They called it a Reduction Projection Aligner, or RA for short, but what it was, was a stepper. It was probably given the name to get around GCA's very tight control of its trademarked Direct Step on Wafer, which was soon shortened to wafer stepper by customers.
Hitachi had a few machines secretly placed at several Japanese sights in the early eighties and eventually announced this model to the rest of the world. Like all early machines, it primarily used a 10:1 reduction lens, hence the product title RA-101HL, but they also provided a 5:1 lens for the RA-501HL which doubled the size of the producible chip from 10mm to 20mm. Unable to purchase reduction lenses from its archrivals Nikon and Canon, or Zeiss, it turned to Minolta for them
Like so many early stepper entries, this one went on for awhile and then quietly stepped away.Click Here for Product Brochure & Specifications
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