FEI Releases First-Ever DualBeam(TM) Photomask Repair System for 65 nm Node

Combined With FEI's SNP XT With Rapid CD(TM), Mask Makers Now Have an Open,

Total Repair Solution for Next-generation Lithography Technologies

Sep 13, 2004, 01:00 ET from FEI Company

    HILLSBORO, Ore., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FEI Company
 (Nasdaq:   FEIC) has released the industry's first-ever DualBeam(TM) mask repair
 system designed to repair photolithography mask defects for the 65 nm node.
 Combining both a focused ion beam (FIB) column and an environmental scanning
 electron microscope (ESEM(TM)) in a single system, the new Accura(TM) XT+ is a
 future-safe solution that can accommodate both today's photomasks and extend
 to a broad set of next-generation lithography technologies including EUV
 reflective, LEEPL/Stencil, Nanoimprint, CPL, and new absorber stacks.
     The Accura XT+ contains a robust list of performance-enhancing features.
 A new VisIONary(TM) FIB column provides smaller spot size and more accurate
 beam placement for both imaging and repair. FEI's patented environmental SEM
 technology enables e-beam repair of leading-edge 65 nm photomask types and
 will play a major role in future lithography nodes, while also providing
 high-resolution e-beam imaging.  FEI's ESEM technology has the advantage of
 eliminating the adverse charging effects of standard SEMs. The system also
 features an optical microscope for easy mask navigation and global alignment.
 The Accura XT+ delivers clean, high transmission repairs with excellent edge
 placement on today's demanding photomasks designed for 65 nm production.
     When used in combination with FEI's SNP XT stylus nanoprofilometer with
 Rapid CD(TM), manufacturers of photomasks gain a highly compelling mask repair
 solution. The SNP XT rapidly identifies and maps mask defects and confirms
 repair by acquiring detailed 3D topographical data. The combination of the two
 tools enables accurate alternating aperture phase shift (AAPSM) mask repair.
     "The Accura XT+ builds on FEI's leadership in providing the mask industry
 with advanced mask repair solutions," said Michel Epsztein, senior vice
 president and general manager of FEI's CMD division.  "The Accura XT+ is built
 on FEI's flagship wafer fab platform, utilizing the latest technologies for
 flexibility and reliability in a DualBeam configuration. Fully prepared for
 future mask generations, this latest addition to the Accura product family
 will enable manufacturers to continue saving thousands of dollars per mask by
 eliminating scrapped masks and additional production time, and to reduce
 delivery time to customers."
     Also introduced with the Accura XT+ is CAD Copy(TM), a software upgrade
 designed to boost the system's powerful Pattern Copy software.  The software
 package enables the repair of previously irreparable defects on single die
 masks and accesses archived CAD data from mask writer tools to generate highly
 accurate repair bitmaps. CAD Copy has an open modular software architecture
 that can support all mask data formats and accommodate future expansion as new
 protocols are adopted.
     About FEI
     FEI's Tools for Nanotech(TM), featuring focused ion- and electron-beam
 technologies, deliver 3D characterization, analysis and modification
 capabilities with resolution down to the sub-Angstrom level. With R&D centers
 in North America and Europe, and sales and service operations in more the 40
 countries around the world, FEI is bringing the nanoscale within the grasp of
 leading researchers and manufacturers and helping to turn some of the biggest
 ideas of the this century into reality.