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Nikon Announces New High Productivity System

BELMONT, Calif. –Nov. 19, 2003–Nikon continues its focus on high productivity lithography solutions with the introduction of the NSR-SF130, a scan-field i-line stepper with high throughput and extremely low cost of ownership. The system makes use of leading-edge lens technology to achieve the same wide exposure field (26×33 mm) as DUV scanners, making it ideal for mix and match applications. Customers can use the NSR-SF130 for sub-critical layers in mass production of next generation DRAM and microprocessors. Total cost of ownership is substantially lower than other i-line stepper systems.

The NSR-SF130, Nikon’s fifth new semiconductor systems announced in 2003, achieves a resolution of 280 nm or better and boasts a throughput of 120 wafers/hour for 300 mm wafers. The system combines superior performance with the lowest cost of ownership to help reduce semiconductor manufacturing costs.

In 2000, Nikon was the first in the industry to develop a new-concept stepper specifically for mix-and-match with DUV scanners, when it introduced the NSR-SF100, an i-line stepper with a wide exposure field for mix-and-match with DUV scanners. In 2002, Nikon introduced the NSR-SF120, which featured lower resolution and high throughput. To build on the success of the NSR-SF100 and 120, Nikon has introduced the NSR-SF130 featuring even further throughput improvements.

“Our customers recognize the price-to-performance value of our scan-field steppers with more than 120 systems installed worldwide. They have been very satisfied with the previous generation models and are looking to order the next generation model, the SF130” stated Geoff Wild, CEO of Nikon Precision, Inc.

Nikon will begin shipping systems in January 2004.

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 7,200 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. Nikon Precision Inc. provides service, training, applications and technical support, as well as sales and marketing for Nikon lithography equipment in North America.

This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in condition, particularly those related to industry requirements and other risks. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the information in this press release.

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Contacts:
John Watkins
Sr. Product Marketing Mgr.
Nikon Precision Inc.
(650) 413-8456
jwatkins@nikon.com