SAN JOSE -- Ultratech Stepper Inc. today announced that it will drop its line of reduction lithography tools and would eliminate 100 jobs, or 20% or its workforce, as part of a major cost-reduction plan.
Ultratech will no longer sell the XLS line of reduction tools, including the 157- and 248-nm products, according to a company spokeswoman in San Jose.
The 248-nm tool is a 4X reduction system designed for mix-and-match applications, while the 157-nm product is small-field-size product design for R&D purposes. Ultratech acquired the XLS platform in 1998 when it purchased Integrated Solutions Inc. (ISI), a privately-held lithography supplier of exposure systems developed in the 1990s with the backing of Sematech and U.S. government funding (see June 11, 1998, story).
Ultratech does not plan to scrap its entire 157-nm tool efforts, however. It plans to develop a completely new and different platform for the 157-nm tool, which will be introduced in the future, the spokeswoman told SBN.
As a result of the move, the company said it would close its manufacturing plant in Wilmington, Mass., and transfer the production activities to its San Jose headquarters facility.
Ultratech said it was refocusing its efforts to concentrate on its lithography portfolio for semiconductor fabs, wafer-bump processes, optical network products and microelectromechanical (MEMS) applications. The company also continues to focus its efforts on advanced reduction lithography and laser thermal processing systems from its Verdant Technologies subsidiary.
The company said it will take a restructuring charge for layoffs, closing of facilities and other costs related to the consolidation.
"Since the beginning of 2001, Ultratech has instituted a number of cost-savings programs, including executive and employee salary reductions, mandatory shut down days and restricted hiring, in an attempt to avoid any reductions in our workforce," said Arthur W. Zafiropoulo, chairman and CEO of Ultratech. "However, the continuing downturn in the semiconductor industry has forced Ultratech to implement these additional cost reduction measures."