Major Korean Semiconductor Manufacturer Adopts SEZ's Da Vinci(TM) Tools for DRAM Manufacturing

SEZ Further Penetrates the Korean Market and Continues to Fuel the Industry's Transition to Single Wafer

SEMICON Korea 2007, SEOUL, Korea, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The SEZ Group , the market leader and premier innovator in single-wafer wet processing solutions for the semiconductor industry, today announced that a major Korean semiconductor manufacturer has placed a multiple-system order for SEZ's Da Vinci(TM) family of tools after successful beta test results revealed increased productivity, performance and cost-savings advantages. The Da Vinci systems will be used for back-end-of-line (BEOL) polymer removal for 300-mm and 200-mm memory devices with sub-90-nm process technologies. The four-system order will be used for aluminum copper polymer cleans for next-generation DRAM devices and will utilize SEZ's proven dilute sulfuric-peroxide (DSP+) chemistry process.

This order win is a significant milestone for SEZ as it marks the company's entry into this memory manufacturer's production line for BEOL cleans. This further reinforces SEZ's market dominance in Korea -- where single-wafer has already made serious inroads in DRAM manufacturing. Moreover, it underpins single wafer's ability to drive the transition from batch to single wafer in high-volume manufacturing. This trend will continue to accelerate as manufacturers seek to accommodate increasingly stringent surface preparation rules as they move toward smaller, more complex geometry integrated circuits (ICs), and witness the cost, performance and yield advantages afforded by the single-wafer approach.

According to Herwig Petsching, chief operating officer for SEZ Asia Pacific, "This opportunity to work closely with one of the world's top players in memory manufacturing and provide the tools to meet their application needs is a significant achievement for SEZ. It not only opens the door to a new customer in the Korean market, but also further validates the Da Vinci's ability to continuously meet our customers' needs both in cost of ownership (CoO) and performance." He adds, "Our success with the use of DSP+ chemistry -- proven extremely effective in memory manufacturing for BEOL post-etch residue removal -- has fueled the continued adoption of Da Vinci in Korea, where some of the world's largest memory manufacturers reside."

Since the unveiling of Da Vinci in 2003, the tool has gained wide acceptance in the industry, hitting its 140th shipment milestone in Q4 2006. The Da Vinci platform was developed specifically to address chipmaker's CoO and time-to-market challenges in the ultra-deep-submicron era. Developed through close collaboration with key customers, the platform combines a flexible, multi-chamber architecture with a very small footprint to deliver high throughput and accuracy, while maintaining optimal system uptime. Specifically, utilizing an acidic aqueous solution like DSP+ for DRAM processes eliminates cleaning problems typically caused by solvent-based polymer removers, which is particularly critical as device geometries continue to shrink and delivery windows tighten.

In Korea, SEZ has more than 30 Da Vinci tools in operation using DSP+ chemistry for polymer removal-an application where SEZ is the ultimate market and single-wafer technology leader. The region progressively represents a greater revenue share for SEZ, having doubled revenue intake for the region in 2005 alone, and is estimated to comprise around 15 percent of sales during 2006.

About SEZ Group

The SEZ Group is the leading provider of single-wafer, wet-processing solutions for the global semiconductor industry, with an installed base of more than 1,100 tools. The company maintains operations in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Japan and North America. SEZ Holding AG is traded on the SWX Swiss Exchange under the symbol SEZN. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at

NOTE: DSP+ (dilute sulfuric peroxide, plus) is a product of Kanto Corp. Da Vinci is a trademark of the SEZ Group.

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