VELDHOVEN, the Netherlands and TOKYO, Japan, November 25, 2003
ASML Holding NV (ASML) and Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) today announced an agreement to enhance litho-cluster productivity and process performance through joint development programs and to facilitate customer demonstrations in Japan, the Netherlands and the US through multiple tool exchanges. A litho-cluster is the linking of coater/developers and lithography systems used in semiconductor manufacturing.
ASML, the leading provider of lithography systems, and TEL, the technology leader for coater/developers, will leverage their combined resources to improve imaging performance and litho-cluster productivity to 150 wafers per hour. Current state-of-the-art photolithography equipment employs both scanners and coater/developers as loosely coupled individual tools with many processes that are independently optimized. Tighter coupling of these tools is required to meet the demands of chip manufacturers.
The companies will work in joint development programs to identify, formulate and develop solutions for litho-cluster challenges in current and next-generation lithography, including high-NA ArF, immersion ArF and F2 (157 nm). This alliance marks the next logical step in an ongoing, collaborative relationship between the two companies.
“ASML is committed to the Japan market and pleased to be partnering with industry-leader TEL. The integration of coater/developers and lithography systems will benefit our customers who are under pressure to produce more and better chips. Having demonstration centers available on three continents means more chipmakers will be able to see our productivity advantages,” said Doug Dunn, president and CEO, ASML.
Ken Sato, president and CEO, TEL said, “I firmly believe that our alliance with ASML will contribute to development in the area of lithography and will help us to achieve further customer satisfaction. The exchange program will enable us to quickly optimize cluster tool performance and will provide TEL and ASML with advanced demo capabilities in Europe, Japan and the US.”
In early 2004, the companies will exchange tools and resources to facilitate the joint development programs. ASML and TEL will install litho-clusters in Europe, Japan and the US based on ASML’s TWINSCAN system and TEL’s coater/developer, the CLEAN TRACK LITHIUS, CLEAN TRACK ACT 12 and CLEAN TRACK ACT 8. The tool exchange gives both companies the capability to use the latest scanner and coater/developer technology for litho-cluster customer demonstrations, qualification and development purposes. ASML and TEL will have first results and demos available in the second half of 2004. The companies also plan to create improvement packages to meet semiconductor industry demand for best-in-class performance production equipment.
ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, manufacturing complex machines that are critical to the production of integrated circuits or chips. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and Nasdaq under the symbol 'ASML'.
TEL, commemorating its 40-year anniversary this month, is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. Product lines include coater/developers, thermal processing systems, dry etchers, CVD systems, wet cleaning systems and test systems. In Japan, TEL distributes other leading edge semiconductor equipment tools, such as metrology tools or process control systems. In addition, TEL distributes high quality computer systems, semiconductor devices and electronic components of other leading suppliers, as well as computer network related products from around the world. To support this diverse product base, TEL has strategically located research & development, manufacturing, sales, and service locations all over the world. TEL is a publicly held company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
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