ESI Introduces Picosecond Laser-Based Solution for Wafer Singulation

Cignis Provides Revolutionary Process Capabilities for Advanced Wafer Processes

SEMICON West 2008

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESIO), a leading provider of world-class photonic and laser systems for micro-engineering applications, today introduced Cignis, a laser-based system for wafer singulation. The system utilizes ESIs patented technology and includes a picosecond, Ultrafast laser to enable fully automated wafer scribing and full-cut dicing, on a variety of processes, and provides high-performance and high yields. Production shipments of the system are expected to begin during the Companys third fiscal 2009 quarter.

Trends in the mobile and consumer electronics markets are driving the semiconductor industry to supply three-dimensional (3D) stacked packages for greater performance and form factor needs. 3D stacked packages typically contain memory, logic and other complex semiconductor devices which have been reduced in thickness to 100 microns or less. These thinner semiconductor devices are becoming increasingly difficult to effectively singulate with conventional dicing and scribing technologies. Also, these high-performance devices typically incorporate low-K dielectrics and copper (Cu) interconnects that create additional challenges to the singulation process. Cignis was designed to specifically address all of these issues.

Cignis will be used to remove low-K dielectrics and to singulate wafers, protecting the wafers overall die break strength and reducing damage from the heat-affected zone, commented Martin Igarashi, director of semiconductor products group at ESI. As the semiconductor assembly process becomes more complex, we believe that our unique capabilities of the Cignis system technology will be employed to enable future wafer assembly requirements and lower overall operating costs. The success of this technology very likely will lead to rapid global adoption at leading assembly factories worldwide.

About Cignis

Cignis provides fully automated scribing and full-cut dicing of wafers of up to 400 microns in thickness. The system is optimized for wafers that are 100 microns or less. Cignis features one of the most powerful picosecond lasers to provide true cold ablation, with minimal heat-affected zone (HAZ), debris, and industry-leading throughput. Also, the tool can be integrated into existing production lines. The application of high-powered, Ultrafast lasers, coupled with ESIs patented and world-class beam positioning approach, delivers superior performance.

About ESI, Inc.

ESI is a pioneer and leading supplier of world-class photonics and laser systems that help its microelectronics customers achieve compelling yield and productivity gains. The companys industry-leading, application-specific products enhance electronic-device performance in three key sectors semiconductors, components and electronic interconnect by enabling precision fine-tuning of device microfeatures in high-volume manufacturing environments. Founded in 1944, ESI is headquartered in Portland, Ore. More information is available at www.esi.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements concerning the timing of systems shipments. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that may affect the forward-looking statements include: the relative strength and volatility of the electronics industry -- which is dependent on many factors including component prices, global economic strength and political stability, and overall demand for electronic devices (such as capacitors) used in computers, flat panel displays, automotive applications, and video games; the risk that customer orders may be canceled or delayed; and the risk of manufacturing, supply or shipment disruptions or delays.

Contacts

ESI
Barbara Rizzatti, 503-672-5824

Contacts

ESI
Barbara Rizzatti, 503-672-5824