Hitachi High Technologies America Settles into New Hacienda Quarters

Division Specializes in Creating and Supporting Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment

The employees of Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. (HTA) did not have to make much of a change to their commuting patterns when they moved into their new 25,000-square-foot office at 5960 Inglewood Drive last month. They had been located just a few blocks north on the other side of Hopyard Road before the decision was made to base the local operation in Hacienda.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., HTA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Tokyo, Japan. The Hacienda office houses roughly 50 employees who provide support for HTA general operations including marketing, sales, service, legal, and corporate administration. It is also the home base of their corporate president.

The company's core capability in semiconductor manufacturing equipment makes it a leading player in the industry. For example, this past April Intel Corp. honored HTA with its prestigious Supplier Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI) award in recognition of its "outstanding commitment to quality performance excellence" for the seventh consecutive year.

"Hitachi has a long history in instrumentation development and manufacturing," reports Director of Marketing Chad Ostrander. "Most of our business is selling and supporting innovative etching and metrology equipment for the semiconductor manufacturing process." Etching is the process that reveals features within the silicon wafer for the formation of integrated circuits. Metrology exists throughout the fabrication steps, part of the inspection and testing that measures the processed features to make sure the wafer has been built as intended.

Although now a global business, a large portion of semiconductor research and manufacturing still occurs in the United States, Ostrander relates. Silicon Valley continues as a hotbed of semiconductor R&D, but Texas and Oregon are two states in particular known for a concentration of fabs.

HTA also sells and services a broad range of technology-based products, such as electron microscopes, analytical instrumentation and clinical analyzers, electronic materials and devices, hard disk manufacturing systems, and consumer electronic products. Its customers come from "any industry that is concerned with materials science or needs to research the integrity of its manufacturing processes, from industrial materials such as paint, dry wall, and automotive applications to optical coatings and electronics," Ostrander notes.

The Pleasanton presence is only part of the company's footprint in the Bay Area. HTA also has small satellite facilities in Santa Clara, San Jose, and Foster City. Additionally, it has sales offices in Hillsboro, Oregon, near Portland; Gaithersberg, Md.; Lexington, Ky.; Roslyn Heights, N.Y.; and in Newport Beach. "We like to locate where our customers are," Ostrander observes. The offices tend to specialize in the product line most pertinent to the local market. For example, in Silicon Valley the focus is on advanced materials and hard disk manufacturing, while in Maryland, with its proximity to government-related research, the focus is on electron microscopes.

HTA was formed in 2002 as a result of the combination of three related Hitachi Group Companies: the Nissei Sangyo America, Ltd. subsidiary of Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation of Tokyo Japan; the Semiconductor Equipment Group of Hitachi America, Ltd.; and the Hitachi Instruments, Inc. subsidiary of Hitachi America.

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