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Etec Systems Announces Next Generation MEBES 5000 for 0.18 Micron Masks.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 14, 1998--Etec Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ETEC), a leader in patterning solutions for the worldwide semiconductor and electronics industries, today announced the introduction of the MEBES(R) 5000, an electron-beam raster-scan pattern generation system tested to new, more rigorous "composite" specifications, that establishes an unparalleled standard for pattern generator performance.

The MEBES 5000 is featured in the Etec booth (No. 1716) at SEMICON West 98, currently taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

According to Frank Abboud, vice president of product development for Etec Systems, "This product is a response to our customers' requirements for a new line of higher performance MEBES systems. We developed the MEBES 5000 system to meet the accuracy and throughput requirements of the 0.18 micron mask generation, building upon experience gained from the more than 150 MEBES systems installed worldwide. With this new system, the user retains control of the design grid, writing strategy and exposure parameters. This allows the maskmaker to optimize results for leading edge mask production as well as for mask development." Abboud continued, "We are excited about the many new features and the important benefits the MEBES 5000 brings to our customers. One of the greatest benefits of the new system is its high speed; the MEBES 5000 will allow production of complex 0.18 micron device generation masks as much as eight times faster than a MEBES 4500."

The MEBES 5000 system includes an advanced platform with a new layout, packaging and exterior design. The modernized look of the MEBES 5000 includes a three-bay electronics chassis, a new standalone operator console, and a redesigned workstation. The new workstation is designed to improve system performance through better noise immunity, vibration isolation and environmental control. The system offers "glass-in glass-out" automation with fully conditioned storage nests for 16 cassettes.

Designed to accept Etec's file pattern format, Mode 5, which provides improved data compaction through an Etec proprietary data format, the MEBES 5000 manages the much larger data files associated with advanced 0.18 micron designs. Mode 5 format extends the proven MEBES format to support patterning substrates with a design grid.

The enhanced speed of the MEBES 5000 system is derived from its 320 MHz dual Super Flash High-Throughput Memory (SFHTM) data path, which achieves 1.28 gigapixel per second data rates. This translates into throughput speed up to twice that of the MEBES 4500S and eight times that of the MEBES 4500.

"The first beta system shipped in June," stated Steve Cooper, Etec chairman, president and CEO. "We are very pleased with the initial system results, and worldwide customer interest in the new product is strong. The new design represents an important departure from the previous generations of MEBES and offers a new platform for future generations. The MEBES 5000 provides our customers the speed, ease of use and automation they will need to be successful at 0.18 micron device rules."

Safe Harbor Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks and uncertainties include risks associated with the timely development and market acceptance of new products, entry into a new market, availability of key components, developing full manufacturing capability from prototype construction on a cost-effective basis, delays in factory testing and acceptance, quality control problems and the development of competitive products or processes.

Statements in this release are based upon internal estimates, preliminary information and management assumptions which are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties inherent in estimating future results. Other risks are detailed form time to time in the company's SEC reports including the annual report filed on Form 10-K and subsequent filings on Form 10-Q. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this release.

About Etec

Etec Systems Inc. is a leader in patterning solutions for the worldwide semiconductor and electronics industries. Its products include electron-and laser-beam systems that produce high-precision masks, which are used to print circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and high-speed, large-area laser direct imaging systems and e-beam test equipment for electronic interconnect and flat panel display production applications.

Founded in 1970, the company is headquartered in Hayward, Calif., with manufacturing facilities in Hayward, Calif., Beaverton, Ore., Tucson, Ariz., and Feldkirchen, Germany, with sales and service offices worldwide. Etec's stock is traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ETEC. The company's World Wide Web site can be accessed at www.etec.com

 CONTACT: Etec Systems Inc., Hayward
 David Miller, 510/780-3710 (Marketing Communications)
 or
 Kathy Call, 510/887-3578 (Investor Relations)


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Publication:Business Wire
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 14, 1998
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