Infineon, AMD and DuPont Photomasks to Establish Joint Photomask Development and Production Center in Dresden - State-of-the-Art Technology to Serve as Basis for Next-Generations Semiconductor Production
Dresden/Germany, May 16, 2002 Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) and DuPont Photomasks, Inc. (NASDAQ: DPMI) today announced plans to establish and operate a new advanced photomask facility in Dresden. This move is to help ensure their continued edge in the worldwide race to create the next semiconductor generations with increased functionality in ever smaller geometries. The facility will be used to develop and pilot-manufacture next-generation lithographic photomasks for exposing patterns on semiconductor silicon wafers. For this purpose, the three companies are creating a new, equally-owned joint venture, Advanced Mask Technology Center GmbH & Co. KG (AMTC). The AMTC facility will be co-located with a new commercial photomask production facility that DuPont Photomasks will establish in Dresden as a separate entity.
The building, which is planned to house the two companies, has a useable floor space of 17,500 square meters. It will be constructed in the immediate vicinity of Infineons and AMDs Dresden-based semiconductor fabs. The completion date for construction is scheduled for early 2003. As soon as the building is in place, AMTC and DuPont Photomasks plan to install the necessary equipment and begin start-up of the operations in the second half of 2003. The amount of investment required for AMTC is estimated at around EUR 360 million over the next 5 years. AMTC expects to employ around 170 people. Key engineers from all three companies are expected to staff the AMTC and will collaboratively develop a roadmap for technology nodes of 90/65 nanometers and below.
Infineon already operates a photomask development and production facility with around 230 employees in Munich producing masks exclusively for Infineon's worldwide production facilities. With this strategic shift Infineon is pulling out of the complete mask development on its own in favor of a cooperation model in the area of high-end-masks designed to speed up development cycles and to reduce costs. Infineon's leading-edge photomask technology, as well as AMDs and DuPont Photomaskss technology, will be used in the new venture in Dresden. Employees of the Infineon Munich photomask facility will be encouraged to apply for comparable jobs at the AMTC, at the new DuPont Photomasks facility in Dresden or at Infineon in Dresden.
In a separate agreement announced today, DuPont Photomasks has been selected as Infineon Technologies strategic photomask supplier, as the two companies entered into a 10-year supply agreement. As part of that agreement, DuPont Photomasks plans to build a state-of-the-art, commercial production photomask facility in Dresden, to support the advanced photomask needs of its global customers, including Infineon.
In building this world-leading lithographic photomask development and production center for next-generation semiconductors, we are expanding on our leadership position in the semiconductor industry, stated Dr. Andreas von Zitzewitz, Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of Infineon Technologies. By partnering with AMD and DuPont Photomasks, we can optimize our cost position while continuing to set the pace in future semiconductor development. Just a few months ago here in Dresden, we became the worlds first enterprise to begin volume production of 300mm wafers. Now we are laying the foundation for future chip generations. Infineon is the obvious trendsetter in this area. The fantastic results achieved in Dresden so far serve to underscore Saxonys capacity for technological innovation. Currently, some 4,300 employees work for Infineon in Dresden. Von Zitzewitz added that Infineon would be using lithographic photomasks made in Dresden for its chip facilities in Germany, France and the United States. In addition, partner enterprises like ProMOS, UMCi and Winbond would also be supplied with photomasks. Von Zitzewitz predicted that in the medium term, the Advanced Mask Technology Center in Dresden will become Infineons new driver for semiconductor development.
Dr. William Siegle, AMD Senior Vice President, Technology Operations and Chief Scientist, stated: AMTC, which builds on our successful past relationship with DuPont Photomasks, is an ideal supplement to our AMD Fab 30 semiconductor facility, and will contribute to further strengthening Dresden as a microelectronics center. We see its mission to be a world-leading mask provider for future-generation technologies. As early as 2003 we expect the AMTC to support one of the world's most successful fabs - our Fab 30. The advantages of having a photomask facility in immediate proximity to our fabs is self-evident: it means the shortest possible distance between the AMTC development center and our plants, which depend on just in time deliveries of increasingly complex photomasks. Thanks to the direct feedback between our wafer fabs and the photomask facility, all three partners will be able to help ensure high-level performance on the part of AMTC. In the global semiconductor industry, this is an important key to success.
