The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, California in the Silicon Valley. Founded in 1967 by Michael A. McNeilly and others, Applied Materials went public in 1972.
In 1993, the Applied Materials' Precision 5000 was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection of Information Age technology.
Applied Materials creates and commercializes nanomanufacturing technology used in the production of semiconductor (integrated circuit) chips for electronic gear, flat panel displays for computers and television, glass coatings for homes and buildings,
web (flexible substrate) coatings for industry and photovoltaic solar cells and modules using both thin film and crystalline (aka wafer or bulk) photovoltaic technology.
Applied Materials is also participating in the lighting industry through the European OPAL 2008 (Organic Phosphorescent lights for Applications in the Lighting market 2008) Program with the aim to develop a production technology for organic light-emitting diodes.
Applied is organized into four major business sectors: Silicon Systems Group, Display, Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) and Service.
In 2009, Applied Materials opened its Solar Technology Center-the world’s largest commercial solar energy research and development facility in Xi’an, China.
Applied Materials announced its acquisition of Varian Semiconductor in May 2011.