Overlay Measurement System processes 150 wafers per hour.

Press Release Summary:

NRM-3000 provides automatic measurement of overlay and NSR focus marks. Illumination system is bright and optically matched to imaging system. It employs fiber optic delivery system to quartz-halogen lamps. System utilizes actively damped stage and EGA alignment control technology to assure correct measurements. Software offers recipe management functions. Waferless recipe creation offers automatic recognition of stepper alignment marks and other unique patterns.

Original Press Release:

Nikon's Sitech Group Introduces The NRM-3000 Overlay Measurement System To U.S. Market

- 300mm Support with the Highest Throughput in its Class -150 Wafers / Hour -

MELVILLE, NY, July 15, 2002 - Nikon's Semiconductor Inspection Technologies Group (SITECH) today introduces their most advanced overlay measurement system to the U.S. market. The NRM-3000 combines Nikon's superior optics, advanced technology and immense experience in semiconductor photolithography to provide automatic measurement of overlay and NSR focus marks with the highest-speeds and exceptional precision. The NRM system, which delivered stellar performance in the Japanese and Asian markets, features a high-precision, dedicated optical system with exceptional aberration management. The Nikon objective lens is designed specifically for overlay measurement and offers unsurpassed imaging performance with an exceptional high S/N ratio and high dynamic range characteristics.

The illumination system is bright and optically matched to the imaging system. It employs a fiber optic delivery system to an efficient and affordable quartz-halogen lamp. The user can easily replace the lamp without the need for any complicated or specialized procedures. The NRM-3000 employs a high precision, actively damped stage and a new EGA alignment control technology, to assure correct and fast measurements.

This has resulted in a class leading throughput performance of 150 wafers per hour (5 points/wafer). Newly developed Nikon software offers superior recipe management functions that can be optimized quickly and easily. Waferless recipe creation offers automatic recognition of stepper alignment marks and other unique patterns. The creation of recipes without wafers on the stage is ideal for small lot, multiple productions.

Options for the NRM-3000 include a Stepper Management System (analysis for registration, distortion, stepping, reticle rotation and focus), the NSR Focus Mark Measurement System (high-speed, precision measurement of Nikon's exclusive NSR wedge-shaped focus marks), Recipe Management Functions (network control for the creation, portability and storage of recipes and data) and Arbitrary Angle Measurement (high speed and precision measuring of overlay marks at any angle).

About Nikon Instruments, Inc.

Nikon Instruments Inc. is a world leader in precision optics manufacturing. Nikon is committed to providing its customers with quality products that include high-performance semiconductor wafer handling and inspection equipment; microscopes for bioscience research and industrial applications; advanced high-speed, vision-based and optical measuring tools; land surveying instruments; and diagnostic equipment for optometrists. For more information, visit the Nikon website at www.nikonusa.com. Product related inquiries can be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800 52 NIKON.

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