In yet another show of our industry-leading advanced technology position, two world-class semiconductor producers have selected DuPont Photomasks as their exclusive photomask development partner, said Dr. Peter Kirlin, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont Photomasks. Infineon Technologies and AMD recognize that advanced photomasks are a critical enabling technology in the production of such incredibly complicated devices, and we are delighted that they have placed their trust in DuPont Photomasks. Kirlin concluded, We are particularly pleased that fellow photomask innovator Infineon Technologies has chosen DuPont Photomasks as its strategic partner. Infineon operated one of the most advanced photomask research, development and production operations in the world, and we expect to strengthen our technology leadership position through Infineons excellent photomask intellectual property portfolio.
Photomasks are an integral component in the lithographic process of semiconductor manufacturing. High-purity quartz or glass plates containing precision images of integrated circuits (or chips), photomasks are used as masters to optically transfer these images onto semiconductor wafers. Current advanced lithographic tools, such as deep-UV (DUV) steppers and scanners, project light through a photomask and a high aperture lens. The intensity of the light casts an image of the device's design - the pattern on the photomask - onto a silicon wafer coated with a light sensitive material called photoresist. Using negative photoresist, the unexposed, or masked, portion of this material is then removed so it can either be etched to form channels or be deposited with other materials. Chips are manufactured layer by layer, so these selective deposition/removal steps are repeated until a circuit is built. The current generation of semiconductors has 25 or more layers, each requiring a unique photomask.
Photomasks, requiring sophisticated manufacturing techniques and complex mathematical algorithms to design, are at the forefront of the microminiaturization of chips, enabling more functionality to be embedded within a smaller area. This trend in making devices as powerful and as small as possible facilitates the proliferation of handheld and other portable electronic applications. Although photomasks have always been a necessary component in the chip making process, today they are a true enabler of semiconductor technology.
Advanced semiconductors are being built at the sub wavelength level. Sub wavelength manufacturing requires advanced photomasks because the circuit images printed on the silicon wafer are actually smaller than the wavelength of the light source used to expose the pattern. Current state-of-the-technology, DUV steppers and scanners use a krypton fluoride laser with a wavelength of 248 nm, (0.248 micron), to build advanced chips with feature sizes of 180 nm (0.18 micron) and below.
To meet this sub wavelength challenge advanced photomasks utilize reticle enhancement techniques, such as optical proximity correction (OPC) and phase shift features (PSM). These and other technologies will continue to enable the extension of optical lithography as the industry transitions to 193 nm and then 157 nm optical lithography over the next decade.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.
AMD is a global supplier of integrated circuits for the personal and networked computer and communications markets with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia. AMD, a Fortune 500 and Standard & Poor's 500 company, produces microprocessors, flash memory devices, and support circuitry for communications and networking applications. Founded in 1969 and based in Sunnyvale, California, AMD had revenues of U$3.9 billion in 2001. (NYSE: AMD). Further information is available at www.amd.com.
About Dupont Photomasks
DuPont Photomasks is a leading global provider of micro imaging solutions. The company develops and produces advanced photomasks, a key enabling technology used in the manufacture of semiconductor and other microelectronic devices, and pellicles, the protective covers for photomasks. Headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, DuPont Photomasks operates a global network of manufacturing facilities serving semiconductor makers and other electronics producers around the world. DuPont Photomasks posted worldwide sales of approximately US$408 million in fiscal 2001. Information about the company can be found at www.photomask.com.
FORWARD-LOOKING AND CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors for example, the semiconductor industry cycles, technological challenges, bringing on line start up development facilities, technical difficulty of manufacturing high end photomasks and potential difficulties with obtaining financing and external funding that could cause actual results to differ materially as discussed in the respective company's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and other applicable government filings, including their most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q as well as cautionary statements and other factors set forth as Risk Factors. Results for the interim period are not necessarily indicative of the results for the year. The forward-looking statements are made as of the release date hereof and the company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why the actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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