CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIES: SEMICONDUCTOR EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS

Created: 6/24/1980

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'I U"icroti rcuit Fabrication; Um> Manufacturing Equipment and JJjJ

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UmI Mr. Johnt

Um] Chairman Technical Workingi Institute tor Defense Analyses

Adversary capabilities background

essmont of USSR and East European Um) capabilities in mlcrocircult

fabrication equipment andmportance of Western equipment and [JJJ materials to Soviet production ofdvanced microcircuit devicoo. Uml

APWOVAL

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Hon:druii the* UawttC fa)Umi

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SEpr^ET

FOREIGN ASSESSMENT CENTER

INTELLIGEl-VCB.

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MEMORANDUM FOR*;'j John Boidock

jij Chairman echnical Workingnstitute for Defenv^ Analyses

Critical Technologies: Semiconductor

'l.^M'trW" Equipment and Materials

Attachediscussion of the capabilities of the USSR and East European countries to manufacture semiconductor production equipment and materials. The attachment follows the format of your request. !

I call your attention to the classification and. special controls on the attachment.

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As Stated Above

NOT DEEMED NECESSARY

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Fabrication; Manufacturing ^Equipment and Matorlala

t* elpast five years the USSR has nadcin production and state-of-the-art ofhas been {fastest in tho areas of design andin the development of equipment for manufacturingand in the installation of production capacity ajor extent Soviet progress was madethe successful acquisition of impressive amounts ofcovering most of the material inputs, and ofand test equipment ,for nearly every The; Soviets remain significantly dependent uponfor manufacturing technology, and aro likely towell into, f

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Eastern Europe only East Germany appears toa major effort to develop production equipment for Developments of major significance includeand lithography equipment and electron beam technology

for thin film'deposition. In thvso areas. East Germany is more advanced than the USSH. East Germany has indicated plansajor expansion of silicon production capacity, possibly to servo Soviet needs since recent evidence indicates that the Soviets have been pressuring East Germany toarger role in supporting the Soviet semiconductor)

progress in microcircuit technology inand Eastern Ejropo is unbalanced. Many gaps persistfull range of microcircuit manufacturing materials andwhich are not filled by the USSR or any other CEMAgaps car. be axpectel to soon increase tho need forand equipment as the USSR is about to enter largeof LSI devices.I I

4. It follows that an effective embargo on microcircuit fabrication equipment ond materials to the USSR and Eastern Europe wruldowerful irooact by slowing Soviet progress in semiconductor technology.

Wafer Preparation

he USSR haa the basic know-how to perfor.fi all the major processing steps of wafer preparation from crystal growth through inspection. Most of the equipment for these processes is believed 1

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to bo Western-made. Tho Soviets also make equipment for these

purposes, but; of generally lesser capacity and

f the three basic substrate materialsapphire, and galliumUSSR has only silicon in full production. Gallium compounds arc produced in small quantities. Sapphiro is in an advanced development stage

Silicon

The USSR currently producesons per year of pblysiiicon (we assume that Soviet polysilicon is produced fromitrichlorosilane or cilane as is commonly done ir thc west). This quantity apparently is insufficient to meet domostic requirements as the USSR purchases anetric tons of polysilicon per year from Western suppliers.

metric tone-of

Soviot officials have indicated that large foreign purchases of polysilicon will be required through at

Monoslllcon[

Tho Soviete produce monocrystallino silicon based on both Czochralski and Float-zone techniques, using mostly Woatern-marJo furnaceo. Soviet-mado furnaces are obsolete, and there does not appear totrong effort to develop higher capacity, or mora automated versions. Tho Soviots have under development ribbon silicon,quare ingot growth process for rricroclrcuit grade substrates.

he Soviets havearge number of furnacest shoutzochralski models, and at leastloat-zone models based on information currently available.

In addition, the USSR continues to purchase Increasinglyof single crystal silicon ingot and wafers; inof 'silicon ingot oxcoededetric tons, andprobablyillion units. Most ofwafers areiameter sizes. It seems

likely that at least half of Soviet annual output of micro-circuits is. based on imported silicon.

polysilicon per year, oreal was made.

