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Nikon Ships World’s First Production Immersion System

Major IC Manufacturer Selects Nikon for 55 nm Production

Belmont, California, February 16, 2006 – Nikon Corporation has shipped the world’s first production immersion lithography system. The NSR-S609B, an ArF immersion scanner with the industry’s first hyper-NA projection lens of NA 1.07, shipped in January to a major IC manufacturer. The system is targeted for mass production of 55 nm memory products and development of 45 nm devices. The NSR-S609B was selected over the competition because of its early market introduction and Nikon’s proprietary immersion solutions: Local Fill Technology and Tandem Stage.

A major concern of customers when using immersion lithography is defects. Nikon’s proprietary Local Fill Technology is proven to eliminate scanner-induced immersion defects with no bubbles, water spots, or backside wafer contamination. This technology also eliminates evaporation of the immersion fluid, providing a critical advantage in preventing immersion related overlay problems.

To increase throughput, improve accuracy, and enhance the long term stability of the NSR-S609B, Nikon developed a new Tandem Stage that utilizes two stages with different functions to optimize the performance of the tool for immersion lithography. The Exposure Stage is designed to process wafers at high accelerations and scan speeds , 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. Overlay accuracy has been reduced to 7 nm or less with the Tandem Stage. Additionally, any risk of fluctuations or variations over time in the immersion process is eliminated by frequent calibration checks.

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