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Bede plc, a global provider of X-ray technology solutions for materials analysis, today announces that Tokyo Electron Limited, its sole distributor in Japan has ordered the first of a new generation of advanced semiconductor metrology tools, the BedeMetrix-L.

The BedeMetrix-L, to be launched at the Semicon West Conference in San Francisco on 14 July 2003, is an advanced, versatile X-ray Metrology tool for the measurement of semiconductor materials, particularly those relating to next generation 300mm silicon-based processes. The BedeMetrix-L combines Bede’s unrivalled experience of implementing X-ray methods in 300mm silicon manufacturing environments with the leading-edge versatility and performance of the Bede D1 research tool.

Commenting on the purchase, Dr Neil Loxley, Chief Executive of Bede plc said:
“X-ray metrology is becoming more appropriate for the development and process control of a number of advanced materials in the semiconductor industry. The unique BedeMetrix-L provides development engineers with the ability to measure and optimise a diverse range of important materials parameters on a single tool. I am particularly pleased that Tokyo Electron Limited has purchased one of the first tools as part of their ongoing commitment to developing the market for Bede products in Japan.”

Bede plc today also announces the achievement of a major milestone in its flagship X-ray Metrology product, the FAB200/300 for semiconductor fabrication lines. Its first major customer, a leading silicon semiconductor company, has formally accepted all five FAB200/300 X-ray tools shipped under a US$18m supply agreement signed in March 2001. The acceptance process for such tools is extremely rigorous, including the matching between tools of the absolute measurement of thickness to unprecedented sub-atomic levels of reproducibility. The tools are in use on current production and development lines for future innovative semiconductor products, with full 300 mm automation compliance. The FAB200/300 will be re-branded as the BedeMetrixÔ-F from 14 July 2003.

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For further information please contact:

Bede plc
Neil Loxley, Chief Executive Tel: +44 (0) 191 332 4700

Media enquiries:

Sarah Carrell Tel: +44 (0) 113 390 6388

Notes to editors:

Bede plc is a global X-ray technology group whose products are used to measure materials within sectors including:

· Semiconductors
- compound (fibre-optical and wireless communications devices and solid-state displays)
- silicon (microprocessor and system on chip devices)
· Life sciences, chemical and pharmaceutical

Bede provides automated solutions for complex problems such as monitoring and controlling production quality, reducing wastage and improving yields, and assisting in the research and development of new materials and products.

The Company listed on the London Stock Exchange under techMARK on 6 November 2000.

Tokyo Electron Limited, established in 1963, is a leading supplier of innovative semiconductor and FPD production equipment worldwide. In Japan Tokyo Electron Limited distributes other leading edge semiconductor equipment tools, such as metrology tools or process control systems. Tokyo Electron Limited is a publicly held company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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