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November 10, 1988

SEIKO INSTRUMENTS INTRODUCES NEW SEMICONDUCTOR DEVELOPMENT TOOL

By CBR Staff Writer

Seiko Instruments Inc, which claims to be the world’s largest supplier of production-proven focused ion beam systems has introduced to the US market a new semiconductor development tool that enables designers of integrated circuits to cut and patch completed devices that are less than perfect, solving the problem that has existed ever since chips were first developed in 1960 how to modify fabricated devices to correct design errors: Seiko’s system uses focused ion beams – Gallium ions accelerated and focused via an advanced electro-optical column – to perform the equivalent of micro-surgery on integrated circuits; the ion beams remove the coatings of glass-like insulation that protect the circuit elements, and also cut Aluminium or polySilicon conductive traces; it then deposits precise strips of Tungsten to re-connect the desired circuit elements; it can focus to a beam size of less than 0.1 micron, and is available now at about $550,000.

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