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Nikon Announces New Ultra High Throughput Stepper

New Stepper Reduces Costs for Sub-Critical Layers

BELMONT, California — November 20, 2006 — Nikon continues its focus on high productivity lithography solutions with the introduction of the NSR-SF150, a scan field i-line stepper with ultra high throughput and extremely low cost of ownership. Throughput has been increased by more than 50% to 180 wafers per hour or more, while overlay was reduced by more than 30% over the previous model. The system makes use of leading-edge lens technology to achieve the same wide exposure field as DUV scanners, making it ideal for mix-and-match applications. Customers can use the SF150 for sub-critical layers in mass production of next-generation memory and microprocessors.

The SF150 is the sixth generation of highly successful scan field (SF) steppers – with more than 300 systems operating around the world today. The SF150 offers an unparalleled level of productivity and cost of ownership. The new wafer exchange system with optimized load/unload positioning reduces exchange times by 60%, while the lightweight, high acceleration wafer stage reduces stepping time by nearly a third. In addition, alignment times were cut in half using a new alignment processing system. These design enhancements enable the system to deliver more than 180 wafers per hour and have reduced cost of ownership by 25% compared to the previous SF model.

Continuing the Nikon tradition of design innovation, the SF150 incorporates new lens and stage technologies. The system incorporates revolutionary new Skyhook Technology to reduce vibration, plus optimized airflow and temperature control to improve lens stability and accuracy. The new SF150 stage design provides enhanced positioning control and enables six degrees of freedom for wafer stage control to further enhance overlay performance. The SF150 also incorporates the same advanced alignment system that is used on leading-edge Nikon scanners. The system delivers overlay accuracy of 25 nm or less, exceeding the requirements for today’s sub-critical layers.

“Nikon has been providing cost effective solutions for i-line applications for many years. The new SF150 incorporates significant enhancements that boost productivity and reduce cost of ownership to an unprecedented level,” stated Geoff Wild, CEO of Nikon Precision, Inc.

Nikon will begin shipping systems in the second quarter of 2007.

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. Nikon Precision Inc. provides service, training, applications and technical support, as well as sales and marketing for Nikon lithography equipment in North America. For more information about Nikon, access our web site at

Forward Looking Statements
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.


Bernie Wood
Director of Marketing
Nikon Precision Inc.,
(650) 413-8533 phone