Acquisition of IP rights related to Residual Gas Analysis technology

29 November 2005

HORIBA STEC, Co., Ltd. has acquired IP (Intellectual Property) rights related to Residual Gas Analysis technology, which has attracted much attention in the field of cutting-edge semiconductor processing, from a US venture business.
This acquisition expands the lineup of our products for the semiconductor film forming process.

 HORIBA STEC, Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Atsushi Horiba, Head Office: 11-5 Hokotate-cho, Kamitoba, Minami-ku, Kyoto 601-8116) has concluded a contract with the US company Ferran Scientific Inc. (below, "Ferran") relating to the acquisition of IP (intellectual property) rights related to residual gas analysis technology.
 This alliance allows our company, whose strength in the global market is its technology for precision control devices for fluids, to add to our lineup vacuum analyzers, for analyzing the state of the internals of the chamber for forming wafer film (the vacuum chamber) of a semiconductor manufacturing facility. We aim to bring to market a new residual gas analyzer, developed solely by us, in one year's time.
 The plan for the new model features a major reduction in analysis time (with the target being one-tenth of the current time taken), and a user-friendly software program, to be released at the same time.
 We will launch ourselves on development of new models and user-friendly operation software that significantly contribute to saving time required for analysis. Those models will come into the market within one year.

 In March, 2003, we have concluded contract related to the acquisition of "the right to produce and sell capacitance vacuum gauges, produced by Ferran," and "the right to sell residual gas analyzers, produced by Ferran, worldwide." With this acquisition of the IP rights related to residual gas analysis technology, our company has succeeded in acquiring assets, including patents and technical information, relating to residual gas analysis technology and production technology held by Ferran. Ferran has succeeded in developing structures for analyzer parts on the smallest scale in the world in the field of residual gas analysis technology. The current process for producing semiconductors is being developed, by monitoring the state of the vacuum chamber where the film is formed and the state of growth of the film, with the aim of using an optimal method for improving productivity. We concluded this contract in the belief that the technology we have acquired from Ferran is indispensable for the miniaturization of semiconductors.
 We will now form a project team, centered around the development team of our company, and including Horiba, Ltd. and R&D members of our affiliate companies overseas, and set to work on the development of an original product based upon Ferran's technology. As the first stage of this work, we aim to bring to market a high-speed model with a processing time one-tenth that of current models, and an easy-to-use software program which gives detailed information on the results of analysis, in one year's time. We plan to carry out production of our current products on new mass-production lines established in our new Aso plant (Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture; completed in October 2005) in the 2006 period.
 We plan to put this newly acquired residual gas analysis technology to use in the future, not only in the semiconductor production market but also in the general industry market, by developing its applications.