GE’s Quartz business to offer custom wafer heater assemblies for semiconductor equipment manufacturers

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 13, 2005–To help optimize the performance of heaters and electrostatic chucks in chip-making equipment, GE’s Quartz business today announced an integrated heater assembly platform based at the company’s new laboratory in Kobe, Japan. These custom assemblies – a critical subsystem of semiconductor equipment manufacturers’ wafer chambers – combine customer-specific mechanical, electrical, and thermal engineering with GE’s advanced chemical vapor deposited (CVD) ceramic heaters and e-chucks. By considering thermal, plasma, mechanical, and electrical boundary conditions of the OEM’s chamber, GE’s new integrated design process helps optimize the performance of the entire system.

According to Chris Intihar, GE product manager, Wafer Processing, “GE has designed a new heater assembly platform with the customer’s needs in mind. GE’s Quartz business is the only known supplier to provide forward integration that will help semiconductor equipment firms improve the performance of the entire wafer chamber, while helping to maximize their internal engineering resources. Our Kobe lab offers sophisticated design and testing capabilities and a dedicated technology team to help customers expedite their projects. To accelerate this iterative design process, we are leveraging our ceramics materials expertise from GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., and our advanced predictive engineering and modeling capabilities from our team at GE’s John F. Welch Technology Center in Bangalore, India. Our U.S. plant at our Strongsville, Ohio, world headquarters and our Japan plant near Himeji City, also play an integral part of the design and manufacturing process.”

The GE technology team at Kobe will deliver complete heater assemblies featuring custom heaters, e-chucks, and its industry-standard quartz materials. GE heaters and e-chucks are mechanically and thermally more robust than sintered ceramic alternatives. They enable temperature ramp rates exceeding 10 C/second with maximum temperatures up to 1,300 C, and precise temperature control, generally within +/- 1 percent. These material performance advantages translate into increased throughput, greater process flexibility, and improved wafer yields for semiconductor equipment OEMs.

The Kobe facility, located in the Kobe International Business Center, is equipped with a Class 1000 (measured at 0.3 micron particulate level) or Class 100 (measured at 0.5 micron particulate level) clean room, thermal modeling capability, two test chambers capable of generating plasma and measuring electrostatic clamping force, multiple heater power supplies, and infrared cameras.

The new lab was officially opened on July 1, 2005.

About GE’s Quartz Business

GE’s Quartz business is a world leader in the development and manufacture of fused quartz materials and products for the semi-conductor, fiber optic, and lighting industries. The business is also a leading global supplier of advanced ceramics, boron nitride and titanium diboride powders, hot-pressed boron nitride and composite shapes, boron nitride coatings, and pyrolytic boron nitride and graphite products for use in semiconductor, electronic materials, personal care, materials processing, and other advanced technology applications.

About GE Advanced Materials

GE Advanced Materials ( is a world leader in providing high-technology material solutions. Headquartered in Pittsfield, Mass., its businesses include Plastics, Silicones, Quartz, Automotive, Specialty Film & Sheet, Polymershapes, and Sealants and Adhesives.

GE (NYSE: GE) is Imagination at Work – a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at


GE Advanced Materials, Strongsville, Ohio
Monica Ettamarna, 440-878-5740
[email protected]
AH&M Marketing Communications, Pittsfield, Mass.
Jim Allison, 413-448-2260, Ext. 25
[email protected]


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