This photo gallery represents a salute to Perkin-Elmer. Though perhaps more well-known as the maker of the Hubble space telescope, Perkin-Elmer is nevertheless one of the grandfathers of the chip making industry, without whom computer chips might very likely still be in the dark ages of SSI (small scale integrated circuits) with under 100 transistors rather than today's super-sized SOC (system on a chip) integrated circuits holding more than 600 million transistors.
Follow the success and travails of this amazing company from its first glimmers of hope via a 1967 Air Force contract to culmination in the PE100 projection aligner; then through its rise to the summit of the industry with more than 3000 shipments of that indispensable equipment line. Then down to its nadir, failing to believe in the possibility of ruin; finally acceptance and the emergence of a totally new step-and-scan system. But, too late! The train had left the station. So the business line was sold off to SVG and IBM in 1990, then sold again to ASML in 2001.
Attribution: The in-house photos from Perkin-Elmer were furnished through the courtesy of Bob Virgalla, now with Brewer Science. Other documents are from the archives of VLSI Research Inc. All copyrighted documents are owned by the stated source or Perkin-Elmer Corporation.
Posted by: Anonymous
Posted on: 02/25/08 01:12:52 PM
I used a 651 HT in the 1990s. Then it was already produced and serviced by SVG instead of PE. It was a wonderful machine and the support people from PE and SVG were very good. I did source inspection in Connecticut and saw the room where the Hubble mirror error was produced. Although steppers had taken over much of the market by then, we needed a full wafer exposure to make very large devices (Multi Chip Module interconnect substrates, 2 per 125mm wafer). Clocking in at 1.1 M$ it was very very clean, beating the competition (by then Canon had a projection aligner also) in particles added per pass. Truely a masterpiece of engineering that was very reliable.