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Canon aims at litho market leadership

Today in the morning the Dow Jones information channel reported that Canon officially announced plans for additional investments into the development and manufacture of the next-generation semiconductor production systems. By December 2005 the company plans to use about ¥100 billion (about $830 million) for the commercialization of new litho steppers. This means that ¥260 billion expenses planned for this year R&D will be increased by over ¥30 billion in 2003 and the next two years.

The current investment growth is a mirror to the growing ambitions of Canon, which seriously plans to lead the stepper makers list these years. If you remember, today the first is Dutch ASML Holding N.V., the second is Japanese Nikon, Canon being the third.

According to provisional information, Canon´s fresh finances will be used for developing steppers for 60nm and smaller chips. Besides this, the company plans to force the construction of the research center in the Tochigi prefecture, North Tokyo) as well as hire about 300 workers for the stepper production division, 250 of which will be nano optics and electronic technologies specialists and litho software developers. Currently this division provides work for over two thousands of professionals.

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