An expendable target of sputter coating material is provided having secured thereto a storage medium having recorded thereon, in machine readable indicia, information relating to a characteristic of the target. The information preferably includes target identifying information and may also include information relating to the target composition, the history of the use of the target, and other information usable by the apparatus to automatically set machine parameters or to record process information. Information, particularly of the use of the target, may be updated and written to a medium on the target or target assembly, or to a machine readable medium which may be affixed to the target assembly when the target is removed. The apparatus preferably includes a read head in the sputtering chamber and may also include a write head for writing information to the target assembly. A memory and microprocessor cooperate with the machine control to utilize the information read from the target in the control of the sputtering apparatus.
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An application with the status "Published" (which means it is pending) may be recently abandoned, but not yet updated to reflect its abandoned status. However, an application filed less than one year ago is unlikely to be abandoned.
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