Production Capacity Expansion for ArF Immersion Scanners
August 6 , 2008 – Nikon Corporation (Michio Kariya, President) will build two new buildings, one in its Kumagaya Plant and one at its subsidiary, Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd., enhancing production capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for its ArF immersion scanners. The Kumagaya Plant and Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd. have been the major locations for R&D and manufacturing of Nikon’s IC steppers and scanners. With these new buildings, Nikon will improve its overall production efficiency of lithography tools, and its production capacity for ArF immersion scanners will increase to the level of 90 systems a year, more than twice the current capacity.
The total investment for both buildings and production equipment for this capacity expansion is estimated to amount to approximately 35 billion yen over 3 years beginning this fiscal year.
Although overall capital expenditure for IC production equipment is expected to slow this year, capital investment for ArF immersion scanners, the leading-edge system essential for device miniaturization, remains stable. ArF immersion scanners are now used mainly for mass production of NAND flash memory, but logic and DRAM manufacturers are expected to introduce them into production in the near future.
Nikon ArF immersion scanners excel in their advanced design to eliminate immersion-induced defects and their compatibility with the topcoat-less resist process. Nikon has been promoting sales of its scanners with these superior technological capabilities and recently received a large inquiry for them. After careful consideration of this inquiry, Nikon has decided to build new buildings in two manufacturing locations for enhancement of production and supply capacity.
In addition to providing clean room space for manufacturing, the two new buildings will have space for the development of next-generation systems, and areas to allow for evaluation of scanners under the same conditions as customer factories. These facilities will strengthen Nikon’s R&D capability as well as customers’ satisfaction.
The two new buildings (approximately 16,000 square meters of production space) are projected to begin operation in December 2009.
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 website at http://www.nikonprecision.com.
Director of Marketing
Nikon Precision Inc.,
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