In UieUs the USSR was seeking tournkey ant in the West with an annual capacityetric tons of

is inot knownupplier was found,

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ia available on Soviet techniques for neanuring sinc;lt< crystal silicon parameters (or orientation) or on Soviet purchases of Western equipment to perform these measurements.! The Soviets requested price quotesWestern firm Inay crystallography equipment, iibut it is notj'known whether any actiial sales wore made. In vtha ingot^slicinghe Soviets Jaro known to havehasod in recent:years uplicers of various typos, andnumbersLofireplacement saws. "

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For<lapping and polishing, tho Soviets produceand purchase some from Western firms. KnownInclude eight lapping machinesor;!mechanical polishing of wafers. In addition,have'purchasedystems for cleaning of wafersand polishecently, the "oviets began tochemicalwitch apprently that hasby tho purchase of Western equipment.i J

three countries in Eastern Europe produce silicon

in significant quantities: East Germany, Poland and Czecholsovakia. Fast Germany hopes to raise production capacity from the current level of aboutetric tons of polysilicor per year toonsonsnd toet exporter in tho process. .Tho East Germans recently claimed that they would accept ordersm diameter wafers0 with upnits|available for export.

nowetric tens ofper year and plans to raise production toonsnear future. Polandapacity ofonsolysilicon production plant acquiredGermany. Total production of polysilicon in Easternbest does not oxcoedons per year. As with thoEuropean1 production is largely banod on Westernall stages of wafer preparation.'

Epitaxy ,

14. Soviet bipolar intograted circuit (IC) production and recent samples of Soviet ECL dovlcoaatterned buriod layer prior to opi growth demonstrate tho Soviets'good understanding and control of epl processes. However, very little is known about Soviet cpi process equipment of recent vintage. In tho, Soviet epi equipment was described

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vory poor and was frequently down for repairs. Ono model, the "Volga" was considered unsafe for operators andknown on occasion to catch fire. he Sovietsechnical brochuroual reactor'system, tho UNES-2PK-A, used for both liquid and gaseous dopant sources. Safoty wan an important consideration in design,and it' includes special safety featuros not discussed for earlier models. Tho availability of th-s now known.

S;" There has been; very little evidence of Soviet purchases of Western epi 'equipment. 1/ Most of the equipment identified have been MBE si-stems andeactors. In only one case, inas'a known purchaseilicon epi system.

16. In tha USSR, tho IC production process Is divided among different} plant! cites. One or more plants specialize in the process from ingot slice through epi. This division of laboruller utilization of limited amounts of available equipment, and allows each facility to concentratearrow part of the totol production process. Although this approach has worked for ICs up to MSI complexity, it is not very workable with LSI parts and will require considerable expansion of existing epi capacity as the! product-mix shifts increasingly to more advanced microcircuits.

17. Other trends which will probably result in increased Soviet need for additional and more advanced epi systems are the use of epi layers for MOS devices and tho recent Soviet development of bothechnologies. Finally, as tho Soviets switch increasingly to patterned buried layor diffusion prior! to epi, the separation of the epi process from subsequent process steps at difforent physical locations will become increasingly more difficult because of tighter design rules and process control requirements. This also willeed forepi equipment at individual facilities.

his may be explained, in part, by substantial Soviet purchase of silicon wafers with an epi layer. However, this is not fully oonfirmable

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for East Germany,'none of tha Enotera known'to'export epi"systems. Most arobuild custom in-housa systems, or purchase foreign i

1ast Germany developed its first epi system, and0 has olallmod availability of. epi systems for export. !ln theestom firm roviewod East German semiconductor production equipment for possible sale in the West and found that none cf the equipment would be marketable1 InlthejWost. It ll not known if tho liBt of equio-mont included epijaystems, although at least two modols, thcnd EAore available at the timo. oro advanced East German epi aystom designated the2 isvailable. This model appears very similar to thc Soviet UNES-2PX-A, although technical data.are insufficientompleteeither model is described asadiant heated, rotating barrel reactor. |

Soviotsod advanced epi reactor aystccs

for future advances in both bipolar and MOS technology. Current Soviet and East German epi roactors, which are adequate for conventional epi growth of nllicon on silicon substrates, will notven if neweroviet uid East Germany equipment are sufficiently advanced to support futurethatig question mark--it is doubtful that enough epi raac*ors can bo produced to supply total Soviet and East Gorman needs. The possibility in strong that the USSR will attempt to purchase advanced epivertly from the west. jj

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i j Oxidation

oxidation processes (atmosnhoro upPascals) are bolieved to bo commonfabrication. The Soviets uro their own (rosistivoly-heatcd) as well as foreign furnaces Little is known about Soviet use of high-pressuro

ixidation system and may purchase throoto systams. tinco tho importarico of high prossuro oxidation is only now lecoming widaly known and;understood at the industrial level /ithin the USSR, it' is likely that efforts to acquire equipment

ascals) proceBsos, or about the availability of domestically' mado equipment forprocesses. uch processes arc not in use. It waa recently learned that the Soviets havepricei and delivery informationestern high pressure oxidation systom ,and may purchase throe coivlcto systems s. b)

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for theso processes will increase over the next several years.

