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Numeritech Acquires Transcription Enterprises; Integration With IC Manufacturing Software Leader Expands Numeritech's Subwavelength Leadership Position.

Business Editors and High Tech Writers

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2000

Numerical Technologies, Inc. (NumeriTech), the premiere provider of subwavelength integrated circuit (IC) design to manufacturing solutions, today announced that it has acquired Transcription Enterprises, Ltd. (Transcription). Transcription supplies Computer Aided Transcription System (CATS(TM)), the de facto standard for preparing IC design data for semiconductor manufacturing.

The combination of NumeriTech's phase-shifting and OPC software solutions with CATS is expected help ease the bottleneck in transferring subwavelength IC data from design to manufacturing.

"As part of NumeriTech's commitment to provide the semiconductor industry with a transparent subwavelength design-to-manufacturing infrastructure, we began exploring a technology integration with Transcription, the leader in manufacturing data preparation," said Y.C. (Buno) Pati, president of NumeriTech. "This acquisition will allow our customers to get a fast transfer from design to manufacturing, since virtually every design goes through CATS before it goes to manufacturing."

"The major obstacle to incorporating phase-shifting and OPC has been the difficulty and cost of incorporating it into the design and manufacturing flow," said G. Dan Hutcheson of VLSI Research Inc. "With this acquisition, NumeriTech is clearly paving the way for a painless handoff between subwavelength design and manufacturing."

Transcription will become Transcription Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NumeriTech, and continue to support existing products and partnerships. Kevin MacLean, currently vice president of Transcription, will become vice president and general manager of the subsidiary and Roger Sturgeon, founder and president of Transcription, will join the NumeriTech Board of Directors.

"Our customers are adopting OPC and phase shifting, and they have come to us asking for a way to efficiently incorporate the technologies," said Roger Sturgeon, president of Transcription Enterprises. "In exploring our options, it became clear that the subwavelength challenge cannot be solved unless these technologies are incorporated earlier in the design flow. Our mask data preparation technology needed to be linked with design tools. NumeriTech's established relationships in both the design and manufacturing community led us to this merger."

Technology Direction

As the semiconductor industry moves below the 0.25-micron process generation, design and manufacturing teams are challenged to create ICs with features smaller than the wavelength of light used to manufacture them. This `subwavelength phenomenon' can cause the features on an IC to become distorted or disappear, making it difficult to manufacture high-performance ICs with reasonable yields. As a result, many silicon manufacturers are adopting technologies such as phase shifting and OPC.

The adoption of these subwavelength technologies requires that information from mask data preparation be more tightly integrated with the design and manufacturing processes. The adoption of OPC and phase shifting generates an exponential increase in the amount of data contained in a design database, making the task of preparing manufacturing data much more difficult.

NumeriTech offers iN-Phase, the first automated silicon-proven tool suite for phase-shifting, and OPC solutions. Combining CATS with the NumeriTech software solutions is expected to simplify and speed the process of data preparation for subwavelength ICs.

"The subwavelength era imposes new challenges on every element of the lithography infrastructure, including photomask data management and manufacturing," stated Ken Rygler, Executive Vice President of DuPont Photomasks (Nasdaq:DPMI). "We believe that the integration of heretofore stand-alone technologies will help to support the industry's aggressive roadmap. The combination of NumeriTech and Transcription is a positive step in this integration and will help accelerate the movement of phase shift masks into routine production. We look forward to continuing our close work with NumeriTech on providing subwavelength solutions to our mutual customers."

About Transcription

Transcription Enterprises is based in Los Gatos, Calif. The company has been in the business of providing full-featured semiconductor data preparation and analysis software to the industry for 13 years. CATS, the company's only product, has become the industry standard and is in use in virtually every major semiconductor design group and photomask manufacturing facility in the world.

The CATS software is implemented in the chip design flow as the final step in the process of handing a chip database to manufacturing. The design data undergoes conversion from the industry standard design format (GDSII), used by chip design houses, to the mask writing and inspection formats used to fabricate masks in the mask houses and the wafer inspection formats used by semiconductor manufacturers.

About NumeriTech

Numerical Technologies Inc. (NumeriTech) develops and markets software applications and services that enable integrated circuit designers and manufacturers to produce ICs with subwavelength feature sizes (i.e. below the wavelength of the DUV optical light sources used in steppers to transfer designs onto silicon wafers).

NumeriTech's products and services provide a link between IC design and manufacturing for the world's leading microprocessor companies and semiconductor foundries. NumeriTech customers include leading silicon manufacturers such as Lucent, Motorola, TSMC, UMC, and VLSI Technology. NumeriTech has formed strategic alliances with KLA-Tencor, Applied Materials, Zygo, DuPont Photomasks and Photronics. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at www.numeritech.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 10, 2000
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