periods as resources are reallocated from customer programs to R&D and as we continue to develop and improve our HPC platform and extend the applicability of our platform to a broader set of applications within the industries we serve.

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Sales and Marketing

Our sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of personnel-related costs (including stock-based compensation) for our sales and marketing employees, as well as payments of commissions to our sales employees, facility costs and professional expenses. Professional expenses consist of external website and marketing communication consulting costs and market research. We expect sales and marketing expense to increase in the near-term periods as we develop new business opportunities.

General and Administrative

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel-related costs (including stock-based compensation) as well as professional services and facilities costs related to our executive, finance, legal, human resources, management information systems and information technology functions. Professional services consist of outside accounting, information technology, consulting and legal costs. We also incur significant accounting and legal costs related to compliance with rules and regulations enacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the costs maintaining compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as insurance, investor relations and other costs associated with being a public company. We expect that general and administrative expense will increase modestly in absolute dollars in the near-term periods.

Restructuring Expense

In 2014, after experiencing a reduced level of program activity, we initiated reductions in force in February 2014 and May 2014 with respect to approximately 18% and 10% of our workforce at such times, respectively. These reductions in force were part of an overall plan to reduce our cost structure and were completed during 2014. Restructuring expenses consisted of personnel-related costs.

Interest Expense, net

Interest expense historically consisted of interest accrued on our note payable to Symyx in connection with the Symyx asset purchase transaction that closed in November 2011, which was paid in full in May 2013 with a credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank. Interest expense after May 2013 consists primarily of interest accrued on our credit facility, which was converted in November 2013 to a three year note payable with Silicon Valley Bank. This note payable was subsequently repaid in full in August 2015. Interest income represents interest earned on our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. We expect interest income will vary each reporting period depending on our average investment balances during the period and market interest rates.

Other (Expense) Income, net

Other (expense) income consists of mainly   f oreign exchange gains and losses that have not been significant.

Provision for Income Taxes

We are subject to taxes in the United States as well as other tax jurisdictions or countries in which we conduct business. Earnings from our non-U.S. activities are subject to local country income tax and may be subject to current U.S. income tax. To date, we have incurred net losses and have not recorded any U.S. federal income tax benefits as these losses have been offset by valuation allowances. As of December 31, 2015, we had net operating loss carryforwards for federal and state income tax purposes of approximately $91.3 million and $82.9 million, respectively. Of these amounts, $14.6 million and $13.6 million, respectively, represent federal and state tax deductions from stock-based compensation which will be recorded as an adjustment to additional paid-in capital when they reduce taxes payable.

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In addition, we had $8.9 million in U.S. federal R&D credit and $9.8 million in California R&D credit carryforwards to offset future income tax liabilities. Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards to offset future taxable income and our ability to use our tax credit carryforwards to offset future income tax liabilities may be subject to certain limitations arising from "ownership changes" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States and include our accounts and the accounts of our wholly-owned subsidiaries. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires our management to make estimates, assumptions and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosures for contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the applicable periods. Management bases its estimates, assumptions and judgments on historical experience and on various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Different assumptions and judgments would change the estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements which, in turn, could change the results from those reported. Our management evaluates its estimates, assumptions and judgments on an ongoing basis.

There have been no material changes in the matters for which we make critical accounting estimates in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements as described below.

Revenue Recognition

We generate revenue primarily in two ways: program revenue; and licensing and royalty revenue.  Programs are our primary engagement model with customers and are structured to result in program fees, and in some cases licensing and/or royalty revenue arrangements

We evaluate each element in a multiple-element arrangement to determine whether it represents a separate unit of accounting. An element constitutes a separate unit of accounting when it has standalone value and delivery of an undelivered element is both probable and within our control. When these criteria are not met, the delivered and undelivered elements are combined and the arrangement fees are allocated to this combined single unit.  If the unit separation criteria are met, we account for each element within a multiple-element arrangement separately, whereby the total arrangement fees are allocated to each element based on its relative selling price, which we establish using a selling price hierarchy. We determine the selling price of each element based on its vendor-specific objective evidence (VSOE), if available, third party evidence (TPE), if VSOE is not available, or estimate of selling price (ESP) if neither VSOE nor TPE is available. We do not recognize revenue that is contingent upon the future delivery of products or services or upon future performance obligations .   We have not established VSOE for the determination of estimated selling price of elements, and since third-party evidence is not available for those elements where vendor-specific objective evidence of selling price cannot be determined, we evaluate factors to determine estimated selling prices (ESP) for all other elements.

