Syracuse, New York/Zurich, Switzerland - April 23, 2004 - INFICON (SWX Swiss Exchange and NASDAQ: IFCN), a leading manufacturer of vacuum instrumentation and process control software for the semiconductor and vacuum-coating industries and other industrial applications, announced it has received two prestigious Editors'choice Best Product Awards from Semiconductor International magazine, including capturing the Grand Award for its FabGuard Sensor Integration and Analysis System
. FabGuard achieved the highest individual score among the 15 winning products in this annual excellence in semiconductor manufacturing recognition program for commercially-proven industry products. INFICON FabGuard was singled out for maximizing productivity through increases in overall equipment effectiveness.
INFICON was the only company to receive a second award during the ceremonies this week at SEMICON Europa 2004 in Munich. INFICON Stiletto Scanning-Laser Particle Detector
was honored with an Editors' Choice Best Product Award, exemplifying state-of-the-art equipment installed and used in fabs around the world. Stiletto finds yield-limiting contamination in real-time, minimizing the impact of particles on wafers and providing unprecedented capability for advanced process control and productivity improvements in semiconductor processes.
"The 2004 Editors' Choice Best Products program is different from traditional award competitions in that products are nominated by users, not by the companies that make or sell the product," noted Semiconductor International Editor-in-Chief Peter Singer. "After products were nominated, we gathered additional information inputs from other users and from the product supplier. We ultimately based our decision on the superiority of the product in a semiconductor manufacturing environment. This was most clearly the case with INFICON FabGuard Sensor Integration and Analysis System, which led our editorial team to select it as the Grand Award winner out of this year's 15 winners."
The INFICON FabGuard system provides in situ measurement of actual process conditions for equipment, process and wafer metrology in real-time. It harnesses the power of INFICON advanced in situ sensors and incorporates a high degree of automation for synchronizing, collecting, and interpreting complex process variables for every wafer. INFICON FabGuard works with the sensor data to deliver process-intelligent information to advanced process control systems, enabling these analysis systems to draw conclusions about wafer metrology and make smart decisions about process and equipment conditions.
The first in situ particle monitoring system to be fully integrated with the process tool, Stiletto Scanning-Laser Particle Detector is capable of in situ metrology and process control, detecting particles during every run of every wafer and therefore providing unprecedented protection against defect-induced yield loss. When combined with parametric tool data, particle counts can be overlaid with equipment status to allow engineers to identify the exact time and cause of particle formation.
"It is truly an honor for us to receive these two awards," commented Lukas Winkler, president and chief executive officer. "FabGuard and Stiletto illustrate the importance of our continual emphasis on research and development and innovative products delivering real value to our customers for increased productivity in the most demanding semiconductor applications. They are authentic proof of the greatest measure of our success - customer satisfaction."
About Semiconductor International
Semiconductor International, published by Reed Business Information and a part of Reed Elsevier's global array of information products, is the leading technical publication reaching and covering the global semiconductor manufacturing industry. SI boasts the industry's most experienced full-time technical editorial team, and has the largest circulation of any semiconductor industry publication. Additional information about SI and its many products and activities are available at www.semiconductor.net
INFICON is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of innovative vacuum instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and process control software for the semiconductor and vacuum coating industries. These analysis, measurement and control products are vital to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users in the complex manufacturing of semiconductors, flat panel displays, magnetic and optical storage media, and precision optics. INFICON also provides essential instrumentation for gas leak detection and toxic chemical analysis to the air conditioning/refrigeration, emergency response and industrial hygiene markets. Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, INFICON has manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe and worldwide offices in the U.S., China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. For more information about INFICON and its products, please visit the Company's website at http://www.inficon.com