Headway selects ASML Step & Scan imaging tool

Press release - Veldhoven, the Netherlands, June 13, 2002

ASML today announced that Headway Technologies, a TDK Group Company that designs and manufactures recording heads for hard disk drives, selected an ASML Step & Scan imaging tool for use in the production of thin film heads. The ASML PAS 5500/800 DUV Step & Scan imaging system will be installed in the Headway facility in Milpitas, California in July 2002.


As a result of the Headway purchase, ASML now works with the top three suppliers in the thin film head industry.


"ASML has proven expertise in both step & scan imaging solutions and the thin head film industry. Its unique business approach – a combination of advanced solutions and in-depth, local support structure – were key to the Headway decision," said Skip Retzer, director of materials and procurement, Headway Technologies. "We have confidence that the ASML PAS 5500/800 and future ASML tools will be instrumental in developing Headway's next-generation products."


"As with all specialized industries, companies in the thin film head market require advanced technical solutions optimized for specific needs. This customization provides our customers with a competitive edge," said Eduard Hoeberichts, president, Special Applications, ASML. "ASML worked with Headway Technologies to address its specific requirements for processing ceramic substrates, as well as to provide industry leading overlay and the colinearity performance required for the advanced thin film head designs."

About ASML

ASML is one of the world's leading providers of advanced technology systems for the semiconductor industry. The company offers an integrated portfolio of lithography, track and thermal systems mainly for manufacturing complex integrated circuits. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and Nasdaq under the symbol 'ASML'. In 2001, the company reported net sales of over €1.8 billion. ASML employs approximately 7,000 people in 50 locations throughout the world.

About the ASML PAS 5500/800

The PAS 5500/800 combines the imaging power of Carl Zeiss StarLith 800™ 0.8 NA, 4X reduction lens with AERIAL II™ illumination technology to optimize process latitude across the range of critical dimensions and circuit design features. The system is equipped with ASML's patented ATHENA™ wafer alignment system and the newly developed reticle blue alignment which uses the actinic wavelength of the system for reticle alignment. With these alignment systems, the PAS 5500/800 is specified for single machine pattern overlay accuracy of better than 20 nm.


A new level sensor improves focus accuracy to enhance process control and yield, particularly for die located on the edge of the substrate. ASML's implementation for the laser source includes variable laser frequency control which, combined with high optical transmission through the illumination and projections optics, ensures excellent process stability with higher productivity and lower operating costs. The PAS 5500/800 has a throughput specification of 115 200 mm wafers per hour.

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