updated 2/22/2011 8:45:51 AM ET 2011-02-22T13:45:51

HILLSBORO, Ore. and GRENOBLE, France, Feb. 22, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC) and CEA-Leti today announced the companies have entered into a three year agreement to characterize advanced semiconductor materials for the 22nm technology node and beyond. European-based CEA-Leti, with its two partners on the NanoCharacterization Platform of MINATEC Campus, CEA-Liten (new materials for new energies) and CEA-INAC (Nanoscience Institute), will apply their expertise in holography and nanobeam diffraction. FEI will provide advanced nanobeam diffraction technology with its Titan™ scanning transmission electron microscope (S/TEM), the world's most powerful, commercially-available microscope. The companies will measure strain changes in semiconductor structures.

"The research will focus on two important areas: use of holography with the Titan's unique XFEG electron source to improve the sensitivity of dopant profiling, and the use of nanobeam diffraction techniques to measure changes in strain and other crystallographic parameters," said George Scholes, vice president and general manager for FEI's S/TEM product line. "With the Titan, FEI is a leader in these areas and we look forward to partnering with CEA-Leti on their unique platform for characterization and nanoscale in continuing to advance the technology."

"We must improve the sensitivity, accuracy and throughput of dopant profiling in order to continue supporting shrinking device dimensions. And a better understanding of the effects of strain is critical in the development of higher performance IC devices as we continue to push the technology to the 22nm technology node and beyond," stated Rudy Kellner, vice president and general manager of FEI's Electronics Division.

According to Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti, "We chose to work with FEI on this three year research project, not only because of their powerful, commercially-available microscope, but also because of their special expertise in nanobeam diffraction applications. Together, we expect to address several critical technical roadblocks facing the semiconductor industry as it continues to push the device size and performance envelope and also challenges in the characterization of materials used in nanoelectronics and more generally for nanosciences."

For more information, please visit http://www.fei.com or www.leti.fr .

About CEA-Leti

CEA is a French research and technology organisation, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. As a major player in MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m2 state-of-the-art clean rooms, on 24/7 mode, on 200mm and 300mm wafer standards. With 1,200 employees, CEA-Leti trains more than 150 Ph.D. students and hosts 200 assignees from partner companies. Strongly committed to the creation of value for the industry, CEA-Leti puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and owns more than 1,500 patent families. For more information, visit www.leti.fr

About FEI

FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC) is a leading diversified scientific instruments company. It is a premier provider of electron- and ion-beam microscopes and tools for nanoscale applications across many industries: industrial and academic materials research, life sciences, semiconductors, data storage, natural resources and more. With more than 60 years of technological innovation and leadership, FEI has set the performance standard in transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and DualBeams™, which combine a SEM with a focused ion beam (FIB). FEI's imaging systems provide 3D characterization, analysis and modification/prototyping with resolutions down to the sub-Angstrom (one-tenth of a nanometer) level. FEI's NanoPorts in North America, Europe and Asia provide centers of technical excellence where its world-class community of customers and specialists collaborate. Headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., USA, FEI has approximately 1800 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world. More information can be found at: www.fei.com .

The FEI Company logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6379

FEI Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements regarding the performance capabilities and benefits of the Titan S/TEM. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to failure of the product or technology to perform as expected and achieve anticipated results, unexpected technology problems and our ability to manufacture, ship and deliver the tools or software as expected. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Sandy Fewkes, Principal (FEI media contact)
         MindWrite Communications, Inc
         +1 408 224 4024
         sandy@mind-write.com
         
         FEI Company
         Fletcher Chamberlin (investors and analysts)
         Investor Relations
         +1 503 726 7710
         fletcher.chamberlin@fei.com
         
         CEA-Leti
         Thierry Bosc
         +33 4 38 78 31 95
         thierry.bosc@cea.fr

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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