Perkin-Elmer Photo Gallery

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 grandfather’s 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.

 
Start Photo Gallery Slide Show

View individually by photo:

01 The PE 100 08 The PE 600 Design Architecture 15 The PE 700--Two men by the Tool
02 The PE 100 Team 09 The PE 600 Lens Illustration 16 3000 Units Shipped!
03 At a Customer's Factory 10 The PE 600HT 17 Competitors Arise
04 Dave Markle at the PE 100 controls 11 The PE 600/700--An Interior View 18 The PE 700 as Shipped--last of the line
05 The PE 200 Line Card 12 The PE 600/700 Holding Arms 19 End of the Busines Line
06 The PE 500 Generation 13 The PE 600/700 Lens 1 20 A New Beginning
07 An Early Descriptive Paper 14 The PE 600/700 Lens 2 21 And a Quick Peek into the Future
 

Near Impossibility of Making a Microchip

Perkin-Elmer PE100 Projection Aligner

 

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.