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Carl Zeiss NTS and SII NanoTechnology announce global strategic alliance on Nanotechnology Solutions

Worldwide sales and service of joint product portfolios and product development take center stage. Combination of market leading electron and ion-beam technologies will allow customers to benefit from complementary strengths of both companies, thereby pushing the limits for nanotechnology applications even further.

Tokyo - March 16, 2006: Carl Zeiss Nano Technology Systems (NTS), a division of Carl Zeiss SMT, and SII NanoTechnology (SIINT), a subsidiary of Seiko Instruments Inc., today jointly announced a global strategic alliance in the electron and ion-beam systems, service and solutions market. This is a further step to jointly becoming the global leader for enabling nanotechnology solutions. Already in January 2006, SIINT started to sell and service Carl Zeiss NTS products in Japan. Subject of the alliance is the joint development of market leading systems and application solutions which will allow for new and innovative applications in nanotechnology and semiconductor process control solutions. Moreover, the two companies will mutually combine their products and solutions portfolio comprising Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes (SEM / TEM), Focused Ion Beam (FIB) systems and XRF (X-Ray Fluorescent) systems for nanoscopic imaging, analysis and measurement. The global sales, service and application support presence of the two technology leaders will enable customers for one-stop purchase of integrated nanotechnology solutions. Of special value to customers will be the established and long-term geographical focus and strength of Carl Zeiss NTS and SII NanoTechnology in the western hemisphere and Asia, respectively.

Dr. Dirk Stenkamp, head of Carl Zeiss SMT´s Process Control Solutions Segment including NTS, states: "This global strategic alliance boosts us on our path to jointly becoming the global number one in system solutions for nanotechnology and is the bold implementation of our company vision "Enabling the Nano-Age World". The combination of our high performing GEMINIŽ SEM technology with the world leading FIB technology of SIINT creates significant value for customers. Additionally, the reciprocal distribution of new and existing products by each respective partner offers a compelling and globally available product and solution portfolio for cutting-edge research and automated industrial nanotechnology applications."

Dr. Hiroyuki Funamoto, President and CEO of SIINT, adds: "Both partners combine unique strength in this cooperation to achieve world leadership in technology and strong offering of value to the customers. This alliance on joint product development and global distribution is a consequent advancement of the current distribution partnership of our companies in Japan. Our own strength and excellent customer intimacy in Asia and especially Japan combined with the established and very strong sales network of Carl Zeiss NTS in Europe and the Americas will strongly support the aggressive growth strategy of both partners".

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