Tegal Plasma Etch System for Automotive MEMS

PETALUMA, CA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tegal Corp. (NASDAQ:TGAL), a leading designer and manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition systems used in the production of MEMS, magnetic data storage, integrated circuits, and nanotechnology devices, announced that it has shipped a 981ACS tool to a leading European semiconductor manufacturer to support capacity expansion for automotive MEMS device production. The new Tegal 981ACS unit adds to the customer's current installed base of 900 Series plasma etch systems.

John Almerico, Marketing Director for Etch Products at Tegal Corp., said: "Tegal's efforts to support the manufacturing efficiencies and manufacturing quality required by its customers in the automotive MEMS industry have been increasingly recognized by automotive component suppliers world-wide. This additional Tegal 981ACS order from an important European maker of automotive MEMS devices demonstrates again how this tool can reliably perform the extensive number of precision plasma etch and photoresist descum operations required to make reliable components for the automotive MEMS market, with the low operating costs needed in this highly competitive world."

According to Semiconductor Partners, LLC, the market for automotive MEMS devices is expected to expand significantly over the next several years, as the number of MEMS devices per vehicle increases from today's average of 40 devices per mid-range vehicle to 60 per vehicle in 2011. Applications for MEMS devices deployed in automobiles include adaptive ride control suspension systems, absolute-manifold pressure sensing, tire-inflation monitoring, and adaptive braking system control, along with the continued use of airbag accelerometer sensors for improving occupant safety during vehicle collisions and rollovers.

The Tegal 981ACS is the latest in a series of diode plasma etch systems produced by Tegal, the industry pioneer in commercial single-wafer plasma etching. Over 1,500 systems in the 900 Series product line have been shipped to date, providing reliable and cost-effective support for a wide range of plasma etch processes. The Tegal 900ACS Series is optimized for precision photoresist descum, non-selective nitride, backside, and planarization etching, as well as for oxide, nitride, poly, and compound materials applications for MEMS, HB-LED, Optoelectronic, Power, and TFH device fabrication. The 900ACS Series platform incorporates a production-proven transport system that can accommodate 75 mm to 200 mm round, square or rectangular substrates.

About Tegal
Tegal provides process and equipment solutions to leading edge suppliers of magnetic data storage, advanced semiconductor, optoelectronic, MEMS, and nanotechnology devices. Incorporating unique, patented etch and deposition technologies, Tegal's system solutions are backed by over 35 years of advanced development and over 100 patents. Some examples of devices enabled by Tegal technology are energy efficient memories found in portable computers, cellphones, PDAs and RFID applications; megapixel imaging chips used in digital and cellphone cameras; power amplifiers for portable handsets and wireless networking gear; and MEMS devices like accelerometers for automotive airbags, microfluidic control devices for ink jet printers; and laboratory-on-a-chip medical test kits.

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