Press Release Summary:
Automated IsoPort(TM) has front-opening-unified-pod (FOUP) tool carrier interface, servo-controlled motion, latchkey, and carrier sensing. Tool throughput is 8 sec, from carrier arrival to first-wafer access. Contamination control conforms to ISO Class 1 particle level, and eliminates triboelectric charge buildup on carrier door. Optional gas purge ports provide an inert ambient environment for wafers in the carrier on the load port.
Original Press Release:
ASYST LAUNCHES ISOPORT(TM) 300MM LOAD PORT
Newest 300mm OEM Tool-to-Carrier Interface Raises the Bar for Reliability, Interoperability and Cost of Ownership
FREMONT, Calif.--April 8, 2002--Asyst Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASYT), a leading provider of integrated automation solutions that maximize productivity for the semiconductor manufacturing industry, today unveiled the latest addition to its family of leading-edge 300mm automation products--the IsoPort(TM) 300mm load port. This next-generation 300mm load port breaks new ground in automated 300mm wafer handling through industry-leading interoperability and cost of ownership. It leverages Asyst's proven, pioneering leadership in automation technology to deliver a reliable, economical front-opening-unified-pod (FOUP) interface that the company believes is the industry's most advanced to date.
The IsoPort 300mm load port gives semiconductor tool original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) a highly configurable, automated wafer-handling solution for integration with their tools. The company believes that the IsoPort's many advanced benefits for both equipment makers and chipmakers will provide an additional competitive advantage in the 300mm tool automation market, which is expected to grow significantly faster than the overall equipment market--as much as 50 percent annually--during the next industry upturn. As has been widely reported, this rapid growth is being driven by the industry's transition to 300mm wafers as well as the ergonomic and economic necessities of automation because of larger, heavier wafer carriers and significantly increased yield risk. As a result, virtually all of the 300 tools in new 300mm fabs will require one or more automated load ports. Asyst's current share of the 300mm load port market is approximately 50 percent.
Jon Sabol, vice president of Asyst's Equipment Solutions Group, said, "As the 300mm market continues to ramp, our OEM customers are looking for highly configurable, reliable, low cost-of-ownership solutions that will enable them to provide easily integrated, complete automation solutions to meet end-users' requirements. We worked closely with leading OEMs to develop an innovative, custom-configurable load port design that would deliver best-in-class interoperability and cleanliness, together with full industry-spec compliance. Our new IsoPort is the result."
The IsoPort delivers a combination of technology features that provide superior performance at an optimal price. Its high degree of interoperability performance is achieved through its precise servo-controlled motion, smart latchkey design and optimized carrier sensing. Tool throughput is enhanced, with the time from carrier arrival to first-wafer access at a rapid eight seconds. Contamination control performance reaches new heights with conformance to the stringent ISO Class 1 particle level, which eliminates triboelectric charge buildup on the carrier door in the laminar flow path while in the open position. The IsoPort features optional gas purge ports that provide an inert ambient environment for wafers in the carrier on the load port, and the product's materials are resistant to corrosion from reactive process gases. Relative to earlier-generation products, IsoPort requires zero preventive maintenance, and adjustments have been simplified and/or eliminated. Its configurable design easily integrates all types of automated carrier identification solutions (RF, infrared or barcode), and it eliminates a pinch point problem common in other load ports today by reading any auto ID type in either the docked or undocked position.
Asyst's IsoPort 300mm load port is currently in beta-site testing. Production shipments are slated to begin in July 2002.
Except for statements of historical fact, the statements in this press release are forward-looking. Such statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made. These factors include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, semiconductor industry cycles, risks associated with the acceptance of new products and product capabilities and other factors more fully detailed in the Company's recent 10Q quarterly report on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Asyst Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of integrated automation solutions that enable semiconductor manufacturers to increase manufacturing productivity and protect investments in silicon wafers during the manufacture of integrated circuits, or ICs. The company offers a broad range of 200mm and 300mm solutions that enable the safe transfer of wafers and information between process equipment and the fab line throughout the IC fabrication process, while reducing IC damage caused by human, environmental, mechanical and chemical factors. Encompassing isolation systems, work-in-process materials management, substrate-handling robotics, automated transport and loading systems, and connectivity automation software, Asyst's modular, interoperable solutions allow chipmakers and original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, to select and employ the value-assured, hands-off manufacturing capabilities that best suit their needs. Asyst's homepage is located at www.asyst.com