SOURCE: Rudolph Technologies, Inc.

August 04, 2005 09:15 ET

Chip Manufacturers Place Multi-System Orders for Rudolph's ultra-II Transparent Film Metrology System

Enhanced Capabilities Support Current High-Volume Production and Process Development Through the 45 nm Technology Node

FLANDERS, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 4, 2005 -- Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTEC), a leading provider of process control equipment for thin film measurement and macrodefect inspection during integrated circuit manufacturing, announces that three major chip manufacturers have purchased multiple ultra-II™ thin film metrology systems in 2005. The tool shipments will continue throughout the third quarter.

These customers join other semiconductor manufacturers who are transitioning to the ultra-II from the Company's previous-generation S-series tools to take advantage of its yield-enhancement capabilities for high-volume manufacturing, and to qualify their next-generation 65 and 45 nm processes currently in development. The ultra-II is Rudolph's fifth-generation Focused Beam™ ellipsometry system with enhanced capabilities for advanced gates, 193 nm lithography, and low-k integration.

"We have worked closely with our customers to understand the metrology requirements for their current processes, as well as new processes for future technology nodes. The strong demand for the ultra-II is gratifying evidence that our customers like what we've done," said Chris Morath, Rudolph's Director of Marketing. "Advanced gate processes -- ultrathin gates and nitrided gates -- were one focus of our development efforts, and the ultra-II's performance in this area is exceptional."

ultra-II for Process Control

Control of the gate dielectric thickness is essential for high-yield advanced transistor manufacturing where film layers are often only a few atoms thick. On sub-20 Ångstrom oxides the ultra-II offers 0.03 Ångstrom long-term reproducibility, which is only a small fraction of the diameter of a single atom. Contributing to this superior performance is the ultra-II's unique MAControl™ system designed to remove molecular airborne contaminants (MAC) from the oxide surface and help prevent re-adsorption during the measurement process. If left uncorrected, these contaminants are a major source of measurement inaccuracy.

For nitrided gates, the ultra-II's completely redesigned DUV reflectometer permits the simultaneous measurements of both thickness and nitrogen concentration. It also provides thickness and stoichiometry measurements for the silicon nitride and silicon carbide films used for low-k interconnect etch stops, copper diffusion barriers, hard masks, and CMP polish stops, as well as the ARC materials used in 193 nm lithography.

The ultra-II's advanced technologies are extendable to the next generation of high-k gates with the ability to simultaneously measure the thickness of both an ultrathin nitrided oxide interfacial layer and an overlying high-k dielectric film. In addition, the ultra-II's laser light sources offer high throughput, excellent measurement reproducibility, superior matching, and low maintenance costs.

About Rudolph Technologies, Inc.

Rudolph Technologies is a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and support of high-performance process control metrology and defect inspection systems used by semiconductor device manufacturers. The Company's products provide a full-fab solution through its families of proprietary systems, which are used throughout the device manufacturing process. Rudolph's product development has successfully anticipated and addressed many emerging trends that are driving the semiconductor industry's growth in order to enhance the competitiveness of its products in the marketplace. The Company's success in creating complementary metrology and inspection applications through aggressive research and development is key to Rudolph's strategy for continued technological and market leadership.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those projected due to a number of risks, including, but not limited to, the impact of the slowdown in the overall economy, the uncertainty of the current global political environment, the potential for terrorist attacks, the potential for business disruptions due to infectious diseases, changes in customer demands for our existing and new products, the timing, cancellation or delay of customer orders and shipments, the timing of revenue recognition of shipments, new product offerings from our competitors, changes in or an inability to execute Rudolph Technologies' business strategy, unanticipated manufacturing or supply problems and changes in tax rules. Rudolph Technologies cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. The matters discussed in this press release also involve risks and uncertainties summarized under the heading "Factors that May Affect Future Results" in Rudolph Technologies' Form 10-K filed for the year ended December 31, 2004. These factors are updated from time to time through the filing of reports and registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Rudolph Technologies does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this press release.

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