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Canon Recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the PPC-1, Japan's First Semiconductor Lithography System


MELVILLE, NY, January 23, 2020Canon U.S.A., Inc., today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary since the 1970 launch of the Projection Print Camera or PPC-1. Originally referred to as a “semiconductor printing device”, the PPC-1 was Japan’s first semiconductor lithography system and signaled Canon’s full-scale entry into the semiconductor lithography equipment business. Semiconductor lithography systems are indispensable for fabrication of semiconductor devices used in applications such as cameras, smartphones and automobiles, and Canon semiconductor lithography equipment has continued to evolve in order to enable the advancement of digital technology.

Canon’s exposure equipment history begins with advancements in camera lens technology. Utilizing the technology originally developed for camera lenses during the mid-1960’s, Canon developed high-resolution lenses for photomask manufacturing. Furthering that technology and overall business expansion plans, the Company began developing semiconductor lithography equipment for wafer fabrication and in 1970, entered the semiconductor lithography equipment business with the introduction of “PPC-1”, a first in Japan. Canon also produced the world’s first lithography system that offered less than 1 micrometer* resolution with the launch of Fine Pattern Aligner (FPA) platform and the FPA-141F in 1975. In 2010, the FPA-141F was recognized by the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology as an Essential Historical Material for Science and Technology.

At present, the Canon semiconductor lithography equipment portfolio includes i-line lithography systems that use a mercury arc lamp as the exposure light source for 365 nanometer* i-line wavelength exposure and KrF lithography systems using laser light generated from krypton (Kr) gas and fluorine (F) gas for 248 nanometer KrF wavelength exposure. To meet the expanding range challenging application and market demands, Canon continues to expand its lineup of semiconductor lithography equipment and optional functions in support of various wafer sizes, materials and next-generation packaging processes required to protect delicate semiconductor chips from the external environment while enabling electrical connection and communication with the external chips and devices requirements. Canon also offers leading-edge lithography solutions with nanoimprint lithography equipment that is under development to enable cost-effective circuit pattern miniaturization for mass production processes. Nanoimprint lithography involves pressing a mask (mold) directly into the resist on a wafer like a stamp. Circuit patterns including free-form structures on the mask can be precisely transferred with higher resolution in comparison to conventional optical lithography equipment.

Since 1986, Canon has also been applying semiconductor exposure equipment technology to the development, manufacturing and commercialization of exposure equipment for production of flat-panel displays on large-area substrates. Moving forward, the Company will continue to improve both high-definition and productivity capability of Canon flat-panel exposure systems to meet the on-going needs of LCD and OLED display manufacturing.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $36 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2019† and was named one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2020. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. 

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† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

* One micrometer (µm) is one-millionth of a meter. One nanometer (nm) is one-billionth of a meter.

50th Anniversary of the Projection Print Camera

50th Anniversary of the Projection Print Camera