Ultratech Introduces New Laser Spike Anneal Products With Novel, Proprietary Dual-Beam Technology

Ultratech Expands its Application Space with Two New Dual-Beam LSA Products

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 that it has introduced two new laser spike anneal (LSA) products based on its proprietary dual-beam laser technology, which enables expanded processing capabilities compared to conventional millisecond annealing tools.  Both new products are based on Ultratech's flagship platform, the LSA101, which is currently in high-volume production for 40- and 28-nm logic devices.  The LSA101LP features a second low-power (LP) laser beam to enable low-temperature processing required for middle-of-line (MOL) applications.  Multiple LSA101LP systems have already been delivered to several logic foundries, and are inserted into 20-nm baseline processes.  The second dual-beam system, the LSA101HP, features a second high-power (HP) laser which enables longer dwell times required for some advanced front-end-of–line (FEOL) applications.  The LSA101HP is scheduled to be delivered to several logic foundries in the first half of 2013.  Both dual-beam systems are field upgradable on the LSA101 platform.

In the LSA101 system, a single CO2 laser beam is used to heat the wafer surface from a substrate temperature of approximately 400C to the peak annealing temperature in the range 1100-1350C.  In the LSA101LP system, a second low-power laser beam is incorporated to preheat the wafer, which enables the lower substrate temperatures required for MOL processes, such as nickel silicide formation.  In addition, a new temperature measurement and control system has been developed to enable the lower peak temperatures required for these processes.  For leading-edge logic nodes, the short time scale of millisecond annealing has been shown to minimize nickel silicide diffusion and leakage-related yield loss.  For MOL applications, the maximum throughput of the system is an industry-leading 70wph.  Compared to competing laser annealing systems, the LSA101LP offers superior within-die uniformity for different layouts due to its long-wavelength source, industry-leading process control due to its full-wafer closed loop temperature control, and a significantly lower cost of ownership due to higher throughput and low cost of consumables.

For the LSA101 system, the primary CO2 beam is relatively narrow so that it generates dwell times on the order of 100s of microseconds.  In Ultratech's LSA101HP system, the second high-power laser creates a longer dwell time anneal on the order of 10msec.  The combination of these two lasers leads to a unique temperature profile, which is comprised of a long dwell and short dwell anneal in a single process.  There are numerous applications that can benefit from this kind of temperature profile, such as annealing end-of-range implant damage with minimal dopant diffusion.  This application has the potential of replacing conventional rapid thermal processing (RTP) for junction activation in advanced logic nodes, where small devices cannot tolerate the dopant diffusion caused by the longer annealing times of RTP.

"The introduction of these two dual-beam products that enable many new applications for sub-28nm devices confirms that Ultratech's LSA101 platform delivers high flexibility and extendibility for advanced annealing applications," noted Jeff Hebb, Ph.D., vice president of laser product marketing at Ultratech.  "Building on the applications served by the single beam LSA101, the lower temperatures and longer dwell times provided by these two new products greatly expands the application space in the FEOL and the MOL.  These new capabilities are both easily field upgradable, which provides significant cost and technology advantages to our customers because they will not have to change the entire platform to gain access to new applications.  The introduction of these two new systems is an example of Ultratech's commitment to providing advanced technology in a low-risk, low-cost solution to meet the aggressive product roadmaps of its global customers."

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.


SOURCE Ultratech, Inc.