Ultratech Introduces New Dual-Beam Laser Spike Anneal System

LSA100L Designed for Front-end-of-line and Middle-of-line Applications for Leading-edge Logic Nodes

Dec 21, 2010, 08:30 ET from Ultratech, Inc.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Ultratech, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTEK), a leading supplier of lithography and laser-processing systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices and high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs), today introduced the LSA100L, a new dual-beam laser spike anneal (DB-LSA) system for leading-edge logic devices.  The Ultratech LSA100L is designed for front-end-of-line (FEOL) and middle-of-line (MOL) applications, and expands the company's LSA capabilities to include low-temperature processes such as nickel silicide formation.  Built on the customizable Unity Platform™, the dual-beam system delivers the same inherent advantages as the LSA100A, such as superior within-die uniformity, layout-independent process results, and closed-loop wafer temperature control.  With multiple beta systems in the field, the production version of Ultratech's LSA100L will be available in the first quarter of 2011.  

In the LSA100A system, a single narrow CO2 laser beam is used to heat the wafer surface from a substrate temperature of approximately 400 degrees Celsius to the peak annealing temperature in the range 1100-1350 degrees Celsius.  In the DB-LSA system, a second laser beam is added that is wider than the narrow CO2 beam.  This second laser beam is used to locally preheat the wafer, which enables lower chuck temperatures required for MOL processes such as nickel silicide formation.  In addition, a new low-temperature measurement and control system has been developed, which extends the operating range to temperatures down to 400 degrees Celsius.  For leading-edge logic nodes, the short time scale of millisecond annealing has been shown to minimize nickel silicide diffusion and diffusion-related yield loss, while the higher temperatures available from millisecond annealing have been shown to enhance device performance.  

"The innovative solutions of the LSA100L allow our customers to expand the application space of LSA into MOL processes such as nickel silicidation, and other FEOL processes," noted Jeff Hebb, Ph.D., vice president of laser product marketing at Ultratech.  "We have demonstrated that even in the presence of nickel silicide films, the LSA100L has the same key advantages as the LSA100A for FEOL processes - within-die uniformity, layout-independent processing, and closed loop temperature control.  All of these advantages make it a low-risk and the most extendible solution for nickel silicidation, especially in a foundry environment where many different products are manufactured with the same process.  Also, this option is field upgradeable, so our customers can take their existing LSA100A installed base and expand their capabilities to those of the dual-beam LSA100L.  We think that the enhanced process flexibility and the inherent manufacturing benefits of LSA100L give the LSA platform unique capabilities compared to other millisecond annealing solutions.  With this new system introduction, Ultratech continues its commitment to develop low-risk, cost-effective, advanced technology solutions that enable the realization of the technology and product roadmaps of its customers worldwide."

Certain of the statements contained herein, which are not historical facts and which can generally be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "thinks," "intends," "will," "could," "believes," "estimates," "continue," and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements under Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that involve risks and uncertainties, such as risks related to timing, delays, deferrals and cancellations of orders by customers, including as a result of semiconductor manufacturing capacity as well as our customers' financial condition and demand for semiconductors; demand for consumer devices; industry growth within the company's served markets; continued delivery of financial performance and value; cyclicality in the semiconductor and nanotechnology industries; general economic and financial market conditions including impact on capital spending, as well as difficulty in predicting changes in such conditions; rapid technological change and the importance of timely product introductions; customer concentration; our dependence on new product introductions and market acceptance of new products and enhanced versions of our existing products; lengthy sales cycles, including the timing of system installations and acceptances; lengthy and costly development cycles for laser-processing and lithography technologies and applications; integration, development and associated expenses of the laser processing operation; pricing pressures and product discounts; high degree of industry competition; intellectual property matters; changes in pricing by us, our competitors or suppliers; international sales and operations; timing of new product announcements and releases by us or our competitors; ability to volume produce systems and meet customer requirements; sole or limited sources of supply; effect of capital market fluctuations on our investment portfolio; ability and resulting costs to attract or retain sufficient personnel to achieve our targets for a particular period; dilutive effect of employee stock option grants on net income per share, which is largely dependent upon our achieving and maintaining profitability and the market price of our stock; mix of products sold; outcome of litigation; manufacturing variances and production levels; timing and degree of success of technologies licensed to outside parties; product concentration and lack of product revenue diversification; inventory obsolescence; asset impairment; changes to financial accounting standards; effects of certain anti-takeover provisions; future acquisitions; volatility of stock price; foreign government regulations and restrictions; business interruptions due to natural disasters or utility failures; environmental regulations; and any adverse effects of terrorist attacks in the United States or elsewhere, or government responses thereto, or military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, on the economy, in general, or on our business in particular. Such risks and uncertainties are described in Ultratech's SEC reports including its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed for the year ended December 31, 2009 and Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended October 2, 2010. Due to these and additional factors, the statements, historical results and percentage relationships set forth herein are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations for any future period. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations, some or all of which may prove to be inaccurate, and which may change. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to affect any event or circumstance that may arise after the date of this release.

About Ultratech: Ultratech, Inc. (Nasdaq: UTEK) designs, manufactures and markets photolithography and laser processing equipment.  Founded in 1979, the company's market-leading advanced lithography products deliver high throughput and production yields at a low, overall cost of ownership for bump packaging of integrated circuits and high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs).  A pioneer of laser processing, Ultratech developed laser spike anneal technology, which increases device yield, improves transistor performance and enables the progression of Moore's Law for 45-nm and below production of state-of-the-art consumer electronics.  Visit Ultratech online at: www.ultratech.com.


Unity Platform is a trademark of Ultratech, Inc.

SOURCE Ultratech, Inc.