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First CMP Polishing Pads from Dow

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Dow Electronic Materials, a unit of U.S. chemical kingpin The Dow Chemical Company , has launched the first chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) polishing pads from its new IKONIC 2000 and IKONIC 3000 polishing pad series. This marks the first polishing pads launch after the introduction of the IKONIC CMP polishing pad platform in late 2012.

The IKONIC CMP polishing pads are designed for use in a manufacturing node of 28nm (nanometer) and below. The IKONIC 2000 polishing pads are specially designed for copper barrier, HKMG and buffing applications while IKONIC 3000 polishing pads are designed for bulk copper polishing.

IKONIC 2020H, first of the new polishing pads from the IKONIC 2000 series, maintains the removal rate while achieving defectivity levels lower than traditional pads. Other pads from the same series are designed for optimal texture, improved polishing consistency at lower costs of ownership and longer pad life time.  

The first polishing pad in the IKONIC 3000 series, IKONIC 3040M, delivers a definite reduction in scratch defects compared with other bulk copper pads. It further exhibits improved topography performance at lower cost of ownership. It is easily reachable in a range of configurations and options for multiple applications.

Other than the newly launched IKONIC 2020H and IKONIC 3040M polishing pads, additional pads from the respective series are currently under development. These additional pads are specially designed with unique set of chemistries and flexible design density for a wide range of customer specific requirements.

Few days ago, Dow Chemical came out with its fourth-quarter 2012 results. The company incurred a bigger loss in the quarter, hurt by a sizable restructuring charge and loss on goodwill impairment in its Formulated Systems business.

The company posted a loss of $716 million or 61 cents a share, significantly higher than a loss of $20 million or 2 cents a share recorded a year ago. Barring one-time items (including restructuring and goodwill impairment charges), it earned 33 cents a share in the quarter, up from 25 cents a year ago. That, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Revenues edged down 1% year over year to $13,917 million in the reported quarter, but beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,667 million. Weakness across end markets, especially in China, and weak pricing impacted the top line.

Dow is focused on driving earnings leveraging its feedstock strength and strong momentum in the agricultural sciences business. The company continues to pursue its cost reduction and efficiency programs while maximizing shareholder returns.

Dow Chemical retains a short-term (1 to 3 months) Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are Arkema S.A. (ARKAY - Free Report) , BASF SE (BASFY - Free Report) and Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD - Free Report) . While Arkema retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both BASF and Air Products hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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