Program services revenue - We enter into programs with customers under which we conduct R&D activities. These agreements specify minimum levels of research effort required to be performed by us. Payments received under the agreements are not refundable if the research effort is not successful. Historically, we have not provided any refunds under these arrangements.

 

 

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We retain rights to certain elements of technology developed during the course of performance, which the customer has an option to license in the future under the terms defined in the agreement. We typically recognize revenue from these arrangements as completed when all other revenue recognition criteria have been met. Most arrangements with customers have fixed monthly fees and requirements to provide regular reporting of R&D activities performed.   Payments received prior to performance are deferred and recognized as revenue when earned over future performance periods .

Product revenue - In 2015 and 2014, product sales were immaterial, but in 2013 we did record substantial product sales .   We recognize revenue from the sale of products generally once delivery has occurred (title and risk of loss have passed to the customer), and customer acceptance, if required, has been achieved

Licensing and royalty revenue - We recognize revenue for licenses to IP when earned pursuant to the terms of the agreements. Time-based license revenue is recognized ratably over the license term. Sales of intellectual property or developed technology are recognized upon the transfer of ownership. License and royalty revenue that becomes triggered by specific customer actions, such as exercise of a license option or by sales volume, is recognized when they occur based on royalty reports or other information received from the licensee . Minimum and prepaid royalties and license fees are recognized ratably over the related periods. Our product sales include software that is considered essential to the product's functionality. We also sell software with advanced features that can be used independent of products sold or in conjunction with products sold, which is considered non-essential to the product's functionality. Software related revenue is included in licensing and royalty revenue and is recognized ratably over the license period once delivered.

Stock-Based Compensation

We recognize compensation costs related to stock options and shares of restricted stock granted to employees based on the estimated fair value of the awards on the date of grant, net of estimated forfeitures. We estimate the grant date fair value for stock options, and the resulting stock-based compensation expense, using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The grant date fair value of the stock-based awards is generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the respective awards.

The fair value of the awards granted are calculated using the Black-Scholes option valuation model, which requires the use of assumptions which determine the fair value of share-based awards, including the expected term and the price volatility of the underlying stock. These assumptions include:

Expected Term - The expected term represents the period that the stock-based awards are expected to be outstanding. For option grants that are considered to be "plain vanilla," we used the simplified method to determine the expected term as provided by the SEC. The simplified method calculates the expected term as the average of the time-to-vesting and the contractual life of the options.

Expected Volatility - The expected volatility is derived primarily from historical volatilities of several unrelated, publicly listed peer companies over a period approximately equal to the expected term of the award and to a lesser extent, our weighted historical volatility following our IPO in November 2011. When making the selections of our industry peer companies to be used in the volatility calculation, we considered the size, operational and economic similarities to our principal business operations.

Expected Dividend Rate - The expected dividend rate was assumed to be zero as we have never paid dividends and have no current plans to do so.

Risk-Free Interest Rate - The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield in effect at the time of grant for zero coupon U.S. Treasury notes with maturities approximately equal to the expected term of the awards.

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In addition to the assumptions used in the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, we must also estimate a forfeiture rate to calculate the stock-based compensation for our awards. Our forfeiture rate is based on an analysis of our actual forfeitures. We will continue to evaluate the appropriateness of the forfeiture rate based on actual forfeiture experience, analysis of employee turnover and other factors. Quarterly changes in the estimated forfeiture rate can have a significant impact on our stock-based compensation expense as the cumulative effect of adjusting the rate is recognized in the period the forfeiture estimate is changed. If a revised forfeiture rate is higher than the previously estimated forfeiture rate, an adjustment is made that will result in a decrease to the stock-based compensation expense recognized in the financial statements. If a revised forfeiture rate is lower than the previously estimated forfeiture rate, an adjustment is made that will result in an increase to the stock-based compensation expense recognized in the financial statements.

