AMAT, DNS forming track biz

May 15, 2006 – Applied Materials Inc., Santa Clara, CA, and Japan’s Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co. Ltd. (DNS) are forming a joint venture to offer track technologies for semiconductor manufacturing.

The new Kyoto-based company, Sokudo Co. Ltd. (52% owned by DNS) will incorporate DNS’ existing track business and related IP, including coater/developer track systems, as well as employees, products, and its installed base of systems. Applied will contribute technology and related IP and employees, and an investment of 16.6 billion yen (about US $151 million). DNS will perform manufacturing for Sokudo under an outsourcing agreement. The deal is expected to be completed by July.

The new JV deal is the second time in as many weeks that Applied Materials has expanded its core business to related areas. Earlier this month Applied agreed to acquire Longmont, CO-based Applied Films Corp. for approximately $464 million in stock, giving the semiconductor equipment giant complementary thin-film deposition technologies for its flat-panel display systems as well as inroads into the fast-growing solar market.

“Partnering with Screen in this new company is an opportunity for Applied to grow our business by accelerating our entry into track, a large and growing market that complements our thin-film nanomanufacturing technology capabilities,” noted company president and CEO Mike Splinter. “Track technology is a natural extension of Applied’s lithography-enabling solutions for customers.

The companies noted the market for track systems was estimated to be $1.4 billion in 2005, growing to nearly $2.0 billion in 2008, according to figures from Gartner Dataquest.


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