TABY, Sweden, Dec. 13 -- Micronic Laser Systems AB, developers of laser pattern generators for the production of photomasks, has extended its partnership with Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems to include all semiconductor direct write applications based on Micronic's use of spatial light modulator (SLM) technology. Micronic has already received its first order for Sigma, a photomask pattern generator based on this SLM technology that was licensed to Micronic in 1998. In addition, Micronic has gained exclusive access to Fraunhofer's direct write lithography products used to produce semiconductors. We have on a long-term basis secured the possibility to broaden our future business to include direct write applications and by that the capability to cover fully the future needs of our semiconductor customers, said Bert Jeppsson, president and CEO of Micronic. We are now considering various possibilities to explore this thrilling business opportunity.