CEO Robert Akins, one of Cymer Inc.'s co-founders, has always bet on the future.
Since his days as a student at the University of California at San Diego, where he earned three degrees, Akins has held a passion for technology. His interests have served the semiconductor industry well since the early days when he and fellow UCSD student Richard Sandstrom took a gamble in 1986 and founded Cymer with only three employees.
Now the company is one of the biggest players in the industry. Its technology influences nearly all major chipmakers as Cymer's Excimer lasers are being used in deep-ultraviolet photolithography systems, which in turn are placed into cameras, computers and iPods. Just to make sure that the pursuit and development of tomorrow's technological advancements aren't waylaid, Cymer donated $175,000 to the Jacobs School of Engineering Scholars Program at UCSD earlier this year in honor of the company's 20th anniversary.