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Nikon Announces World’s First Scanner for 45 nm Volume Production

Immersion system with 1.30 NA lens will ship by end of 2006

Belmont, California, July 6, 2006 – Nikon Corporation has developed the world’s first lithography system designed to meet the semiconductor industry’s requirements for mass production of 45 nm memory and of 32 nm logic devices. The NSR-S610C, an ArF immersion scanner, includes an advanced 1.30 NA projection lens and POLANO, Nikon’s fourth generation polarization technology. The system will also include proprietary Nikon Local Fill Technology and the Tandem Stage, which enable the system to achieve throughput of 130 wafers or more per hour. Systems will start shipping by the end of 2006.

The NSR-S610C is the first scanner capable of printing 45 nm half pitch patterns with sufficient process windows for volume production. When combined with POLANO, The 1.30 NA lens provides the optimal resolution and depth of focus for 45 nm memory structures.

The NSR-S610C builds on the immersion technology developed for the NSR-S609B, the world’s first production immersion tool that started shipping in January of 2006. The Nikon Tandem Stage uses two stages with different functions to optimize the performance of the tool for immersion lithography. The Exposure Stage is designed to process at very high rates, while the Calibration Stage is used to calibrate the tool between each wafer exchange. The result is a system with high throughput and improved accuracy. Alignment accuracy has been reduced to 6.5 nm or less. Additionally, any risk of fluctuations or variations over time in the immersion process is eliminated by frequent calibration checks. Nikon Local Fill Technology provides proven defect-free immersion lithography.

“The S610C is another first for Nikon. We shipped the first 0.85 NA lens, the first 0.92 NA lens, the first hyper-NA system and now we’ll ship the first 1.30 NA system” stated Geoff Wild, CEO of Nikon Precision, Inc. “We’re enabling our customers to gain market share by giving them leading-edge technology before any of our competitors.”

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 7,600 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 www.nikonprecision.com

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.

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