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Posted: November 18, 2008

Amtech Enters into 10-Year Exclusive License Agreement for Solar Dry Etching System

(Nanowerk News) Amtech Systems, Inc., a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers, today announced that it has entered into a license agreement with PST Co., LTD., based in Youngin-City, Korea, to market PST’s proprietary PSG dry etch system and to develop and manufacture additional models for use with Amtech’s existing solar products.
This process step in the manufacturing of solar cells removes phosphorus silicate glass (PSG) that naturally occurs during the diffusion process. Amtech will use its license of this unique PSG technology, which will be manufactured by PST, to expand its presence in the growing solar market. PST utilizes a propriety technique during the dry etching process which allows for high throughput and lower cost of ownership.
This new product is expected to be launched in the first half of calendar year 2009 and Amtech expects to be one of the first companies to introduce a unique dry etching system that does not use plasma energy.
“This most recent licensing agreement further solidifies our partnership with PST and demonstrates our commitment to executing our solar growth strategy,” said J.S. Whang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtech. “The addition of this proprietary PSG etch system marks another important step in expanding our product offerings as a multi-product supplier to more fully participate in the growing solar market. We continue to actively seek opportunities to increase our technology base and available market opportunity, particularly during these difficult economic times. We have a solid balance sheet that includes a healthy cash position and will continue to prudently manage cash while focusing on further executing our growth strategy of expanding our product offerings to increase our served available markets.”
“We are very enthused to combine our quality product offering with Amtech’s global sales and marketing expertise,” said Jae-An Yu, President of PST. “Amtech is a leading supplier of solar diffusion systems and we felt that they were in the best position to successfully penetrate world-wide markets for our solar product.”
The exclusive, royalty free, 10-year license agreement will enable Amtech to leverage its solar customer base and extensive sales and marketing presence throughout the world, with the exception of Korea and one Japanese customer with respect to which PST retains marketing rights. In consideration for the exclusive rights, Amtech will make a one-time license fee payment and enter into a manufacturing agreement with PST.
About Amtech Systems, Inc.
Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells and semiconductor devices. Semiconductors, or semiconductor chips, are fabricated on silicon wafer substrates, sliced from ingots, and are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including solar cells, computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company’s wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced silicon wafers.
About PST Co., LTD
PST produces vertical thermal processing systems for high-end Semiconductor applications ranging from annealing/oxidation to LPCVD process. PST systems are utilized in many Korean Fabs with proven reliability and low cost of ownership. For the solar industry, PST manufactures furnaces, PECVD and PSG etch systems. It is PST's mission to provide high performance, superior tools with low cost to customers and with a philosophy of trust and reliability.
Source: Amtech (press release)
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