GIGAPHOTON INC. is a relatively young company founded in 2000 to integrate years of experience and achievement in development of laser technologies fostered by Komatsu.

The history of Komatsu’s laser technology dates from 1980, when Komatsu marketed a system using the Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy: Dye Laser for diagnosing engine ignition. Komatsu then switched its R&D efforts to excimer lasers, and marketed the KLE-630, Japan’s first excimer laser unit, in 1985 and the KLE-630S, the world’s first excimer laser unit for the semiconductor photolithography process, in 1987.

Komatsu and the University of Tokyo jointly developed the KrF 90Hz Excimer laser in 1984

Komatsu and the University of Tokyo jointly developed the KrF 90Hz Excimer laser in 1984

Komatsu founded its Excimer Laser Division in 1996, and built an excimer laser factory in Oyama, Tochigi-ken, Japan in 1997. It marketed a mass-production 1-kHz KrF excimer laser model, the KLES-G10K (present G10K series), in 1997, and in 1998 marketed a 2-kHz KrF excimer laser, the G20K series. Komatsu steadily increased its market share mainly in Japan and the Asian region.
Gigaphoton Inc., was founded in 2000 and began marketing the G40A series of 4-kHz ArF excimer lasers in 2001 and the G40K series of 4-kHz KrF excimer lasers in 2002.
At the end of 2004, Gigaphoton introduced a new ArF excimer laser model, the GT40A, which featured an injection-locking resonator that could meet the requirements of the immersion ArF lithography process. In 2005, Gigaphoton marketed the GT60A with the repetition frequency of 6,000 Hz, 1.5 times higher than the former GT40A; in 2006, the GT61A with greatly improved spectral bandwidth and running cost; and in 2007, the GT62A with an output of 90 watts exclusively used for the immersion double-patterning lithography process.
In addition, for development of EUV light sources as next-generation lithography light sources for advancing beyond ArF lithography, Gigaphoton participated in the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA), formed with support from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and played an important role in the development of lithography light sources using the laser-produced plasma (LPP) method.

History of Excimer Lasers and Gigaphoton

  • World’s first successful emission of an excimer laser (Soviet Union)

  • Komatsu markets an engine injection diagnosis system using Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS)

  • Komatsu markets the Japan’s first excimer laser unit, the KLE-630

  • Komatsu markets the world’s first KrF excimer laser for lithography tools, the KLE-630S (2 W)

  • Lambda Physik joins the market of excimer lasers for lithography tools

  • Cymer joins the market of excimer lasers for lithography tools

  • Komatsu starts its Excimer Laser Division

  • Komatsu builds its excimer laser production factory in Oyama

  • Gigaphoton Inc. was founded

  • Gigaphoton opens its US subsidiary Gigaphoton USA Inc.

  • Gigaphoton’s injection-lock ArF excimer laser GT62A is honored as an “Excellent Product” in the System & Equipment Division of the First Annual Laser Industry Award at LASER EXPO 2009

  • Gigaphoton’s EUV lithography light source achieves an output of 100+ watts

  • Gigaphoton’s wholly-owned Dutch subsidiary, Gigaphoton Europe B.V., starts business operation

    Gigaphoton ships 1,000th excimer laser

  • Gigaphoton’s wholly-owned Korean subsidiary, GIGAPHOTON KOREA INC., starts business operation

    Gigaphoton’s wholly-owned Taiwan subsidiary, GIGAPHOTON TAIWAN INC., starts business operation

  • Gigaphoton establishes branch and starts business operation in Singapore