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Any move made by a major country or administration always has the potential to affect other areas in the world because regulators watch each other,” said Jim Caile, vice president of personal communications at Motorola Inc. But most of the time, regulators in the U.S. also look at what is in the best interests of the consumer.”

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Any move made by a major country or administration always has the potential to affect other areas in the world because regulators watch each other,” said Jim Caile, vice president of personal communications at Motorola Inc. But most of the time, regulators in the U.S. also look at what is in the best interests of the consumer.”

Ron Cates is PICmicro marketing manager at Microchip Technology Inc., Chandler, Ariz.

SAN JOSE — KLA-Tencor Corp. has introduced a new critical dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) for measurement and control of advanced photolithography reticles used in volume production of 0.13-micron ICs and 0.10-micron devices under development.

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The 8250-R system uses KLA-Tencor's CEq charge equalization technology, which the company says will alleviate automation and imaging difficulties for challenging substrates such as chrome on glass and molybdenum silicide reticles. The system also has a new recipe generation capability, called SEMScript, which addresses metrology requirements for sub-wavelength lithography, said KLA-Tencor.

Also today, KLA-Tencor announced a new SEM image analysis module (SIAM) option for its Klarity ProDATA lithography data modeling and analysis software that enhances 8250-R functionality for both mask manufacturing operations and wafer fabs. This option enables the new CD-SEM system to compare and measure reticle features against the original reticle design data, said the company.

As fabs move to lower levels of sub-wavelength lithography to produce advanced semiconductors, and the complexity and critical nature of leading-edge reticles increases, more attention is being given to providing reticle total quality management (TQM),” said Scott Ashkenaz, vice president of strategic marketing for KLA-Tencor's Lithography Module Solutions Group. He said the new 8250-R and the company's recently introduced TeraScan 570 deep-ultraviolet (DUV) reticle inspection system (see Sept. 13 story) address this growing need with review and measurement of defects captured during inspection.

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The 8250-R incorporates a new laser stage that provides a 25% improvement in throughput and measurement acquisition time compared with KLA-Tencor's 8100-Series CD-SEM. The combination of Ceq and the precise e-beam column provides a measurement precision of better than 2 nanometers in the 8250-R system, said KLA-Tencor.

Production shipments of the 8250-R reticle CD-SEM will be available beginning in December. The Klarity ProDATA with SIAM and SEMScript are both currently available, said KLA-Tencor.

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Congratulations Stan [Boland, CEO of Icera], you did it again! With the news of Icera being acquired, we are sure to be hearing the biggest sigh of relief for a long time from the European venture capital industry.

If you spoke to a VC executive in the last six years, they were either invested in Icera or glad they weren't. As has been widely reported, so much money had already been put in that none of the investors could afford to let it die. The fact that it has had an all-cash exit providing some return must be a huge relief for everyone concerned.

The new Japanese R&D effort has drawn nearly all the major Japanese chip vendors. The list includes Fujitsu, Hitachi, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, NEC, Oki, Rohm, Sanyo, Sony, Sharp, and Toshiba.

The project has been in the works for more than eight months, pushed by a growing concern in the Japanese chip industry that it could be falling behind in developing next-generation semiconductor technology. The chip makers initially tried to obtain government aid to finance the project, but decided to launch their own effort with their own funding when government aid wasn't forthcoming.

(See Sept. 22 story.)

Also cutting back were Bear Stearns analysts who now predict that wireless phone shipments are likely to fall short of expectations in the third quarter–hitting 95 million units instead of 100 million as previously forecast. Their fourth quarter forecast is now on the low side of Wall Street predictions of 110-to-140 million handsets.

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