ASML, Gigaphoton ink litho support pact

July 26, 2006 – Laser light source manufacturer Gigaphoton Inc. has signed a contract to provide customer support in the US, including laser installation and sustaining maintenance, for Dutch litho tool provider ASML. The two companies plan to expand the deal to other parts of the world “in due course,” in line with customer needs. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gigaphoton, originally formed as a JV between construction machinery firm Komatsu Ltd. and litho lamp manufacturer Ushio Inc., has been supplying KrF and ArF excimer laser light sources for ASML’s lithography tools since 2000.

New modular designs and improved reliability (<99% availability) over the past several years have made laser system maintenance easier, but support requirements have become increasingly more demanding -- costing more, response times take longer, and laser users require additional support for scanners, noted Gigaphoton, in a statement.

“Integrated support of scanners and lasers increases focus on customers who increasingly prefer on-site support from a single source,” said Frits van Hout, ASML SVP of worldwide customer support. Gigaphoton president Yuji Watanabe added that the two firms will share technical expertise to ensure 24×7 support of field service engineers.

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