GIGAPHOTON DRIVES SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COSTS DOWN WITH NEW TECHNOLOGIES AROUND ITS LEADING “GIGATWIN” ARF LASER PLATFORM

OYAMA, JAPAN, July 7, 2008 —  Gigaphoton Inc., a major lithography light source manufacturer for the global semiconductor industry, today unveiled three major technology enhancements to its “GigaTwin” ArF laser platform that significantly reduce costs and downtime—a new recycled chamber operating system, line-narrowing module and gas manager.

The GRYCOS, a recycled chamber operating system, reuses the oscillator stage laser chamber for the amplifier stage.  As a result, the number of required chambers is reduced and the cost related to the laser chamber is decreased by 40 percent.  The MPL, multi-positioning line-narrowing module, can as much as double the lifespan of a laser’s critical line-narrowing module (LNM).  By dividing the grating surface into two fields, the MPL minimizes ultraviolet light surface deterioration of the grating around the optics in the LNM.  Lastly, Gigaphoton’s Total Gas Manager (TGM) dramatically decreases laser system downtime by reducing the need for gas refill.  Enhancing control accuracy, allows the TGM to reduce gas refill by 1/5 to 1/10 that of the conventional frequency, thus increasing the running time by several tens of hours.

“Gigaphoton is committed to delivering the gains in cost of ownership that are critical to the profitability of our customers,” said Dr Yuji Watanabe, president of Gigaphoton.  “We understand the challenges semiconductor manufacturers face, and invented the concept of dividing cost of ownership into cost of consumables or running costs and cost of downtime.  Now we are creating advanced solutions to address specific running and downtime cost challenges.  In fact, as a result of technological breakthroughs like GRYCOS, MPL and TGM, we are well on the way to achieving our ambitious goal of delivering a 50 percent CoO improvement to our customers from 2007 until 2009.”

GRYCOS, MPL and TGM can be mounted on any laser unit based on the GigaTwin platform.  Starting in the latter half of 2008 new laser products will incorporate these next-generation technologies.  Availability is also planned by the 3rd quarter of 2008 for installation in systems already running at customer sites.

In a separate announcement, Gigaphoton also reports that it has now captured more than a 50-percent share of the total excimer laser market during the first quarter of 2008 (based on laser sales), which can be attributed to the reliability of its products.  The company is confident that these three most recent advancements will allow the company to further enhance its market position moving forward.

About Gigaphoton
Gigaphoton Inc. was founded in 2000 as a joint venture of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s No. 2 construction machinery manufacturer, and Ushio Inc., the world’s No. 1 lithography lamp manufacturer.  Since then, Gigaphoton has been developing and marketing user-friendly, highly innovative laser light sources that make a great contribution to lithography technology so as to meet the stringent requirements of the ultra-fine circuit patterns of the gigabit era, and is delivering them to major lithography tool suppliers in the global semiconductor industry.  As a world top-rated excimer laser light source manufacturer, Gigaphoton holds a strong position in Asian market, including Japan, while also continuing to enjoy rapid growth in the U.S. and European markets.  More information about Gigaphoton can be found on the company’s website athttp://www.gigaphoton.com.

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©2008 Gigaphoton.