January 23, 2003

FEI Announces First Vectra(TM) 986+ Orders in Japan and Europe

FEI Announces First Vectra(TM) 986 Orders in Japan and Europe

Advanced FIB Systems for Circuit Edit Gain Momentum

HILLSBORO, Ore., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) announced today it has executed two orders for its advanced focused ion beam circuit edit system, the Vectra™ 986+. The systems are the first Vectra 986+ systems to be ordered in Japan and Europe. One system has shipped and the second system is scheduled to ship in the current quarter.

In Japan, the Vectra 986+ will be utilized for editing advanced integrated circuit prototypes to be used in the customer's leading brand of consumer electronics including DVD players, flat panel plasma displays and wireless telephones. In Europe, the Vectra system will be deployed by one of Europe's largest cable television providers in a unique and proprietary program to enhance overall security for cable television services.

FEI's market-leading circuit edit solutions deliver added value to manufacturers facing short development cycles and tight time pressures. Editing prototypes with focused ion beam (FIB) technology allows manufacturers to rapidly modify and then retest device functionality and performance, optimizing and verifying device characteristics prior to final mask generation.

FEI's Vectra systems deliver proven capabilities for front-side, back-side and wafer level edits on leading-edge devices down to 90 nm geometries.

"Since we introduced the Vectra 986+, we have seen growing interest in this advanced circuit edit system and are pleased to have these important first orders in the Japanese and European markets," said Michel Epsztein, senior vice president and general manager of FEI's MicroElectronics product group. "The market-leading performance of the Vectra system is helping our customers address their technology challenges rapidly and, in the case of our customer in Europe, is also opening doors to new applications for circuit edit equipment."

Circuit edit is an important and growing market opportunity for FEI. As customers incorporate new materials (copper and low-k dielectrics) and advanced technologies (flip-chip packaging) into new devices with smaller geometries and greater complexity, they are looking to find efficiencies at every stage of product development and manufacturing, including design cycles. FEI's industry-leading circuit edit tools have become the de-facto choice for the most demanding applications with about 200 systems installed worldwide.

"Our customers are operating in a highly competitive marketplace, continually accelerating advanced circuit designs and processes in order to improve their positions and enhance profitability," said Jay Lindquist, senior vice president of corporate marketing for FEI. "This drive and the nature of today's complex interconnect structures has created a critical need for circuit edit solutions that drastically reduce time to market and development costs.

"The complexity and cost of today's advanced semiconductor devices -- each with unique subsurface structures and interfaces -- has a compounding effect on new device and process development challenges," added Lindquist "FEI's core technologies of FIB, SEM, TEM, AFM and SIMS enable technology advances and manufacturing on the nanoscale. Our circuit edit tools are a key example of how our technologies are integrated as value-adding tools for our customers.

About FEI: The Structural Process Management Company™

FEI is a nanotechnology company providing enabling 3D Structural Process Management™ solutions to the world's technology leaders in the fields of semiconductors, data storage, structural biology and industry. Its range of industry-leading DualBeam™ and single column focused ion and electron beam products enables manufacturers and researchers to keep pace with technology shifts and develop next generation technologies and products. FEI's products allow advanced three-dimensional metrology, device editing, trimming, and structural analysis for management of sub-micron structures including those found in integrated circuits, high-density magnetic storage devices, industrial materials, chemical compounds, and biological structures. FEI solutions deliver enhanced production yields, lower costs and faster time to market-critical benefits in highly competitive markets. Headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon, FEI has approximately 1,500 employees worldwide, with additional development and manufacturing operations located in Peabody, Massachusetts; Sunnyvale, California; Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and Brno, Czech Republic. More information can be found on the FEI website at: http://www.feicompany.com .

The statements in this news release about orders received are subject to the risk of cancellation. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, such that the order is cancelled, include, but are not limited to: change in the business circumstance of the customer described or in their operating methods or strategies; business conditions in the microelectronics industry and the general economy, both domestic and international; competitive factors, including pricing pressures, technological developments and products offered by competitors; technological difficulties and resource constraints encountered in developing new products, and the timely flow of products.

SOURCE FEI Company


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