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ESI Partners with STMicroelectronics for the Development of an Advanced Laser Singulation Solution

2008-07-15 08:00:00

SAN FRANCISCO–(EMWNews)–Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESIO), a leading provider

of world-class photonic and laser systems for micro-engineering

applications, today announced receipt of a purchase order from

STMicroelectronics, a world leader in system-on-chip (SoC) technology,

for the Cignis laser singulation system. The formal introduction of the

Cignis system was announced yesterday. This purchase order underscores

the ongoing partnership between the two companies to develop an advanced

laser singulation solution. The Cignis system enables full-wafer dicing

of low-K dielectrics and copper interconnects. The goal of this effort

is to produce a flexible, scalable laser solution capable of addressing

multiple applications, such as wafer dicing, scribing and CMOS image

sensor singulation.

As the industry moves toward thinner wafers

with lower K dielectrics for advanced devices, mechanical processes are

reaching their limits, explained Gareth

Bignell, program manager, 300mm Equipment Selection, STMicroelectronics. Of

the three types of wafer scribing processes available on the market, we

found that mechanical saws could damage the dielectric layers while

nanosecond lasers weakened the wafers die

break strength. To overcome these issues, we experimented with

picosecond lasers that unveiled an optimal solution for wafers thinner

than 100 microns. As ESI is one of the most advanced companies

pioneering a picosecond laser system technology, we are optimistic that

our collaboration will enable us to quickly and effectively transition

from 65-nm to 45-nm processing to meet our product roadmaps.

ESI President and CEO Nick Konidaris noted, We

greatly value this partnership with STMicroelectronics, and it is a

prime example of ESIs strong customer

relationships serving as the catalyst for our success. As the photonic

systems leader, we are well positioned to develop the picosecond laser

system that enables the strategic competitive advantages ST requires to

meet its aggressive manufacturing goals. We look forward to this

collaborative effort, and to enabling our global customers

ability to move quickly toward the adoption of low-k dielectrics and

thin wafers.

About ESI, Inc.

ESI is a pioneer and leading supplier of world-class photonics and laser

systems that help its microelectronics customers achieve compelling

yield and productivity gains. The companys

industry-leading, application-specific products enhance

electronic-device performance in three key sectorssemiconductors,

components and electronic interconnectby

enabling precision fine-tuning of device microfeatures in high-volume

manufacturing environments. Founded in 1944, ESI is headquartered in

Portland, Ore. More information is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements concerning

systems development and potential benefits from our relationship with

STMicroelectronics. Actual results may differ materially from those in

the forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that may affect

the forward-looking statements include our ability to effectively

develop the systems in a reasonable timeframe and within expected

budgets and technical and other difficulties that we may encounter.

Barbara Rizzatti, 503-672-5824

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