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Nikon and CEA-Leti Announce Partnership for Double Patterning and Double Exposure Technology

Belmont, California – February 27, 2007 – Nikon Corporation announced today a Joint Development Program with CEA-Leti, one of Europe’s leading microelectronics research centers focused on optical lithography development for technology beyond 45 nm. The work will examine the potential of Double Exposure and Double Patterning for 32 nm semiconductor devices, and will utilize a leading-edge Nikon scanner located in CEA-Leti’s Nanotec 300 research facility.

Double Patterning was added to the ITRS roadmap in 2006 as a potential solution for 32 nm lithography. EUVL and high-index immersion are also listed as potential solutions on the ITRS roadmap, but the development timeline for those technologies may limit them from being used for 32 nm applications. Nikon is working with key research centers and leading-edge IC manufacturers, as well as partnering with design, mask, and resist companies to ensure a manufacturable solution is available in time for the 32 nm node.

“CEA-Leti offers an outstanding, state-of-the-art facility with all of the processes required for Double Patterning,” stated Toshikazu Umatate, Executive Officer, Precision Equipment Company, Nikon Corporation. “Our collaboration with Leti enables us to leverage their process expertise and our lithography knowledge to develop the best exposure tools and processes for this challenging technology.”

“The partnership with Nikon is a great opportunity to develop all aspects of Double Processing with one of the world’s leading equipment suppliers” said Olivier Demolliens, head of the Nanotec Division at CEA-Leti. “DE/DP is the main solution foreseen for the 32 nm node, bridging the gap between immersion and EUV, but there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed on equipment, process, mask and CAD. Together with Nikon equipment and expertise, we have built a consortium that will address all these developments.”

About Nikon
Since 1980, Nikon Corporation has been revolutionizing lithography with innovative products and technologies. The company is a worldwide leader in lithography equipment for the microelectronics manufacturing industry with more than 7,800 exposure systems installed worldwide. Nikon offers the most extensive selection of production-class steppers and scanners in the industry. These products serve the semiconductor, flat panel display (LCD) and thin-film magnetic head (TFH) industries.  For more information about Nikon, access our web site at www.nikon.co.jp

About CEA-Leti
The CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission), a public organization for technological research, carries out its missions in the domains of energy, information and health technologies, and defense, building on the foundations of fundamental research at the highest level. Strengthened by the competence of its 15,000 researchers and collaborators, it is recognized internationally and constitutes a strong source of original ideas for public authorities, institutions, and industries in France and in Europe.

Located in Grenoble, CEA-Leti (Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory of the French Atomic Energy Commission) is at the leading edge of European research in microelectronics, microtechnology and nanotechnology.  It employs nearly 1000 people and generates around 200 patents per year. With 28 start-ups created or in the course of creation, it is one of the most important partners of the industrial world. Instigator of the MINATEC® pole of innovation, CEA-Leti is also one of its principal partners, beside the INP Grenoble (Grenoble Institute of Technology) and the local authorities.

For more information about CEA , access www.cea.fr.

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Contact:
Bernie Wood
Director of Marketing
Nikon Precision Inc.,
(650) 413-8533 phone
bwood@nikon.com