Inspection System targets critical edge defects.

Press Release Summary:

Using multiple color cameras, concurrent color image capture, and intrinsic ADC, E25(TM) System detects and classifies defects based on size, morphology, color, and location. Algorithm creates defect-free surface model of edge and uses model to detect defects. System provides edge inspection for CMP, etch, clean, deposition, pre-RTP, and final QA processes, and is designed to cope with curved surfaces, changing bevel profiles, process variations, and nuisance defects.

Original Press Release:

Rudolph's New E25(TM) Wafer Edge Inspection System Targets Killer Edge Defects

Second-generation system extends capabilities of highly successful E20(TM) to
address source of critical defects.

Flanders, New Jersey (March 22, 2006)-Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTEC), a leading provider of process control solutions for macrodefect inspection and thin film measurement, introduced today the E25(TM) Wafer Edge Inspection System, a second generation replacement for the highly successful (August Technology) E20(TM) System and the latest addition to its suite of "all-surface" inspection tools. Edge inspection has become critical in advanced semiconductor manufacturing operations-edge defects currently account for as much as 30% of all killer defects and their detection and control is critical to improving and maintaining process yields. The new E25(TM) System provides edge inspection for CMP, etch, clean, deposition, pre-RTP and final QA processes, and is designed to cope with the unique challenges of edge inspection, including curved surfaces, ever-changing bevel profiles, process variations and nuisance defects.

The E25(TM) Wafer Edge Inspection System incorporates numerous software and optical enhancements including brighter illumination, greater defect capture rate and simplified recipe creation. It features an improved algorithm to create a defect-free surface model of the edge and uses this model to detect and classify defects. In its current configuration, the E25(TM) System integrates with the company's AXi(TM) or NSX® Inspection Systems to provide edge and front-side inspection throughout the entire manufacturing process - front-end to back-end. Unlike laser-based edge inspection technology, which detects only the amount of light scattered by a defect and thus requires further optical review for defect identification, the E25(TM) image-based inspection uses multiple color cameras, concurrent color image capture and intrinsic ADC (automatic defect classification) to quickly detect and classify a wide range of defects based on size, morphology, color, location and other unique characteristics. In most cases the E25(TM) data alone are sufficient for rapid root cause identification, eliminating the need for additional optical review.

"We are very excited about the demonstrated capabilities of the E25," said Ardy Johnson, vice president of marketing for Rudolph. "It has already been successfully tested and accepted at a major U.S. semiconductor manufacturer. We believe it will be accepted rapidly throughout the industry, based in large part on the success of its predecessor, the E20, which has the largest installed base of any patterned wafer edge inspection system. The E20 can be quickly and easily upgraded in the field to an E25."

About Rudolph Technologies, Inc.
Rudolph Technologies is a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of high-performance process control metrology, defect inspection and data analysis systems used by semiconductor device manufacturers. Rudolph provides a full-fab solution through its families of proprietary products that provide critical yield-enhancing information, enabling microelectronic device manufacturers to drive down costs and time to market. Rudolph has successfully enhanced the competitiveness of its products in the marketplace by anticipating and addressing many emerging trends driving the semiconductor industry's growth. Rudolph's strategy for continued technological and market leadership includes aggressive research and development of complementary metrology and inspection solutions. Headquartered in Flanders, New Jersey, Rudolph supports its customers with a worldwide sales and service organization. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at

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