Photoresist Dry Strip System suits 65 and 45 nm nodes.

Press Release Summary:



Designed for 300 mm wafer processing, GAMMA Express(TM) provides single product platform for front-end-of-line and back-end-of-line applications. Low silicon loss implant strip and non-oxidizing strip chemistries offer compatibility with Silicide and ultra low-k films as well as bulk strip, high dose implant strip (HDIS), and C4 packaging applications. With direct drive wafer handling, product has rated throughput of over 300 wafers/hr for bulk strip and 150 wafers/hr for HDIS.



Original Press Release:



Novellus Launches GAMMA Express(TM)



Advanced Photoresist Dry Strip System Mitigates Fab Risk and Sets Benchmark for Technology, Reliability and Productivity at 65nm and 45nm Nodes

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 10 -- Novellus Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS), today introduced GAMMA Express(TM), the newest in its line of market-leading photoresist dry strip systems for 300 mm wafer processing. A single product platform for both front-end-of-line (FEOL) and back-end-of-line (BEOL) applications, GAMMA Express provides the highest levels of technology, reliability and productivity for bulk strip and high dose implant strip (HDIS) at the 65nm and 45nm nodes.

"As our customers look to extend strip technology to advanced nodes, they need tools that continue to deliver high reliability and productivity," said Damo Srinivas, vice president and general manager of Novellus' Surface Integrity Group. "GAMMA Express builds on previous generations of the production-proven GAMMA platform to address HDIS strip challenges at advanced nodes. It is the first tool to enable a path to 45nm without sacrificing reliability or productivity."

Currently in beta evaluation with a large memory manufacturer in Asia, GAMMA Express will be in production release in the fourth quarter of 2006. The market-leading 300 mm GAMMA has an installed base of more than 160 systems processing more than 12 million wafers per month. It is in production with eight of the top 10 capex spenders.

Like all Novellus tools, GAMMA Express provides chipmakers with state-of- art technology and superior productivity, delivering value to customers where they need it most. New elements of GAMMA Express serving these needs include:

Innovative Technology

o Low silicon loss implant strip and non-oxidizing strip chemistries for compatibility with advanced Silicide and ultra low-k films, in addition to support for conventional bulk strip, HDIS, and C4 packaging applications. This application diversity is enabled by five active RF stations and a tailored Universal Gas Distribution system.

o Single digit particle performance with all minimum contact area (MCA) components including load locks with MCA cassette, ceramic MCA blades, spindle with MCA fingers, and process, overash and preheat pedestals to help customers repeatedly achieve lower defectivity.

Trusted Productivity

o High composite productivity, with more than 300 wph for bulk strip and 150 wph for HDIS, driven by a new proprietary source technology combined with Novellus' Multi-Station Sequential Processing (MSSP) architecture.

o High system availability -- with short mean time off line (MTOL) and high mean time between failures (MTBF) -- enabled by state-of-the-art direct drive wafer handling, a new open frame architecture for easier serviceability and Novellus' comprehensive global infrastructure. Novellus provides easy access to parts and diagnostic tools with a network of more than 30 spares and service locations across the globe. Hardware, process and software specialists are available 24 hours every day to help customers decrease risk and increase productivity even further.

About Novellus:

Novellus Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of advanced process equipment for the global semiconductor industry. The company's products deliver value to customers by providing innovative technology backed by trusted productivity. An S&P 500 company, Novellus is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. with subsidiary offices across the globe. For more information please visit www.novellus.com.

NOTE: GAMMA Express is a trademark of Novellus Systems, Inc.

CONTACT: Pushpita Prasad of Novellus Systems, Inc., +1-408-943-9700, or pushpita.prasad@novellus.com; or Jen Bernier of The Hoffman Agency, +1-408-975-3003, or jbernier@hoffman.com, for Novellus Systems, Inc.

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