Sumitomo Precision Products Acquire Manufacturer of MEMS Etch Release Equipment

Sumitomo Precision Products Co. Ltd. today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Primaxx, Inc. of Allentown, PA, USA, a venture-funded leading high technology manufacturer of MEMS etch release equipment, in an all-cash transaction. SPP will continue to maintain Primaxx operations in Allentown and retain all current employees. SPP has been active in the capital equipment business for the MEMS industry for many years, and holds a majority stake in Surface Technology Systems, Plc (STS) in Newport, UK, the world's leader in Deep Silicon Etch technology. Primaxx technology complements the advanced deep silicon etch and deposition business of STS, thereby extending the reach of SPP Group companies into the worldwide MEMS production equipment market.

Paul Hammond, President and CEO of Primaxx noted that "Our nascent MEMS sacrificial oxide etch release business began with a first tool shipment in 2004 and has now grown to a break even point with more than 20 systems shipped, and half of these are cluster-based for volume production. We are grateful to our main investor, Techfarm Ventures of Palo Alto, CA, for their continuous support during this period." Hammond continued "Our new status as an SPP Group company will provide us with a financial and technological framework to further develop our MEMS business, and will also fund development in other related areas including wafer surface modification."

Primaxx is the world leader in reduced pressure, residue-free MEMS dry etch release, a critical buried oxide etch step which "releases" the moving components of challenging MEMS device designs. Combining anhydrous HF gas and alcohol vapor at reduced pressure provides a wide, stable process window that can address different oxide compositions and thicknesses while maintaining high selectivity to other common materials found in MEMS designs including aluminum. The "dry" Primaxx process also eliminates stiction, a yield-killing phenomenon which can bind the moving components of MEMS devices when released with conventional wet processing technology. Primaxx, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets processing equipment for MEMS and semiconductors, and offers the broadest range of MEMS dry etch release products, from lab systems to multi-chambered cluster tools for high volume production

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