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Toshiba Signs Agency Agreement with Benchmark Technologies Inc to Distribute Focus Measurement Tool that Enhances Accuracy of Semiconductor Exposure Systems

13 September, 2004


New Agreement Extends Toshiba/Benchmark Strategic Cooperation

Benchmark Technologies Inc
Toshiba Corporation

Lynnfield, Massachusetts and Tokyo – Benchmark Technologies Inc and Toshiba Corporation today announced that two companies have reached an agreement to market together Toshiba's focus measurement technology in the global market. The photo mask technology, which integrated an innovative Phase Shift Grating Mask, reduces focal measurement errors in semiconductor exposure systems by as much as 90%, a significant boost to productivity and yield in imprinting circuit patterns on silicon wafers.

Toshiba has obtained necessary patents for the photo mask technology by January 2004. With this IP protection in place, the company has been marketing focus measurement tools to third parties, both device makers and stepper makers since then, and the technology has met consistently positive responses for its ability to eliminate measurement errors.

The agreement signed today by Toshiba and Benchmark Technologies calls for the two companies will work closely on further developing the commercial potential of the focus measurement tool and on bringing it to a global market. With Benchmark Technologies acting as its non-exclusive distribution agency, Toshiba anticipates many more leases for the technology.

Focus measurement tools measure the focal accuracy of semiconductor exposure systems, known as steppers/scanners, which expose circuit patterns on wafers. Toshiba's new tool is a focus test photo mask incised with grooves. Two thirds of the surface area between each groove is shielded with a chrome deposit, forming three distinct areas: the chrome shield, an uncoated glass area, and the grooved area. The latter two are the same width. When a beam of light is shone through the glass, the groove diffracts it, causing phase shift that can be used to measure the accuracy of the exposure on the silicon wafer. The measurement error of the new tool is approximately 3 nanometers, by far the lowest recorded: other tools have a tolerance of approximately 30 nanometers.

About Benchmark Technologies Inc
President: Craig B. Sager
Vice President: Patrick Reynolds
Address: 7Kimball Lane, Bldg. E
Lynnfield MA 01940 USA
Business Domain: Design and manufacture of evaluation reticles for Process Control
Establishment: 1987
Tel: +1-781-246-3303
E-mail: csager@benchmarktech.com
preynolds@benchmarktech.com
Web Site: www.benchmarktech.com

Toshiba Press Contact
Junichi Nagaki
Corporate Communications Office
Toshiba Corporation
Tel: +81-3-3457-2105


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