STEC enters into a contract related to technology and sales with FuGasity Corporation, a U.S. venture corporation.

30. Juni 2003

Through this partnership, STEC Inc. aims to become one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-precision fluid measurement and control equipment, providing new solutions cutting-edge semiconductor processes.

STEC (President: Art Horiba, Address: 11-5 Hakodate-cho, Kamitoba, Minami-ku, Kyoto, 601-8116 Japan) recently entered into a contract with FuGasity Corporation for the manufacturing rights, the exclusive world-wide sales rights, and for the transfer of material and immaterial assets related to all products manufactured by FuGasity, including mass flow controllers (MFC) with built-in pressure sensors and flow rate calibration systems. This partnership will increase the strength of STEC on the global market, will expand the lineup of MFC products for semiconductor and liquid crystal processes, and will allow the company to provide a diverse range of solutions for today's cutting-edge processes. By utilizing the STEC sales network and HORIBA's global network, the company will further expand its business in the semiconductor and liquid crystal markets, markets for which considerable growth is predicted.

STEC has signed a basic agreement with FuGasity Corporation, a U.S. corporation possessing world-class technologies. This contract covers the items listed below for the technologies used in the precise fluid flow rate measurement based on pressure sensors.

  • Technological Partnership to Merge the Elemental Technologies of the Two Companies and to Work in Collaborative Development
  • Manufacturing Rights for All FuGasity Products
  • Exclusive World-Wide Sales Rights
  • Transfer of the Material and Immaterial Assets Held by FuGasity

This partnership with FuGasity will be beneficial in allowing STEC to enhance its MFC offerings and to provide an expanded range of solutions for semiconductor and liquid crystal processes. In recent years, various new processes are being developed to correspond to the introduction of new technologies for miniaturization and multi-layer formation in semiconductor processes. For such next-generation systems, some processes require MFCs with built-in pressure-sensors, rather than the thermal flow rate sensors currently offered by STEC. STEC aims to quickly provide the most advanced technologies for all cutting-edge processes in these fields, so this partnership with FuGasity is an anticipatory investment that will ready the company for the next generation of semiconductor processes.

STEC is working to increase its global share and solid position in the semiconductor and liquid crystal processing industries. By utilizing the high-level technologies and product lineups of FuGasity in combination with the STEC sales network and the HORIBA global network, STEC aims to further expand the markets in these fields of specialty.

<Overview of FuGasity Corporation>
Headquartered in Nevada, USA, FuGasity Corporation was established in 2001 as a venture corporation handling pressure and fluid measurement equipment. The company has successfully commercialized various products for the semiconductor and liquid crystal industries, including MFCs with built-in pressure sensors that incorporate fluid resistive elements developed independently by FuGasity, and pressure sensor-based flow rate calibration systems.

Company President: Christopher Davis
Address: 605 Spice Island Dr. #5, Sparks, NV 89431

FuGasity Corporation Product Groups
<Mass Flow Controller with Built-in Pressure Sensor>
The MFC main unit includes pressure sensors, resistive elements that generate differential pressure, and flow rate control valves, all built into the gas flow path. The pressure of the gas being introduced into the MFC and the pressure of the gas after passing through the resistive elements are measured by pressure sensors, and the results are converted into the flow rate of the gas passing through the MFC. The internal flow rate control valve also automatically regulates the flow rate so that the flow rate set point input from an outside source (an electric signal) matches the flow rate measured by the MFC.

<Flow Rate Calibration Systems>
These systems perform flow rate calibrations for all types of gas flow meters, including mass flow controllers and purge meters. A given quantity of gas is fed into the internal gas tank at the user-set flow rate. The pressure during gas introduction, the pressure when the gas flow is stopped, and the time are measured to accurately measure the flow rate value controlled by the flow meters.

Overview of the Mass Flow Controller Manufactured by STEC
<Mass Flow Controller with Built-in Thermal Flow Rate Sensor>
The MFC gas flow path includes a built in flow rate sensor, bypass, and flow rate control valve. The flow rate is measured by measuring the temperature fluctuations that occur proportionally to the gas flow rate passing through the flow rate sensor, and converting the measured value into a flow rate. The internal flow rate control valve also automatically regulates the flow rate so that the flow rate set point input from an outside source (an electric signal) matches the flow rate measured by the MFC.

<Solutions for the Thin-film Formation Process (Fluid Measurement and Control Processes)>
Through its extensive lineup of chamber periphery devices, which are indispensable to the thin-film formation process, STEC offers a wide range of solutions for making improvements to the process, including increased precision and yield.

  • The mass flow controller (MFC) accurately controls the gas flow rate while supplying gas to the processing chamber.
  •  The flow rate of liquid material is controlled by a liquid mass flow controller (L-MFC) while the liquid is vaporized by injection and then supplied to the processing chamber.
  •  The capacitance diaphragm gauge accurately measures the processing chamber pressure, providing increased pressure control for the process.
  • The residual gas analyzer analyzes the environment inside the processing chamber, providing increased throughput and improved device operation efficiency.