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Joint creation of International Process Characterization program will integrate inspection, metrology and data analysis solutions to enable manufacturing at 32 nm and beyond
Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTEC), a leading provider of process characterization equipment and software for thin film measurement and macro defect inspection, and SEMATECH, the global consortium of leading chipmakers, announced today that Rudolph has become the first semiconductor equipment supplier company to join SEMATECH's Metrology Program headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany.
Under the membership agreement, Rudolph and SEMATECH will jointly establish an International Process Characterization (IPC) program, aimed at the development of process, analysis, and characterization technology to address critical challenges in nanoelectronics research. The IPC program, which will be a foundational component of SEMATECH's expanding metrology programs at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, brings together expert researchers and technologists, along with critical tools and software, as part of the consortium's broader industry-university-government partnership with New York State and CNSE.
As the first associate member, Rudolph will team with SEMATECH's members and the members of ISMI (International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative) to accelerate the development and application of measurement methods for advanced semiconductor technologies. Rudolph's membership is the latest example of SEMATECH's new collaborative model, in which leading equipment and materials manufacturers can participate in focused, cooperative R&D with SEMATECH's members.
The IPC program will focus on integrated metrology, inspection and yield enhancement software solutions to address critical process characterization challenges identified in the ITRS roadmap for semiconductor manufacturing at the 32 nm technology generation and beyond. The program will significantly benefit from the interactions among world-class researchers and engineers from Rudolph, SEMATECH and ISMI, and CNSE.
"We are very excited to join SEMATECH in this groundbreaking research at the UAlbany NanoCollege," said Alex Oscilowski, Chief Operating Officer at Rudolph. "This is a truly unique opportunity for collaboration, with some of the best minds in the industry using a cutting-edge technology platform in the world's most advanced research complex."
Oscilowski outlined the difficult challenges faced by semiconductor manufacturers, including exponential growth in process complexity, decreasing size of systematic and extraneous defects, and increasing difficulty in discerning actionable information within the torrent of raw data. "The integration of advanced hardware and intelligent analytical software will be the key to meeting these challenges," he stated, "and we're looking forward to contributing our experience, front-end to back-end throughout the manufacturing process, and our broad expertise in metrology, inspection and data analysis technologies, to this important joint effort."
SEMATECH President and CEO Dr. Michael Polcari said, "We're delighted to welcome Rudolph as a member and partner, and we're excited about the IPC program at CNSE's world-class Albany NanoTech Complex. It will give our researchers access to advanced, integrated hardware and software platforms that will enable them to drive the development of process, materials, analysis and characterization technologies that are critical for continued progress and leadership in nanoscale manufacturing. And ultimately, we believe the IPC program can serve as both a foundation and a model for expanded programs in this critical area of metrology and process characterization."
Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of CNSE, said, "We are pleased to welcome Rudolph Technologies to the UAlbany NanoCollege, where the company's participation in SEMATECH's newest research program will address challenges that are critical to nanoscale manufacturing. The attraction of yet another leading global nanoelectronics company once again demonstrates that the pioneering vision of Governor Spitzer, Speaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Bruno-including their unwavering support in bringing International SEMATECH to CNSE's Albany NanoTech-is paying dividends in luring new high-tech jobs and investment that underscore the State's growing recognition as a worldwide leader in nanotechnology education, research and commercialization."
The initial IPC program addresses a range of issues, including the metrology of thin films and metal gate stacks; wafer front, back, and edge macro defect inspection; inspection and metrology for through silicon vias (TSV) and three-dimensional integrated circuits (3DIC); immersion lithography process characterization; process modeling and optimization for yield enhancement; and automatic defect classification (ADC). In addition to these technology goals, the program seeks to establish benchmarks for cost-effective solutions by including cost-of-ownership criteria in all projects.
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. The company has 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 www.rudolphtech.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”). In some cases, you can identify those so-called “forward-looking statements” by words such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “feels,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of those words and other comparable words. Rudolph wishes to take advantage of the “safe harbor” provided for by the Act and cautions that actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of various factors, including risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Rudolph’s control. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the impact of the slowdown in the overall economy, the uncertainty of the current global political environment, the potential for terrorist attacks, the potential for business disruptions due to infectious diseases, changes in customer demands for our existing and new products, the timing, cancellation or delay of customer orders and shipments, the timing of revenue recognition of shipments, new product offerings from our competitors, changes in or an inability to execute Rudolph’s business strategy, unanticipated manufacturing or supply problems and changes in tax rules. Rudolph cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. The matters discussed in this press release also involve risks and uncertainties as summarized in Rudolph’s Form 10-K report for the year ended December 31, 2006 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which are available at www.sec.gov, the SEC’s website, and at www.rudolphtech.com, the Rudolph website. While these factors may be updated from time to time through the filing of reports and registration statements with the SEC, Rudolph does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this press release.
For 20 years, SEMATECH® (www.sematech.org), the global consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, has set global direction, enabled flexible collaboration, and bridged strategic R&D to manufacturing. Today, we continue to accelerate the next technology revolution with our nanoelectronics and emerging technology partners.
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Steven R. Roth, 973-448-4302
Virginia Becker, 952-259-1647
Anne Englander, 512-356-7155
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