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is. n- evidence Lhat any of the Eastcri.have developed or have purchased

! Maskmaking . ,

equipment ahd technology are majorSoviet microelectronics technology. To data, Sovietcircuit complexity has been dcrpandc.it, crucially, on SovietWestern masks-taking equipment. For example, the firstdevices.were produced only after the SovietsWcstorn photorepeatorn. The Soviets haveto copy Western mnskmoking equipment, but no copysuccessfully duplicated tho full performance capabilities

of the Western ,model.i

There are indications that tlie Soviets may have assigned East Germany major responsibility for development and production of advanced maskmaking equipment, probably because East Germany, is making foster progress in this area than tho USSR.

Germany claims to have developed two typoswhich represent advanced state-of-the-art inwafer stopper,ndeom mas"', generator. generator, designated thebuilt by Zeissa variable; shaped beam system for generating maBkline widths downm at accuracy levelsthns to bo modified for direct Thos intended for usoewphotorepeater, the ITER. 2/ The UER can bethree lenses with reduction ratiosrdie size is given as0 mm, andm. Minimum featuro size claimed (using

the lilSun with reproducible accuracy1 pm.

seems little reason to doubt that Eastdevelopedystem. In this area, as in thedata processing computers. East Germany may havetachnology from West German engineers. Wohowever, thot thoctually nooto thefor it, or if it operates reliably. Further,typicallyroduct aftor an initialio built'jalse impressionailability. And

ovored undor lithogriphy. See p. 8 below.

ho East Germans claim to haw introduced this model

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leg-tinelbotwoon prototype and factory production in advanced technology ofton ia measured in years. In ohort. East German claims of the development of ansystem shouldei takonj as prima facie evidonceroductionjlndeod, recentlymp los of East German BicrocircuitsY rcorasentlhg current Eaat German stato-of-thc-art, areoval of complexity far below what would be expected from equipment with the capabilities claimed by Eaat Germany. Q

he USSR and other East European communist countries continue to deck Western-made maskmaklng equipment. Sincehe USSR has (acquired such equipment in significant quantities as shown in the tabulation below. Actual deliveries could bo larger than shownjsince our information is rot complete.

Quantity

Pattern compiler

generator

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Plotter

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printer

.', - More recently, the Soviets have shown intense interest in acquiringeam systems; none are known to have been[acquired. rowing number of suppliers, however, increases the]chances that tho Sovietsoam system, p

The'Soviets hove acquired maskmaking equipment and materials alio, including mask comparators, master reticle instruments and mask blanks. Tho latter have boon purchased in largooringle purchase wasltra flat, highask blanks forafers.

29. Lithography consitutee ono of the weakest aspects of Soviet microcircuit technology. Despite claims to the contrary, Soviet mask-aligners are not,comparable with Western counterparts.

/noun waver stepper

'widths

The' Jene plant also claims to havedesignated the MPUR) which provides minimum line widthstover image field sizos frommmOmm* it| is said' to[ be capable of handling wafors up to lOOnua diamoter.f-

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1 'Available evidence casts doubt on tho East Carman claims. For example,'samples of. East German MOS ICs acquired9 itivealed. minimum line widthsm and generally lojced tho tight geometries that are well within tho capabilities of tho lithography equipment described above. Moreover, the East Germans wore trying to acquire an older model Wostom aligner as recently as8 in order to copy its design.

oviet MOS ICs made8 ron lino widths. It is bo1loved that theso devices weio fabricated using Western oqulpment for the koy fabrication processes. Tho USSR hastrong preference for Western mask aligners. he USSR has purchased more thanestern mask aligners--including contact, proximity,and projectioncontinues to seek new Western mode Is. Tho Soviets also are trying to acquire wafor steppers. i|

.addition to mask aligners, the USSR hasjin large quantities. Soviet-madeof low quality. Westorn photoresistseryin Soviet microcircuit]

Etching

USSR lags behind tho West in precisionand equipment. nd continuing intothe[USSR has purchased etching equipment valuodmillions of dollarsariety of applicationsmasks, printed circuit boards, and microclrcuits. have purchased at|least IS complete; Those purchases havoullphotoresist, water, and etch equipment including;ovons,. water plumbing andond|automatic transporters. More recontly, thepurchased advanced dry etchetchers milling equipment. It is believed that most Soviotare. fabricated on Western equipment. Ij

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the USSR published sketchv informationlasma etcher of 'their own design, which io not believed to bo inirtually all of plasma etchers that tho Soviets havejjaoquirod havo boon purchased since9 -

Nono of the East European countries aro known to have dcvoloped any dry etch equipment for microcircuit fabrication, or any etching equipmentdvanced circuits. East Germany produces wet etch equipment for printed circuit board production,jand Bulgaria has recently announced new n printed circuit board fabricotion equipment.

