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Nikon Extends Tool Performance with New Enhancements

Product Enhancements improve productivity, overlay, image quality, and dose control

Belmont, California, July 8, 2004 -In a continued effort to reduce the cost of ownership for its customers, Nikon Precision Inc. introduced today a suite of new options designed to enhance the performance of existing NSR steppers and scanners. This suite includes 10 new individual enhancement kits and 4 newly developed major software packages. These enhancements provide increased productivity, improved overlay performance, imaging optimization, and enhanced dose control.

Nikon has had an intense focus on cost effective lithography with 5 new systems introduced in the last year, all with increased productivity and reduced cost of ownership. Due to the large investment associated with lithography equipment, semiconductor manufacturers want to use their existing tools at levels beyond the initial specifications. To meet this request, Nikon has developed software and hardware upgrades that can push the performance of existing NSR steppers and scanners beyond their original design specifications.

Four new software packages, referred to as Litho Enhancement Paks, are being introduced. These include: QUICKpak for productivity and efficiency enhancements, SMARTpak for intelligent overlay optimization, SHARPpak for imaging optimization, and GEMpak, for fab automation.

Many of the available enhancements will also help reduce the k1 factor, which improves the system’s resolution. The k1 factor is part of the resolution equation and can be reduced through lens optimization, improved focus control, and enhanced dose adjustment.

The new enhancements kits are available for sale now and will initially be sold only in the US.

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