updated 4/21/2011 8:46:53 AM ET 2011-04-21T12:46:53

HILLSBORO, Ore., April 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FEI (Nasdaq:FEIC), a leading instrumentation company that provides microscopy systems for research and industry, today announces that it has shipped the 250th Helios NanoLab™ DualBeam™ system. Since its introduction in 2006, the award-winning Helios NanoLab has experienced widespread market acceptance.

"The Helios NanoLab DualBeam provides the SEM and FIB performance needed to solve some of the critical roadblocks to advancing technology and sciences across many disciplines," said John Williams, vice president of marketing, FEI. "It has been adopted by leading semiconductor manufacturers for their most advanced research and development needs; it is being used by major academic and industrial research laboratories for advanced material characterization and modification down to the single nanometer scale; and it has even expanded into the life sciences and oil & gas industries due to its ability to provide three-dimensional imaging at the nanoscale."

FEI was the first to commercialize the DualBeam almost 20 years ago, and the latest Helios NanoLab x50 DualBeam Series is the most powerful and versatile DualBeam system available on the market today. It integrates FEI 's high-resolution scanning electron microscope (XHR SEM) with a new, high-performance focused ion beam (FIB), to deliver an unprecedented level of imaging and milling capability. Customers across a variety of industries have had great success with the DualBeam's unique set of capabilities in a variety of applications, including:

  • academic and industrial research centers use the Helios NanoLab system for advanced 2D and 3D materials characterization, leading-edge sample preparation and nanoprototyping of nanoscale prototypes of electronic, optical, and mechanical devices;
  • advanced semiconductor fabs are using the system for fast and precise preparation of ultrathin samples for transmission electron microscope (TEM) analysis;
  • life scientists can view features of interest in tissue and cells three dimensionally, using the Helios system's "slice and view" (3D reconstruction) capability;
  • and the oil & gas industry is using the Helios to optimize and extract natural gas that is hidden in many unconventional reservoirs, such as tight sands, gas shales and coalbed methane.

"The ability to deliver high resolution imaging on almost any material, and to manipulate those materials with minimal damage, has allowed the Helios NanoLab DualBeam to play an important role in a variety of disciplines," Williams adds.

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-Ångström (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. 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 Helios NanoLab DualBeam. 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 (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

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