ProbablyUSSR and Eaot Eurcpnnn countries will continue to seek to purchose procision etching equipment from Western suppliers! Such purchases will assume increasing importance as the; Communist countries attempt to bring micro-circuit designs down tom lovol.

||! | Diffusion/Ion Implontation

The USSR produces both diffusion furnaces and ion implnnters for semiconductor fabrication. Recent model diffusion furnaces are multitube systoms with somo form of computor control.! In addition, the Soviets have dcvoloped at least one model ion iraplantor for industry use. tn

Although Soviet diffusion furnaces havo improved significantly over the past five years, with stress on large diameter tubes, longer work zonos, and better control of

! temperature in the work zone, thoy aro less advanced than Wostem models. In particular, WoBtorn modolsigh level of computer control of individual furnace tubes

; with monitoring of koy performance parameters and built-in diagnosticomputer-controlled diffusion furnaces are relatively now in tho USSR and probably aro not widely available-

ion implanters were availablo in tho, but these were laboratory modelsundeeirable for aemtconductor fabrication, Bythe first industrial models were delivered to a

few semiconductor plants. According

ion-implanters had two major problems as oifrom the forcpump and iron release

known.

during implantation resulting from poor design of tho Tho current status of ion-implanting equipment is not

L: Mexten.iw rewarch into laserannealing appiications'ior semiconductor fabrication, ^though^basichere is no evidence ofimilarly, thesisverynformation or. Soviet development. s-^tronnnealing ir'

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Wo8torn diffusion furnaces andlPnont ln aubstantial quantititos. S73 the Soviets have purchased upiffusion furnaces ana several ion ^mplanters. Thero are unconfirmed reports that significant numborSrbC ion Iroplantern are being sold to tho

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USSRowj>,

hov^Merl seencuioj^un semiconoUetor-plonts.

42, Bast Germany is the main producer of furnaces in Eastern Europe,'but little is known of the technical capabilities of German furnaces. ow ore in use in Eastorn Europe, moat in usa appear to bo;Soviet-made. Fast European countries olso havo purchasod Western furnaces. Ion implantoro ore not known to bo produced;in Eastern Europe.

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I Film Deposition

The USSR has been using thin film deposition tcchniquos for many years,j; starting with thin film hybrid circuits in tho.he USSR uses two basic depositionevaporation and sputtering. Tho Soviets are lens advanced In chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and little is known about Soviet equipment for CVD, or;tho more recent LPCVD. In Eastern Europe, only East Germany has demonstrated advanced technology in thin film deposition)technology.

44. Soviet-made equipment for thin film deposition is thought to be less advanced than Wostern deposition technology. However, receritJjinformation on Soviet equipment is notn the, poor Soviet vacuum pumps arc known to haveonsiderable number of problems ia hybrid circuit production facilities. Evaporators with rated pressuresorr could not be used5 Torr, and

I contaminotion duo to! back flow of oilonstant problem.

I It is not known if new models of evaporators and sputtering equipment have overcome all of the deflciences of earlier

models.

45. The USsklhaspurchased Western evaporation and sputtering equipraent for many years even when improved Soviet models were said to be available. 'There have been reports that large)quantities' of. evaporators and sputtering systems

have been sold throughout Eastern Europe and the USSRI

We can confirmfew irems

quipment which date back, to the

are in use;in the USSR.

Concerning CVO equipment, only one Western model, is known to have been purchased by the USSR. Probably most Soviet CVD work is done in modified diffusion furnaces. Soviet purchases of|!ultrafino graphite forms, said to be, ideally suited for silicon wafer processing, may have boon intendod forfurnacefor CVD. In the next fow years the Soviets may step up efforts tc acquire CVD and LPCVD equipment as!Soviet production shifts increasingly to MOS and more advanced bipolar technologies. It is believed that the USSR is now engaged in development of CVD technological processes, but tho application of those processes to large scalo Industrial production is not imminent.

