SOURCE: ASM International

November 29, 2005 03:00 ET

ASM International N.V. and Oxford Instruments Sign Licensing Agreement For Atomic Layer Deposition Technology

BILTHOVEN, NETHERLANDS and EYNSHAM, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 29, 2005 -- ASM International N.V. (NASDAQ: ASMI) (Euronext Amsterdam: ASM) and Oxford Instruments plc (LSE: OXIG) announced that they have signed an agreement granting Oxford Instruments a license on ASM's patent portfolio relating to Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology. The license includes over 280 issued and published patents and allows Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology to develop new products and processes exploiting ALD technology under ASM's patents. Terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

ALD is a technology that is capable of depositing a large variety of ultra-thin films atomic layer by atomic layer, and allows excellent step coverage over geometrical features and excellent control in composition and thickness. ALD can be applied in many technological areas including, but not limited to, semiconductor technology, micro-mechanical devices, nanotechnology, opto-electronics, and magnetic heads.

Jim Hutchins, Managing Director of Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology comments, "ALD is an exciting technology for semiconductor processing, with further potential for exploitation in numerous applications of nanotechnology. We are pleased to enter an agreement with ASM which will enable Oxford Instruments to deliver world leading ALD technologies to the research and development community world wide and to offer our customers a valuable addition to their processing capability."

According to VLSI Research, the market for ALD equipment in semiconductor processing, which is about US $140 million today, could reach US $700 million or more in five years. "The license from ASM together with a portfolio of products currently in development gives Oxford Instruments access to this market", continued Dr. Hutchins.

Menso Hendriks, ASM's Global Intellectual Property Manager, commented, "ASM recognizes that licensing can greatly accelerate the acceptance of ALD in the market. Therefore we are pleased that Oxford Instruments has joined the ASM licensing program for Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology."

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments is a high technology tool and systems business. It has a broad range of capabilities which provide the tools, processes and solutions needed to advance fundamental nanoscience research and its transfer into commercial nanotechnology applications. With a unique set of technologies to enable the manipulation and observation of matter at the smallest scales, Oxford Instruments offers solutions for the fabrication and characterisation of nanoscale materials, structures and devices, and environments in which to perform fundamental nanoscience. The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University over forty years ago, Oxford Instruments today employs over 1,300 people, operating globally, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (OXIG).

About Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology offers flexible, configurable process tools and leading-edge processes for the precise, controllable and repeatable engineering of micro- and nano-structures. Our systems provide process solutions for nanometre layer epitaxial growth of compound semiconductor material, etching of nanometre sized features and the controlled growth of nanostructures. These solutions are based on core technologies in plasma-enhanced deposition and etch, ion-beam deposition and etch, molecular beam epitaxy and atomic layer deposition. Products range from compact stand-alone systems for R&D, through batch tools and up to clustered cassette-to-cassette platforms for high-throughput production processing.

About ASM International

ASM International N.V. and its subsidiaries design and manufacture equipment and materials used to produce semiconductor devices. The company provides production solutions for wafer processing (Front-end segment) as well as assembly and packaging (Back-end segment) through facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia. ASM International's common stock trades on NASDAQ (symbol ASMI) and the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange (symbol ASM). For more information, visit ASMI's web site at

Safe Harbor Statement under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: All matters discussed in this statement, except for any historical data, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These include, but are not limited to, economic conditions and trends in the semiconductor industry generally and the timing of the industry cycles specifically, currency fluctuations, the timing of significant orders, market acceptance of new products, competitive factors, litigation involving intellectual property, shareholder and other issues, commercial and economic disruption due to natural disasters, terrorist activity, armed conflict or political instability, epidemics, and other risks indicated in the Company's filings from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the Company's reports on Form 20-F and Form 6-K as filed. The Company assumes no obligation nor intends to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future developments or circumstances.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Dr. John W. Burgoyne
    Marketing Manager - Innovative Products
    Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology
    + 44 (0) 1934 837000
    Email Contact

    Mary Jo Dieckhaus
    US Investor Relations
    ASM International N.V.
    +1 212 986 2900
    Email Contact

    Menso Hendriks
    Global IP Manager
    ASM International N.V.
    +31 30 229 8524
    Email Contact