FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Keithley Instruments, Inc.
Keithley and Novellus to Develop
Automated Diagnostic Tests
Cleveland, Ohio and San Jose, California -- April 2, 2003 -- Keithley Instruments, Inc. (NYSE:KEI), the leader in electrical parametric test for wireless and mobile communications ICs, and Novellus Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVLS), the productivity and innovation leader in advanced deposition, surface preparation and chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) processes for the global semiconductor industry, today announced that they have formed a collaboration at Novellus' Customer Integration Center in San Jose. The primary goal of the collaboration will be to develop electrical process diagnostic tests for Copper and low-k integration based on Keithley's industry leading S600 Automatic DC Parametric Test platform. These automated electrical tests will reduce Copper process development time and result in improved product yields for Novellus' and Keithley's customers.
The wireless and mobile communications industries are working rapidly to incorporate semiconductors based on new copper and low-k material designs due to their higher speed and lower power consumption benefits. This is increasingly critical to the industry as semiconductor devices continue to get smaller and consume greater amounts of power.
"Design rule changes alone are no longer sufficient to scale circuit performance. New materials are being introduced at an accelerated pace to keep up with increasing performance and power consumption demands," explains Keithley General Manager Mark Hoersten. "The industry's move to copper and low-k materials presents new and significant measurement challenges during process development, process integration, and process control in volume production. Our collaboration with Novellus, with its expertise in these new materials, will strengthen Keithley's ability to provide industry-leading electrical measurement solutions to our wireless IC customers around the world."
"In choosing Keithley's leading electrical test technology, Novellus will be able to more completely characterize the electrical performance of copper and low-k interconnect structures," said Bob Havemann, Novellus' Vice-President of Process Integration and Applications. "By so doing, we'll be able to develop more robust unit processes and attain critical knowledge that will help our customers integrate these unit processes in their customer-specific process sequences, thereby improving our customers' manufacturing yields."
About Keithley Instruments
Keithley Instruments, Inc. provides optical and electrical measurement solutions from DC to RF (radio frequency) to the wireless, semiconductor, optoelectronics, and other electronics manufacturing industries. Engineers and scientists around the world use Keithley's advanced hardware and software for process monitoring, production test, and basic research.
About Novellus Systems
Novellus Systems, Inc., an S&P 500 company, manufactures, markets, and services advanced deposition, surface preparation and chemical mechanical planarization equipment for today's advanced integrated circuits. The company's products are designed for high-volume production of advanced, leading-edge semiconductor devices at the lowest possible cost. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with subsidiaries throughout the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, Italy, India, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, Novellus is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange (Nasdaq NM: NVLS) and a component of the Nasdaq-100 Index®. Additional information about the company is available on Novellus' home page at www.novellus.com.
Products and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.
# # #