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Cymer History

1986 - Present
Leading the Light Generation



1986   Cymer, Inc. is founded by Bob Akins and Richard Sandstrom. Rick Sandstrom in the Garage Laboratory
1988   Cymer is awarded Semiconductor International's Editor's Choice Product of the Year for the CX-2LS.
1991   Cymer Japan offices opened.

Cymer introduces solid-state pulse power module (SSPPM) technology, the year's most significant engineering development, with the shipment of the ELS-4000F.

1996   Cymer goes public at an offering price of $4.75/share (adjusted for a 2-for-1 stock split). Barron's declares Cymer the IPO of the year. Shareholders who held the company's stock through the past decade have seen their initial investment increase almost nine-fold. 

The first successful and affordable personal digital assistant (PDA), the Palm Pilot, becomes available to consumers, containing chips patterned by Cymer light sources.

Cymer sells 145 laser systems, surpassing in just one year the total number of lasers shipped in the previous 10 years.

Wins a SEMI award for assisting the development of the 1st DUV Excimer laser stepper.
1997   The ELX-5000A is introduced based on Cymer's research at the 193nm wavelength.

Forbes publishes cover story titled, "Laser Dudes" featuring co-founders Bob Akins and Richard Sandstrom.
1998   Cymer wins the Ernst & Young Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award in High Technology.

The ELS-5010 is introduced at 1kHz and with power up to 15W. Later this year, the ELS-6000 is introduced at 2kHz and power of 20W.

Global offices in Asia and Europe open. Cymer B.V., Cymer Korea, Inc., and Cymer Singapore Pte, Ltd.
1999   Cymer Southeast Asia, Ltd. (Taiwan) regional office opened. 
2000   Cymer launches the NanoLithTM 7000—the first production ArF light source designed for lithography applications at 193 nm wavelengths. 

Cymer's ELS-6000 light source receives Semiconductor International's Editor's Choice Best Product Award. 

The ELS-6010 is introduced for semiconductor production at the 130 nm node and below.
2001   ELS-6010 receives Semiconductor International's Editor's Choice Best Product Award.

Cymer launches Cymer OnLine - the industry's first lithography light source specific e-diagnostics and performance monitoring software.
2002   Cymer sets an industry record with 2000 light sources shipped.

Cymer's NanoLith 7000 is also awarded Semiconductor International's Editor's Choice Best Product Award.

KrF technology is extended down to sub-130nm with the ELS-7000.

Cymer introduces MOPA (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier), the first dual-chamber technology with the XLA 100, delivering a light source with the lowest bandwidth and highest power in the industry.
2003   Cymer China regional office opened

Cymer Korea Refurbish Center opened

Cymer launches the XLA 105 light source, a second-generation ArF light source featuring the MOPA platform.

Cymer introduces its best-selling KrF light source, the ELS-7010, with 40W of output power for high-volume production at the 100 nm production node and below.

Later this year, the XLA 200, the world's first excimer laser light source is ready for 45nm immersion lithography.

2005   Cymer forms a joint venture, TCZ, with optics leader Carl Zeiss and unveils an advanced production tool for fabricating OLED flat panel displays.

Also ships the industry's first 193nm ArF 6kHz light source, the XLA 300. And, the fifth-generation ArF light source, Cymer's XLA 400 is launched.

Another industry first, Cymer ships its 3000th production excimer light source.
2006   Advancing DUV lithography further, the world's first ArF light source for 45nm immersion production is released, the XLR 500i. Based on the dual chamber MOPA platform, XLR introduces the Recirculating Ring Technology, a process that extends the life of the chambers.
2007   The XLR 600i is introduced, the first 90W ArF light source designed for high volume immersion production and double patterning lithography at 32nm and beyond.

At the 2007 International EUVL Symposium, Cymer reveals that is has become the first company to reach the 100 Watt burst power EUV milestone.

Cymer launches OnPulse, a comprehensive approach to DUV light source productivity.

GLX, Gas Lifetime eXtension, is introduced for the first time, reducing the downtime due to gas chamber refills. 
2008   Samsung awards Cymer "Supplier of the Year".

Cymer receives the prestigious Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis Award for Advancement in Light Source Technology.

XLR 500d light source is unveiled for 32 nm dry lithography.

Cymer introduces High Performance Upgrades to existing product lines, allowing for light sources to extend their lifetimes. The XLA 105 HP is created.
2009   The world's first field-extendible power light source, the XLR 600ix, is introduced.

Also, Cymer delivers the first production-ready laser-produced plasma EUV source to a scanner manufacturer, continuing Moore's Law.
2010   Cymer takes full ownership of TCZ and in the same timeframe, ships the first TCZ-900A silicon crystallization tool for flat panel display.

Cymer expands office to Silicon Valley

The ELS-7010x is introduced, the world's first field selectable 30W to 50W light source.
2011   Cymer introduces OnPulse Plus™ and SmartPulse™ providing chipmakers with data collection, reporting and analysis tools.

Cymer ships the TCZ-1500B, a Gen 5.5 crystallization tool, to a leading Asian flat panel display maker.

Eight EUV sources are built, five shipped to chipmakers, and four exposing wafers.