SOURCE: Cascade Microtech

Cascade Microtech

January 28, 2010 01:30 ET

Cascade Microtech, Inc. and SUSS MicroTec AG Agree to Pursue Technology Alliance

Strategic Alliance Would Allow Industry Leaders to Collaborate on 3D Integration Requirements for Semiconductor Market

BEAVERTON, OR and GARCHING/MUNICH, GERMANY--(Marketwire - January 28, 2010) - Cascade Microtech, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCD), a worldwide leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures, and SUSS MicroTec AG, a leading supplier of equipment and process solutions for the semiconductor industry and related markets, announced today that they have agreed to pursue a strategic alliance to address the growing device complexities of emerging semiconductor technologies such as 3D TSV manufacturing and test.

Since the 1960s, the lithographic scaling of chips, often referred to as Moore's Law, has enabled semiconductor companies to exponentially increase chip speed, functionality and complexity while reducing cost at the same time. As companies drive transistor dimensions below 32 nm, the performance and cost improvements of chip scaling become less favorable and interconnects -- the tiny wires between transistors -- increasingly limit any performance gains. To address these interconnect bottlenecks, emerging 3D methodologies stack one or more chips or wafers to route between layers. Adoption of 3D TSV (Through-Silicon Via) is the ultimate in 3D integration providing higher performance, reduced noise, smaller device form factor, and modularity in construction at potentially lower cost.

By pursuing a strategic alliance, the two companies hope to bring innovative approaches to the 3D TSV manufacturing processes. Both companies expect to use their associations with leading research organizations such as IMEC, as well as industry partnerships, to gain insight into this cutting-edge methodology driving beyond Moore's Law. Further collaboration with device and reliability experts would allow the alliance to address the complexities and interactions of semiconductor bonding and test probing for next-generation semiconductor devices.

"SUSS MicroTec shares Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop the most advanced technologies for the continued improvement of semiconductor technologies," said Frank P. Averdung, President and CEO of SUSS MicroTec AG. "The comprehensive knowledge of the two companies will enable both companies to better address the issues inherent in 3D integration."

"Our proposed strategic alliance with SUSS MicroTec would reinforce Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop practical solutions for leading-edge technologies that increasingly rely on new structures for continued performance improvement," said F. Paul Carlson, Chairman and CEO of Cascade Microtech, Inc. "We look forward to collaborating with SUSS MicroTec on innovative ways to characterize and evaluate new design methodologies and manufacturing processes, which will benefit our common customers, as well as the industries we serve."

About SUSS MicroTec AG

SUSS MicroTec (listed in Deutsche Börse AG's Prime Standard) is a leading supplier of process and test solutions for markets such as 3D Integration, Advanced Packaging, MEMS, Nanotechnology and Compound Semiconductor. High-quality solutions enable customers to increase process performance while reducing cost of ownership. SUSS MicroTec supports more than 8,000 installed mask aligners, coaters, bonders and probe systems with a global infrastructure for applications and service. SUSS MicroTec is headquartered in Garching near Munich, Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.suss.com.

About Cascade Microtech, Inc.

Cascade Microtech, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCD) is a worldwide leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of integrated circuits (ICs) and other small structures. For technology businesses and scientific institutions that need to evaluate small structures, Cascade Microtech delivers access to electrical data from wafers, integrated circuits (ICs), IC packages, circuit boards and modules, MEMS, biological structures, 3D TSV, LED devices and more. Cascade Microtech's leading-edge semiconductor production test products include unique probe cards and test sockets that reduce manufacturing costs of high-speed and high-density semiconductor chips. For more information visit www.cascademicrotech.com.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure

This press release contains statements, including the statements by Frank P. Averdung and Paul Carlson and statements regarding the Company's expectations as to the results of the proposed alliance between the Company and Suss MicroTec AG that are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "should," "believes," "estimates" and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations and projections about the proposed alliance based in part on assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including the potential inability to realize expected benefits; potential diversion of management's attention from existing business and other risks and uncertainties as discussed from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition such statements could be affected by general industry and market conditions and growth rates and general domestic and international economic conditions. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.