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Sensing big opportunities in a booming market, semiconductor equipment manufacturer Lam Research Corp. is developing technology it hopes will light up the burgeoning flat panel display industry.
The Fremont-based company is spending $13 million to develop and begin marketing equipment its executives say uses a superior method to etch the microscopically thin lines that are engraved on screens for portable computers, high-definition TVs, and a growing number of emerging consumer electronic products.
Lam is currently building prototypes of the "dry plasma etch" equipment and plans to have working models on the market by 1996.
By 1998, Lam expects to have a 15 …