Ultratech Introduces New Laser Spike Anneal Platform With Ambient Control

Ultratech's LSA201 Product Family Provides Full-Wafer Ambient Control for Advanced Logic Nodes

Oct 22, 2012, 16:30 ET from Ultratech, Inc.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 22, 2012 /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 announced a new laser spike anneal (LSA) product family―LSA201, LSA201LP, and LSA201HP―built on a new platform that provides full-wafer ambient control processing for sub-20nm nodes.  The LSA201's simple and robust design includes Ultratech's patented micro-chamber design for achieving ambient control in a scanning system.  Currently, the system can run mixtures of any inert gases, but the general micro-chamber architecture is extendible to more exotic gases for future processes.  Ultratech plans to begin shipping LSA201 systems in the first half of 2013, and already has customer commitments with the first shipment scheduled in Q1, 2013. 

Traditional junction activation processes do not require ambient control.  However, as devices scale below 20nm, Ultratech expects adoption of additional processes involving interface engineering and film property modification.  Full-wafer ambient control is expected to become a critical capability for some of these types of processes.  In Ultratech's unique design, a micro-chamber is formed around the wafer by bringing a stationary water-cooled plate close to the top of the wafer, and implementing a non-contact gas bearing around the perimeter of the wafer to make a seal with this plate.  The micro-chamber is at atmospheric pressure, and does not require the complicated hardware associated with vacuum systems. 

Like the LSA101 platform, there are also two dual-beam products based on the LSA201 platform: the LSA201LP, which features a second low-power beam for extension to low-temperature processing, and the LSA201HP, which features a second high-power beam for extension to longer dwell times.  The LSA201LP targets middle-of-line (MOL) applications, such as nickel silicide formation, and the LSA201HP targets advanced front-end-of-line (FEOL) applications, such as defect annealing.  A standard LSA201 system can be field upgraded to a LSA201LP or LSA201HP, enabling customers to extend their tool capabilities without switching to a new platform.

Jeff Hebb, Ph.D., Vice President of Laser Product Marketing at Ultratech said, "As our customers move to smaller nodes, we expect that they will demand a fully-controllable ambient system for some of their non-junction processes.  With this new platform, Ultratech continues to stay aligned with its customers' advanced technology roadmaps, and enables them to expand laser annealing to new processes with new materials.  Furthermore, our dual-beam products available on the LSA201 platform allow our customers to have ambient control over the whole range of application space offered on the LSA101 platform.  We also think our customers will appreciate the simplicity of the design for high-volume manufacturing."

LSA201 Laser Spike Anneal System

Ultratech's LSA201 LSA system built on the highly customizable Unity Platform™ includes a patented micro chamber for full-wafer, ambient control for processing at 14nm and below nodes.  The micro chamber uses a nitrogen bearing for a non-contact solution and mass flow controllers (MFCs), which enable the use of other exotic gases. The LSA201 platform is field upgradable with all of Ultratech's dual-beam configurations for applications that require a low chuck temperature.  The LSA201 is well suited for processes such as interface engineering and film property modification where ambient control is critical at 14nm and below.  In addition, Ultratech's LSA201 can potentially be used for nickel silicide, high-k/metal gate, and high-k annealing processes.

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," "poised," "estimates," "continues," 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; 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; 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; 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 key personnel; 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, 2011 and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. 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 reflect 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 32-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.