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Sawtek receives I-Line Lithography System from ASML special applications

ASML Netherlands B.V. : 07 March, 2000  (Application Story)
In its first business with a manufacturer of surface acoustic wave components, ASML's Special Applications division has installed a PAS 5500/250C i-line stepper at Sawtek Inc.'s manufacturing facility outside Orlando, Florida. Capable of achieving sub-half-micron resolution, the lithography tool will be used in producing SAW filters for telecommunication applications.
'The PAS 5500/250C system's tight CD control for 0.35-micron design rules and ability to accurately align the wafers we work with in producing our high-performance SAW components and SAW-based subsystems were key factors in our decision to work with ASML SA,' said Michael Berger, Sawtek's purchasing manager. 'We selected ASML SA based on its customer focus and ability to actively meet our advanced imaging needs.'

A SAW device converts electrical signals to acoustic waves, allowing them to pass through a solid propagation medium, and then reconverts them back to electrical signals, essentially filtering out the noise. To manufacture its products, Sawtek uses specialty substrates made of quartz, lithium niobate and lithium tantalate, all of which have unique crystal structures. The PAS 5500/250C is capable of quickly and accurately aligning incoming wafers so that the stepper's illumination path is precisely oriented to the substrates crystalline structure.

'We are pleased to include Sawtek, a leading manufacturer in the SAW-devices market, among new customers of ASML SA. Our business relationship with Sawtek demonstrates our ability to apply 15 years of experience in semiconductor fabrication toward creating production-proven lithography systems for specialty applications,' said Eduard Hoeberichts, vice president and general manager of ASML's SA division.

'The market research firm IC Insights estimates that worldwide shipments of cellular handsets will grow 38 percent to 356 million units in 2000,' Hoeberichts continued. 'To meet this demand, companies such as Sawtek are upgrading their technical capabilities and manufacturing capacities, and we are here to lend our expertise to that process.'

The PAS 5500/250C combines 0.35-micron resolution with industry-leading overlay performance of 45nm or less as a stand-alone system or 85nm or less in machine-to-machine matching. Throughput is greater than 93 200mm wafers per hour. The system features ASML's AERIALTM illuminator, a versatile component that provides both the flexibility to switch between conventional and off-axis illumination modes and the high intensity to enable economical mass production of next-generation devices.
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