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RVSI Gets Order for WS-2500 Wafer Inspection System

OMRON Automation - Americas

One of the world’s largest microprocessor manufacturers orders a second WS-series system for combined 2-D and 3-D wafer inspection

Canton, Massachusetts - September 30, 2002 - Robotic Vision Systems, Inc. (RVSI) (Nasdaq: ROBV) today said it has received an order for a WS-2500 bumped wafer inspection system from one of the world’s largest microprocessor companies.  The U.S.-based company plans to use the system for 2-D defect inspection and 3-D bump height metrology of microprocessor wafers at a European facility.

“Wafer bumping for microprocessors is part of manufacturers’ requirements for MPUs that run cooler, faster, and with higher I/O capacity,” said Michael Gray, the Semiconductor Equipment Group’s Vice President of Sales. “This repeat order is further evidence that RVSI's combination of proprietary 3-D inspection technology and superior defect detection gives us the right tool at the right time to become the standard for production-speed wafer bumping.  Because wafer fabricators are now using lower-cost processes to create bumps, there is a requirement for 100% inspection of those bumps. Because reliable, repeatable bump height metrology is one of the critical inspection points, RVSI is the obvious choice.

“We have built nearly 2000 inspection systems that monitor the quality of approximately 80% of the world's integrated circuit packages.  RVSI has the unique technology and support structure needed to meet the challenging demands of 100% bumped wafer inspection for microprocessor production,” Mr.Gray said. 

“We believe this customer chose RVSI as a single-tool solution for 3-D metrology and 2-D surface defect inspection because we displayed ‘best in class’ performance,” said Frank Jacovino, General Manager of Wafer Systems Products for RVSI.  “Because our customers have multiple choices for camera-based defect inspection, we have been told by their bump operation technologists that they have been extremely critical in their analysis of camera-based systems’ defect inspection capabilities.  We are gratified that this customer has come to us for a repeat order as they expand production of their latest-generation microprocessor line.  We believe it is a reflection of our pre-eminent place in this emerging market for 3-D and 2-D inspection.”

Rather than traditional wire bonds, the newest generation of integrated circuits utilizes microscopic-sized solder or gold 'bumps' that are directly deposited on the wafer for electrical connections. RVSI's WS-series improves yield management of bumped wafers and flip chip die, providing a method to maximize yields and profitability by inspecting bump parameters at high production rates. The system's capabilities include inspection of pre-reflow and post-reflow solder bumps and multi-process gold bumps. Depending upon wafer size and other features, the WS-series is priced from $500,000 to more than $1 million per system.

About RVSI
Robotic Vision Systems, Inc. (RVSI) (NASDAQ:ROBV) has the most comprehensive line of machine vision systems available today. Headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, with offices worldwide, RVSI is the world leader in vision-based semiconductor inspection and media transfer equipment. Using leading-edge technology, RVSI joins vision-enabled process equipment, high-performance optics, lighting, and advanced hardware and software to assure product quality, identify and track parts, control manufacturing processes, and ultimately enhance profits for companies worldwide. Serving the semiconductor, electronics, aerospace, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries, RVSI holds approximately 100 patents in a broad range of technologies.

Forward Looking Statement 
Except for the historical information herein, certain matters discussed in this release include forward-looking statements that may involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may vary significantly based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: the historical cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry, risks in products and technology development, market acceptance of new products and continuing product demand, the impact of competitive products and pricing, changing economic conditions, both here and abroad, timely development and release of new products, strategic suppliers and customers, the effect of the company's accounting policies and other risk factors detailed in the Company's most recent registration statement, annual report on Form 10-K and 10K/A, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For further information contact:
Neal H. Sanders (781) 302-2439


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