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Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ: NANO), a leading supplier of advanced metrology systems, today introduced the Atlas® II optical critical dimension (OCD) system, a next-generation tool for high-performance process control metrology. Incorporating innovations in optical components, precision wafer positioning, and new software analysis, the Atlas II enables measurements of the smallest semiconductor design features in development, including complex device structures at 1x nm technology nodes.
New optical components provide metrology users with unprecedented stability in focus performance, allowing precise and repeatable measurements of critical device features. The technology innovations broaden the system's application to a range of structures, including asymmetric spacers and 3-D gratings such as those used in double patterning lithography. The Atlas II is also capable of on-device measurement, which eliminates the need for scribe-line marks and complicated correlations and enables direct and reliable process control of device manufacturing.
A doubling of wafer throughput, along with an order of magnitude improvement in wafer positioning precision, enables significant increases in data volume required to control next-generation semiconductor processes, and lowers the system's cost of ownership. Atlas II systems are installed with Nanometrics' new NanoCD™ Suite, to enable analysis of the most critical and complex process steps in advanced technology nodes, supporting combined film thickness and OCD metrology.
The Atlas II is compatible with Nanometrics' Lynx™ cluster metrology platform, which allows customers to combine other complementary metrology modules with the thin film and OCD system.
"This is a significant milestone for Nanometrics. With the introduction of Atlas II, our OCD metrology platform takes a large step forward to enable essential features of our customers' next-generation devices," said David Doyle, vice president of Nanometrics' Semiconductor Business Unit. "These advancements are important to both performance and improved device yields, especially for 3-D device architectures, including FinFET, where data richness and sensitivity to critical parameters is paramount."
Nanometrics has installed the first Atlas II at a major semiconductor manufacturer and anticipates fan out of the product to high volume manufacturing in early 2012.
"OCD technology has demonstrated its ability to be a disruptive force in process control metrology," said Dr. Timothy J. Stultz, president and chief executive officer. "Our customers are already validating benefits the Atlas II offers them in throughput and performance. These benefits translate directly into faster ramps to yield and lower manufacturing costs."
About Nanometrics Incorporated
Nanometrics is a leading provider of advanced, high-performance process control metrology systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors, high-brightness LEDs, data storage devices and solar photovoltaics. Nanometrics’ automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, overlay registration, topography and various thin film properties, including film thickness as well as optical, electrical and material properties. The company’s process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing, to high-volume production of semiconductors and other devices, to advanced wafer-scale packaging applications. Nanometrics’ systems enable device manufacturers to improve yields, increase productivity and lower their manufacturing costs. The company maintains its headquarters in Milpitas, California, with sales and service offices worldwide. Nanometrics is traded on NASDAQ Select Global Market under the symbol NANO. Nanometrics’ website is http://www.nanometrics.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding the capabilities of the company’s metrology products, market leadership and growth of OCD metrology. Although Nanometrics believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, expectations regarding product capabilities, market share and growth are subject to a number of risks, including changes in customer spending plans and technology roadmaps, worldwide economic conditions and the continued technological leadership of our products. For additional information and considerations regarding the risks faced by Nanometrics, see its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 1, 2011 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other periodic reports filed with the SEC from time to time. Nanometrics disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement.
Nanometrics, Atlas, Lynx and NanoCD are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nanometrics, Inc.
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