ASM International N.V. and Veeco Instruments Sign a Licensing Agreement for Atomic Layer Deposition Technology
Piero Sferlazzo, Ph.D., Veeco's Vice President, General Manager, PVD/ALD, commented, "Securing these ALD patents from ASM, combined with our internal deposition experience and process know-how, is important to our ALD new product development efforts. Veeco's new high-rate NEXUS(R) ALD system, which is currently expected to be launched in the second half of 2005, is designed to give our thin film magnetic head customers higher throughput and superior coating properties for emerging process requirements."
“There is more value in ASM's Intellectual Property than we can possibly exploit ourselves. Therefore, the grant of this ALD license is a logical step that is to the benefit of both ASM and Veeco.”
Don Kania, Ph.D., Veeco's President, added, "Our customers are experiencing strong end-demand and an invigorated need for new process technology. Next generation thin film magnetic heads will require an integrated equipment tool set, with ALD as an important process combined with other etch and deposition technology solutions. Veeco is uniquely able to offer hard disk drive manufacturers a broad line of process equipment and metrology solutions for their wafer and slider fabs."
The NEXUS ALD module is Veeco's latest process capability addition to the Veeco NEXUS family of products. Veeco's NEXUS platform provides a common hardware and software architecture, allowing customers to rapidly and economically integrate disparate process capabilities on the same cluster tool in a production setting. In ALD technology, a specimen to be coated with a thin film is exposed to sequential and repeated pulses of two mutually reactive reactants at moderately high temperatures. This results in atomically thin layer-by-layer growth with conformal deposition over three dimensional structures and perfect control of thickness and uniformity. The advantages of this technology have proven their value in semiconductor processing technology and related areas. With the continuing reduction of feature size in magnetic heads, conformal deposition and more stringent control of thickness are important requirements which are well suited for ALD.
Menso Hendriks, ASM's Central Intellectual Property Counsel, commented: "There is more value in ASM's Intellectual Property than we can possibly exploit ourselves. Therefore, the grant of this ALD license is a logical step that is to the benefit of both ASM and Veeco."
ASM International had a jump start in the ALD technology by the acquisition in 1999 of ASM Microchemistry in Finland. The ALD patent portfolio includes some basic patents of Suntola, the world's recognized pioneer of ALD, and patents relating to the deposition of oxides, nitrides, carbides, metals, magnetic films, films for magnetic heads, nano-laminates, and patents relating to the use of radicals in ALD processing and to equipment for ALD.
About ASM International
ASM International N.V.and its subsidiaries design and manufacture equipment and materials used to produce semiconductor devices. The company provides production solutions for wafer processing (Front-end segment) as well as assembly and packaging (Back-end segment) through facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia. ASM International's common stock trades on NASDAQ (symbol ASMI) and the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange (symbol ASM). For more information, visit ASMI's web site at www.asm.com.
Veeco Instruments Inc. provides solutions for nanoscale applications in the worldwide data storage, LED/wireless, semiconductor and scientific research markets. Our Metrology products are used to measure at the nanoscale and our Process Equipment tools help create nanoscale devices. Veeco's manufacturing and engineering facilities are located in New York, New Jersey, California, Colorado, Arizona and Minnesota. Global sales and service offices are located throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia Pacific. Additional information on Veeco can be found at www.veeco.com.
To the extent that this news release discusses expectations about market condition, market acceptance and future sales of Veeco's products, Veeco's future financial performance, or otherwise makes statements about the future, such statements are forward-looking and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made. These factors include the cyclical nature of the LED/wireless, data storage, semiconductor and research markets, risks associated with integrating acquired businesses and the acceptance of new products by individual customers and by the marketplace and other factors discussed in the Business Description and Management's Discussion and Analysis sections of Veeco's Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.