Northrop Grumann selects ASM Epsilon for production of silicon germanium power transistors


BILTHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS, JANUARY 6, 2000 - ASM International N.V. (Nasdaq and AEX: ASMI) announced that its subsidiary, ASM America Inc., has delivered an Epsilon ™ E2000™ reactor to Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES³) for use in the manufacture of silicon germanium (SiGe) microwave transistors.

Northrop Grumman ES³’s new solid-state airport surveillance radar, the ASR-12, is the world’s first and only radar system whose output is provided by SiGe microwave power transistors. SiGe transistors provide a significant improvement over conventional silicon transistors in terms of speed and power efficiency.

The Epsilon E2000 Epitaxial reactor is used to deposit tightly controlled amounts of SiGe on silicon substrates. This results in superior high frequency response when compared to all-silicon devices.

“We have dramatically improved the performance and ease of manufacture of solid-state radar transmitters,” said Kelly Overman, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Baltimore-based Systems Development and Technology Division. “Our development of SiGe microwave transistors has allowed us to increase the power and efficiency of our solid-state transmitters using fewer components, resulting in smaller and more reliable radar designs.”

Regarding SiGe technology, Dr. Armand P. Ferro, Epitaxial Business Unit manager for ASM, stated that: “The Epsilon is the epitaxial process tool of choice for reliable device production, including SiGe. ASM’s process expertise and the Epsilon’s advanced low pressure and low temperature operational capabilities also permit the widest range of high frequency device performance. SiGe is broadly used in both CMOS and bipolar applications and represents a fast growing market for new, cutting edge devices.”

ASM America is a world-class supplier of single wafer epitaxial reactors and related semiconductor process equipment. ASM has been selling epitaxial reactors since 1987.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, headquartered in Los Angeles, is a leading designer, systems integrator and manufacturer of military surveillance and combat aircraft, defense electronics and systems, airspace management systems, information systems, marine systems, precision weapons, space systems, and commercial and military aerostructures.

About ASM

ASM International is headquartered in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. ASM International's subsidiaries design, develop, manufacture and market equipment and materials used to produce semiconductor devices. ASM International and its subsidiaries provide production solutions for the wafer-processing, assembly and packaging segments through their facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia. ASM International's common shares trade on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol “ASMI” and on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Amsterdam under the symbol “ASM.” More information on ASM can be found on its website at

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