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Nikon to Start Full-Scale Product Development of EUVL System

Belmont, Calif., January 14, 2004 – Nikon Corporation announced today that it sees no major hurdles to block the development of Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) systems and will start full-scale product development in 2004, with the planned launch for the system by 2006. The tool is targeted at mass production of 45 nm DRAMs and 32 nm microprocessors.

EUV lithography is regarded as a promising technology for realizing future generations of semiconductors. It will enable production of semiconductor chips with features of 45 nm or less, far smaller than the present mass production level of 100 nm scale. The EUVL system requires development of advanced technologies, including a light source capable of providing enough light at 13.5 nm wavelength, extremely precise mirrors, a high quality projection system, and an EUV wave measurement system.

Nikon has been conducting basic research for over 10 years and has been a member of the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA) – since it was established in June 2002. In January 2003, Nikon established a new EUVL development department, within its Precision Equipment Company, to specialize and focus on the development of practical EUVL technology for its customers.

Nikon has introduced four new lithography systems in 2003, more new products in a single year than any competitor in recent history. The company also announced an aggressive development plan for 193 nm immersion lithography, with shipments planned as early as 2005. “This impressive commitment to new product development shows Nikon’s dedication to meeting our customer’s requirements and maintaining our position as the technology leader in lithography,” stated Geoff Wild, CEO of Nikon Precision Inc.

About EUVA
The Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA) was created to coordinate the R&D and accelerate the development of EUVL technology. The EUVA was formed from nine EUV related companies, under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The EUVA was established in June 2002, to develop the technology required for an EUV lithography system, in particular EUV light source and exposure tool. In 2003, EUVA began the R&D on Absolute Wave Front Measurement system, succeeding the R&D results conducted by ASET from 2001.

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