Nikon Instruments Inc. announced the formation of the Nikon Semiconductor Inspection Technologies Group (Nikon SITECH). The newly formed group is an aggressive move by Nikon Instruments to offer more comprehensive service and support to their current and future customer base, including a fourfold increase in sales and technical support, as well as to broaden the U.S. distribution of Nikon's advanced semiconductor inspection products.

The new group will be located in the Phoenix, Arizona area, a semiconductor hub, and will allow Nikon to offer an unprecedented focus on training, demonstrations, and service application support, as well as the infrastructure to sell direct to customers.

Takashi Tanzawa was named Executive Vice President and will lead the technologies group. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Tanzawa was Manager of Strategy for the Nikon Instruments Company in Japan. "Nikon's SITECH group demonstrates Nikon's enhanced commitment to the future of the semiconductor industry that involves aggressive product development, superior training and technical support and affords Nikon the opportunity to capitalize on new business and market opportunities," said Mr. Tanzawa.

According to President and CEO of Nikon Instruments, Hiro Kusaka, "SITECH is a critical step to expand Nikon Instruments and to create a division that is more focused, flexible and responsive to our customers and the semiconductor industry. We are confident in its ability to make a significant impact on our business."