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February 6, 2012

Ardy Johnson, Vice President, Rudolph Technologies, Inc.

Ardy Johnson, Vice President, Rudolph Technologies, Inc.
Ardy Johnson, Vice
President of Marketing
and Product Management,
Rudolph Technologies, Inc.
We are optimistic about the prospects of the industry in 2012. Among other developments, we expect to see substantive progress in the transition to 450 mm wafers. The benefits of larger wafers have been demonstrated over and over again, so the question is not if, but when, and more importantly, who; that is, who will pay the substantial development costs?

The cost of moving to 200 mm was borne largely by device manufacturers, who vowed that they would not do it again. The cost of 300 mm development fell primarily on equipment manufacturers, who have likewise vowed, "Never again!" But, the need to continue reducing costs hasn’t gone away.

The change to 450 mm will be collaboratively funded and the first steps have already been taken. A consortium of semiconductor producers is establishing two metrology centers—one in the US and one in Japan. They will help equipment manufacturers develop their tools using wafers that will be shuttled between equipment manufacturers and these centers.

We are very pleased to be providing our metrology and defect inspection tools to these facilities. We see these forward-looking investments as a real and significant indication of the long term health of the industry.

Ardy Johnson, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management
Rudolph Technologies, Inc.