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DuPont Photomasks to Cut Jobs by 5 Percent

Photonics.com
Jul 2003
ROUND ROCK, Texas, July 8 -- DuPont Photomasks announced today it will reduce its global workforce by 5 percent, or approximately 96 positions, and will begin reducing internal pellicle production at its Danbury, Conn., facility immediately and end production by September. The company also announced that Micro Lithography Inc. (MLI), of Sunnyvale, Calif., will supply pellicles to DuPont Photomasks under a multiyear supply agreement.

A pellicle ensures the image quality of a pattern projected on a semiconductor wafer during photolithography; the pellicle assembly is made up of a thin, transparent membrane adhered to a metal frame that seals off a photomask from particle contamination. A photomask is a high-purity quartz substrate covered with chrome or other material on which semiconductor circuit patterns are etched. During semiconductor production, the circuitry pattern on a photomask is transferred onto a silicon wafer using optical lithography systems. Semiconductors commonly have 20 to 35 layers, and each layer requires a unique photomask.

"After a thorough analysis of our pellicle operations, we've concluded that we can serve our customers more cost-effectively through outsourcing versus internal production," said Marshall Turner, chairman and CEO of DuPont Photomasks. "Our agreement with MLI is a mutually beneficial arrangement, as it allows each company to do what it does best. By outsourcing pellicle supply, DuPont Photomasks will better focus resources and capital on delivering microimaging solutions to customers through our core business of photomasks."

He said the transition will not affect delivery of photomasks to customers.

For more information, visit: www.photomask.com



GLOSSARY
photolithography
A lithographic technique using an image produced by photography for printing on a print-nonprint, sectioned surface.
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