FEI Announces New ExSolve High-Throughput TEM Sample Preparation Workflow

ExSolve Enables Semiconductor and Data Storage Manufacturers to Obtain More Information Faster and at Lower Cost for Process Verification

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| Source: FEI Company

HILLSBORO, Ore., Oct. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC) today released ExSolve™, an automated, high-throughput sample preparation workflow for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. The ExSolve wafer TEM prep (WTP) dramatically reduces the cost and increases the speed of sample preparation, providing semiconductor and data storage manufacturers with quick and easy access to the data they need to verify and monitor process performance. ExSolve can prepare site-specific TEM lamella, sampling many sites per wafer in a fully-automated process inside the fab, giving semiconductor manufacturers much more information than conventional approaches, while at the same time reducing the capital cost of sample preparation by up to 70 percent.

"TEM analysis is the only method that allows semiconductor manufacturers to fully characterize, understand and control their advanced manufacturing processes, such as three-dimensional and multi-gate devices, at the 20nm node and smaller. Until now, most sample preparation for TEM analysis has used slow, manual processes that break the wafer into multiple hard-to-track and hard-to-handle pieces," states Rudy Kellner, vice president and general manager of the Industry Group at FEI. "ExSolve fully automates lamella creation from whole wafers, eliminating most of the manual sample handling and data tracking overhead. We expect ExSolve to transform the way process engineers think about process data. Instead of trying to make the most of a minimal sampling plan, they can now have fast, inexpensive access to all the data they need for thorough process verification."

The ExSolve WTP system is an automated, high-throughput sample preparation system that can prepare site-specific, 20nm thick lamellae on whole wafers up to 300mm in diameter. It is part of a fast, complete workflow that includes TEMLink™, and the Metrios™ TEM. The ExSolve includes FOUP handling and is designed to be located in the fab near the manufacturing line.

The ExSolve WTP workflow addresses the needs of customers that require automated, high-throughput sampling at advanced technology nodes. It complements the capabilities of FEI's Helios NanoLab™ DualBeam™ 1200AT, which provides more flexible, operator-directed, sample preparation methods, along with additional capabilities such as high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging and analysis.

For more information about the ExSolve WTP workflow, please visit www.FEI.com/ExSolve.

About FEI

FEI Company (Nasdaq:FEIC) designs, manufactures and supports a broad range of high-performance microscopy workflow solutions that provide images and answers at the micro-, nano- and picometer scales. Its innovation and leadership enable customers in industry and science to increase productivity and make breakthrough discoveries. Headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., USA, FEI has over 2,500 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world. More information can be found at: www.fei.com.

FEI Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements regarding the performance capabilities and benefits of the ExSolve WTP workflow, including TEMLink and the Metrios TEM. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to our ability to manufacture, ship, deliver and install the tools or software as expected; failure of the product or technology to perform as expected; unexpected technology problems and challenges; changes to the technology; the inability of FEI, its suppliers or project partners to make the technological advances required for the technology to achieve anticipated results; and the inability of the customer to deploy the tools or develop and deploy the expected new applications. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

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