Test, process control, and analytical instrumentation equipment forimicrocircuit fabrication represent critical weaknesses in Soviet and Eastern European technology. Tho USSR, East'Ccrmany, Hungary, Poland,and Czechoslovakia claim 'progress in developing advanced microcircuit test equipment, but thair claims are highly suspect. Automatic test(atej for microcircuit production is high on the shopping lists of all{CEMA countries, and most of the microcircuit ATE in use is of:Western manufacture.

he USSR has purchased at leastTE systems capable of testing LSI dovices. Purchasos have included probe testers and multiple test stations providing high volume test capacity. As microcircuit technology advances, the USSR will probably need more advanced Western ATE to achieve volume production. I

Soviet and East European capabilities in process control and analytical instrumentation art poorlyajor problem has been the consistent failure of CEMA industries to got advanced instruments out of thc laboratory and into production. It seems that many advanced types of

instruments aro developed at scientific facilities, but fow are, ever manufactured for industrial uses. esult, users are'forced to build their own instruments, or rely on Western models. Moreover, in-house models vary from plant to plant in levels of accuracy. Repeated Soviot efforts to correct this.situation have been unavailing, loading to purchases from Western suppliers.

50. Little is known about Soviet capabilities for special categories of packageleak,vibration,itemperature cycling, wire-bonday die attach and radiation sources. Fragmentary information suggests tnat Soviets continue to use very primitive methods for these types of tests. It is apparent from analysis of many Soviet Circuits over the years that very fow package tests ore le^formedSoviet devices.

51. SSR is known to havo purchased Western leak testers, centrifuges,[vibration tostay die attach equipment,!but quantities are unknown. Most of theselipmerits are especially important to highi reliability ptirts intended for military/space applications.

52. All categories of test equipment are likely toerious deficiency in Soviet ond East European microcircuitjiproduction in. Western equipment can be expected to become increasingly important to the USSR as microcircuits,become more complex.

. ^Assembly

53. Automated assembly of microcircuits is notin tho USSR and Eastern Europe as in thethe USSR ono East Germany advertise equipmentstages of Imicro-circuit assembly, none of it is equalmodels. ( .

i '- Recent samples of SovietAMs, although carefully selected to impress Western experts, reveal some specific weaknesses:in assembly technology. In addition to major problems related tojthe use of outdated packages and poorly plated'leadne assembly weakness was in the die attach.' The SovietAMonventional Au-Si preform method, :whichery porous die attach with aboutercentowever, in die scribing, wire bonding, and !other assembly areas, both thend 1GK RAMs

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wero rated as. Very" good. Other recent samples oficrocircuits have;tended to show overall.improvement in most stagesssembly. Much of'this improvement in believed to be the direct-,result of Soviet acquisitions of Western equipment.';

55. The USSR has acquired significant quantities of Western assembly equipment since the,omplete assembly line for microcircuit devices, believed to have been installed in than addition, tho Soviets have acquired substantial numbers of dicing machines, die bonders, wire bonders/and hermetic sealing units These purchases have included both laser and saw scribers, automatic and manual dieull range of wire bonders from; manual to automaticew beam load benders.

USSR is currently having great difficultya good hermetic seal on ceiamic packages. packaging problems are only now becoming evidentUSSR moves closer to full scale LSI production.,are expected to increase as thv USSR shifts moreproduct mix to LSI. Microcircuit packaging, innot appear to have been given sufficient emphasis in Relatively easy access to Western assemblyhave caused the Soviets to neglect this area of Unless the USSR continues to enjoy this easy accessassembly technology, serious bottlenecks inand,:VLSI production may develop over the next soveral

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Facilities

plant facilities specially designedfabrication have only recently become commomUSSR. Until the early to, most productionold industrial plants converted into Many of these converted facilities provedfor 'Semiconductor fabrication, because ofenvironmental controls and their locations nearexcessive air and water pollution. As recently asSoviet plant3 had offective water purificationclean areas of0 or better were rare. Aof microcircuit production facilities9 sixteen modern plants were at or near completion

Ten of theso facilities wore completed5 and probably conform much more closely to Western standards for micro-circuit fabrication facilities.

The,USSR is known to have obtained from Western sources blueprints for organization of production and layout of equipment for microcircuit fabrication facilities. There is insufficient information about theoo transactions to judge how efficiently production flow and equipment in current Soviet microcircuit facilities is organized, j" "j

Eastern Europe shared many of the early Soviet probloms in semiconductor fabrication facilities. However, as with the USSR, most of the Eastern European countries now have newer facilities better suited to production of microclrcuits. Since several of these countries have received assistance from Western firms many prior deficiencies hove probably been corrected.

60. Tho USSR and Eastern European countries oro now probably fully aware of the importance of strict adherance to closely controlled environmental conditions in microcircuit fabrication facilities. However, there is insufficientto conclude that all plants maintain their facilities as roquired for high quality, high yield microcircuit production. Indeed, available information on yiold rotes for certoin types of microclrcuits suggests that very fow plants do so. It is possible thotj the situation is better In plants where Western firms hove provided complete facilities and training for particular microclrcuits or processes, p |

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