Tegal Receives Repeat Order for Plasma Etech System from a Leading Hard Drive Manufacturer

Tegal Corporation, (Nasdaq:TGAL) an innovator of specialized production solutions for the fabrication of advanced MEMS, power ICs and optoelectronic devices, announced that it has received a repeat order for a 981ACS plasma etch system from a leading hard disk drive manufacturer to support a critical capacity expansion for magnetic data storage device fabrication.

The new Tegal 981ACS unit adds to the customer's extensive installed base of Tegal 900 Series plasma etch systems already being used for precision photoresist descum applications in high volume manufacturing.

As reported by the market analysis firm The Information Network, there is currently a widespread shortage of 3.5-inch hard drives (HDD), which are used primarily in desktop PCs. HDD suppliers have already increased production of the 2.5-inch HDDs used in notebooks; however, the shortage of desktop hard drives may persist into the middle of 2010 and will result in price increases.

HDD manufacturers are responding by increasing HDD production capacity as rapidly as possible in order to address the supply and demand imbalance.

According to John Almerico, Senior Marketing Director for Etch Products at Tegal, "The Tegal 981ACS has demonstrated time and again that it can reliably perform the extensive number of precision photoresist descum and trim operations required to make leading-edge magnetic data storage products. We will be able to rapidly deliver and commission this additional 981ACS tool for our HDD customer so that our customer can take complete advantage of the current favorable situation in the magnetic data storage market."

The Tegal 981ACS is the latest in a series of diode plasma etch systems produced by Tegal, the industry pioneer in commercial single-wafer plasma etching. Over 1,500 systems in the 900 Series have been shipped to date, providing reliable and cost-effective support for a wide range of plasma etch processes. The Tegal 900ACS Series is optimized for precision photoresist descum, non-selective nitride, backside, and planarization etching, as well as for oxide, nitride, poly, and compound materials applications for TFH, HB-LED, MEMS, power device, and optoelectronic device fabrication. The 900ACS Series platform incorporates a production-proven transport system that can accommodate 75 mm to 200 mm round, square or rectangular substrates.

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