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Applied Materials Revolutionizes Dielectric Etch Productivity with New Producer Etch System.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 2, 2003

Producer(R) Etch Delivers Highest Throughput Per Square Foot for

Sub-130nm Etch Applications

Applied Materials, Inc. revolutionizes dielectric etch productivity with its new Producer(R) Etch system that delivers up to twice the throughput of competitive systems. The Producer Etch also significantly improves capital costs for high-volume chip manufacturing. For example, at 5,000 wafer starts per week, a production line requires only two Producer Etch systems to achieve the same output as six 2-chamber or three 4-chamber competitive etch tools, while occupying as little as half the cleanroom space.

"Producer Etch sets the benchmark for productivity, addressing a variety of applications, including aluminum via, bond pad and spacer etch, across multiple device generations," said Dr. Ashok Sinha, senior vice president and general manager of Applied Materials' Etch Products Business Group. "We've had excellent response from customers on this breakthrough system, including repeat orders in the U.S. and Asia."

According to Dataquest, a market research firm, the dielectric etch market is estimated to total $1.1 billion in 2003, growing to over $2.0 billion by 2006. The Producer Etch is a key component of Applied Materials' line of dielectric etch systems, which now includes the new Enabler(TM) system for customers' most advanced low k interconnects and the eMax(TM) Centura(R) for today's volume production applications.

The Producer Etch system builds on the company's successful Producer CVD (chemical vapor deposition) platform, over 500 of which are installed in customer fabs worldwide. Featuring high speed dual-wafer handling, the system can be configured with up to three Twin Chamber(TM) modules that allow the simultaneous processing of six wafers.

The system meets all critical process requirements, such as striation-free, damage-free and profile-controlled etching. Dual frequency capacitively-coupled plasma technology and separate process environments for each half of the Twin Chamber module provide reliable, independent etching of each wafer. The system provides excellent etch rate repeatability, both within each Twin Chamber module and from module to module. Each Twin Chamber can also operate in single or dual-wafer mode.

Every aspect of the new system has been designed for extendibility well into the nanometer era. For customers expecting to upgrade equipment from 200mm to 300mm wafer sizes, the Producer Etch system offers true "bridge" capability, with cost-effective size conversion and no impact on the system's compact footprint.

Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT), the largest supplier of products and services to the global semiconductor industry, is one of the world's leading information infrastructure providers. Applied Materials enables Information for Everyone(TM) by helping semiconductor manufacturers produce more powerful, portable and affordable chips. Applied Materials' web site is

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 2, 2003
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