We will continue to use judgment in evaluating the expected volatility, expected terms and forfeiture rates utilized for our stock-based compensation calculations on a prospective basis. As we continue to accumulate additional data related to our common stock and stock option exercises, we may have refinements to the estimates of our expected volatility, expected terms and forfeiture rates, which could materially impact our future stock-based compensation expense.

As of December 31, 2015 we had $6.3 million of unrecognized stock-based compensation expense, net of estimated forfeitures, that is expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 2.6 years. In future periods, our stock-based compensation expense is expected to increase as a result of our existing unrecognized stock-based compensation to be recognized as these awards vest and as we issue additional stock-based awards to attract and retain employees.

The intrinsic value of all outstanding awards as of December 31, 2015 was $3.2 million based on the $2.32 per share closing sale price for our common stock on December 31, 2015.

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Results of Operations

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2015 and 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2015

    

2014

    

$ Change

    

% Change

    

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program revenue

 

$

33,855

 

$

30,540

 

$

3,315

 

11

%

 

Product revenue

 

 

75

 

 

84

 

 

(9)

 

(11)

%

 

Licensing and royalty revenue

 

 

11,392

 

 

17,071

 

 

(5,679)

 

(33)

%

 

Total revenue

 

 

45,322

 

 

47,695

 

 

(2,373)

 

(5)

%

 

Cost of revenue:

 

 

19,304

 

 

24,651

 

 

(5,347)

 

(22)

%

 

Gross profit

 

 

26,018

 

 

23,044

 

 

2,974

 

13

%

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

 

28,576

 

 

24,320

 

 

4,256

 

18

%

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

5,881

 

 

5,770

 

 

111

 

2

%

 

General and administrative

 

 

12,287

 

 

12,636

 

 

(349)

 

(3)

%

 

Restructuring charges

 

 

 —

 

 

1,361

 

 

(1,361)

 

(100)

%

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

46,744

 

 

44,087

 

 

2,657

 

6

%

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(20,726)

 

 

(21,043)

 

 

317

 

 

 

 

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

(267)

 

 

(682)

 

 

415

 

 

 

 

Other income (expense), net

 

 

(12)

 

 

(29)

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

Total other income (expense), net

 

 

(279)

 

 

(711)

 

 

432

 

 

 

 

Loss before provision for income taxes

 

 

(21,005)

 

 

(21,754)

 

 

749

 

 

 

 

Provision for income taxes

 

 

8

 

 

7

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

Net loss

 

$

(21,013)

 

$

(21,761)

 

$

748

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

Our revenue decreased by $2.4 million, or 5%, to $45.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 from $47.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2014 due to decreases in licensing and royalty revenue that was partially offset by an increase in program revenue.

 

Program revenue increased by $ 3 . 3 million, or 1 1 %, to $3 3 . 9 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 from $30.5 million during t he year ended December 31, 2014. This increase was primarily attributable to new cu stomer program agreements of $4.1 million and the growth of current programs of $8.4 million. This was offset by $9.2 m illion in the scheduled completion and reduction of customer program services.

 

Licensing and royalty revenue decreased by $5 . 7 million, or 33 %, to $1 1 . 4 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 from $17.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2014. This decrease was primarily attributable to an accelerated payment in the amount of $4.2 million from a customer in connection with the suspension of program activities with them in the year ended December 31, 2014 , as well as a reduction from the scheduled completion of customer licensing and royalty activities.

 

 

 

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The following table presents revenue by geographic region (based on invoiced locations) during the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 in dollars (in thousands) and as a percentage of revenue for the periods presented:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31, 

 

 

2015

 

2014

 

 

    

Revenues

    

% of Revenues

    

Revenues

    

% of Revenues

    

United States

 

$

28,654

 

63

%

$

42,350

 

88

%

Japan

 

 

2,521

 

6

%

 

2,726

 

6

%

APAC other

 

 

13,074

 

29

%

 

1,781

 

4

%

Europe and Middle East

 

 

1,073

 

2

%