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Nikon Instruments Announces Record Sales of Its NRM-3100 Overlay Inspection Measurement System

October 11, 2004

Marks Major Milestone in 300mm Semiconductor Wafer Manufacturing

MELVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 11, 2004 -- Nikon's Semiconductor Inspection Technologies Group (SITECH) today announced that a major US semiconductor
manufacturer has placed a multi-million dollar order for Nikon's NRM-3100 Overlay Inspection Measurement system. The sale marks an important milestone in SITECH's move into global 300mm semiconductor wafer manufacturing.

"The success of the NRM-3100 underscores Nikon's commitment to anticipate the rapidly changing needs of our customers and to deliver products that are flexible and extensible," said Takashi Kamiya, general manager, SITECH. "We're pleased to be able to support the development and production of advanced chips on 300mm wafers."

The NRM-3100 is SITECH's latest product featuring high precision overlay metrology capability. The device measures lithographic exposure overlay precision with respect to previous exposure layers. The NRM-3100's optical quality minimizes lens aberration and delivers sub-nanometer precision. The product's camera and image processing capability speeds the move and measure time to 1.3 seconds, and provides unmatched throughput of more than 150 wafers per hour.

The NRM-3100 has been designed for process flexibility and productivity in the high-paced 300mm production environment. The optional Bridge tool is designed to provide an upgrade path from 200mm to 300mm wafer overlay inspection. The product is installed at leading chip manufactures around the world.

The NRM-3100 is a distinguished member of Nikon's Semiconductor Inspection Technologies product line, which includes the following products.

-- AMI-2000 Automatic Macro Inspection System, a unit featuring high detection sensitivity with an exclusive diffracted light detection
system to detect pattern variation due to defocus by the stepper, or an uneven coating by the coater.

-- The Optistation 3100 Wafer Inspection System with Nikon's renowned CFI60 optics producing crisp, clear images with high contrast and
minimal flare.

-- The Optistation 7 IC Wafer Inspection System Dual, a 300mm fabrication compliant unit featuring a feeder arm transfer unit offering high
throughput with a new macro illumination system allowing for thin film observation and defocus detection as well as detection of particulates
and scratches on both front and backside.

-- The Optistation V, a cost-effective inspection unit featuring a small footprint and a full range of optical techniques. Accommodates Bright Field, Dark Field, Nomarski DIC as well as Confocal observation all on one system. The high precision wafer alignment and DART defect review packages offer review capabilities for virtually all file formats

The Nikon NRM-3100 Overlay Inspection Measurement system is currently available.

About Nikon Instruments Inc.
Nikon Instruments Inc. is a global leader in the development of advanced optical technology. Its product line includes microscopy equipment, digital imaging, precision measuring and semiconductor wafer-handling equipment. Nikon is committed to providing technologically advanced instruments that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Nikon combines state-of-the-art capabilities with innovative designs to produce optically superior, ergonomically friendly products for cutting-edge scientific research, medical and industrial applications. For more information visit the Nikon website at http://www.nikonusa.com. Product related inquiries can be directed to Nikon
Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.

CONTACT: Nicole Mudloff of Peppercom, +1-212-931-6168, nmudloff@peppercom.com, for Nikon Instruments Inc.

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