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Profile: KLA-Tencor Corp (KLAC.O)

KLAC.O on Nasdaq

17 May 2019
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KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLA-Tencor), incorporated on July 9, 1975, is a supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries. The Company's products are also used in a number of other high technology industries, including the light emitting diode (LED) and data storage industries, as well as general materials research. Its products and services are used by bare wafer, integrated circuit (IC), lithography reticle (reticle or mask) and disk manufacturers around the world. These customers turn to the Company for inline wafer and IC defect monitoring, review and classification; reticle defect inspection and metrology; packaging and interconnect inspection; critical dimension (CD) metrology; pattern overlay metrology; film thickness, surface topography and composition measurements; measurement of in-chamber process conditions, wafer shape and stress metrology; computational lithography tools, and overall yield and fab-wide data management and analysis systems. The Company's inspection and metrology products and related offerings are categorized in various groups, including Chip Manufacturing, Wafer Manufacturing, Reticle Manufacturing, LED, Power Device and Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing, Data Storage Media/Head Manufacturing, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Manufacturing, and General Purpose/Lab Applications. It also provides refurbished KLA-Tencor tools as service and support for its products.

Chip Manufacturing

The Company's portfolio of inspection and metrology products, and related service, software and other offerings, helps chip manufacturers manage yield throughout the entire semiconductor fabrication process-from research and development to final volume production. These products and offerings are designed to provide solutions to help its customers to manage their development and production ramp cycles.

Front-End Defect Inspection

KLA-Tencor's front-end defect inspection tools cover a range of yield applications within the IC manufacturing environment, including research and development; incoming wafer qualification; reticle qualification, and tool, process and line monitoring. Patterned and unpatterned wafer inspectors find particles, pattern defects and electrical issues on the front surface, back surface and edge of the wafer, allowing engineers to detect and monitor critical yield excursions. The defect data generated by the Company's inspectors is compiled and reduced to relevant root-cause and yield-analysis information with its suite of data management tools. By implementing its front-end defect inspection and analysis systems, chipmakers are able to take corrective action. Its products include 3900 Series, 2930 Series, Puma 9980 Series and Surfscan SP5XP. The 3900 Series broadband plasma patterned wafer inspection systems incorporate a high resolution deep ultra-violet (DUV) wavelength range and optical inspection speed, supporting defect discovery and debug of advanced IC processes. The 2930 Series broadband plasma patterned wafer inspection systems are used to discover and monitor defects related to design or process issues, supporting advanced IC development and ramp. The Puma 9980 laser scanning patterned wafer inspector provides defect type capture for high throughput production ramp monitoring across a range of IC applications. The Surfscan SP5XP unpatterned wafer inspection system utilizes extended deep ultra-violet optical technologies early detection of process and tool excursions.

In the field of patterned wafer inspection, the Company offers its 3900 Series (for high resolution broadband plasma defect inspection); 2930 Series and 2920 Series (for broadband plasma defect inspection); Puma 9980 Series, Puma 9850 Series and Puma 9650 Series (for laser scanning defect inspection); 8 Series systems (for high productivity defect inspection), and CIRCL cluster tool (for defect inspection, review and metrology of all wafer surfaces-front side, edge and back side). In the field of unpatterned wafer and surface inspection, the Company offers the Surfscan SP5 Series and Surfscan SP3 Series (wafer defect inspection systems for process tool qualification and monitoring using blanket films and bare wafers), and the SURFmonitor (integrated on the Surfscan SP5 and Surfscan SP3 Series), which enables surface quality measurements and capture of low-contrast defects. For reticle inspection, the Company offers X5.2, X5.3 and Teron SL650 Series products, which are photomask inspection systems that allow IC fabs to qualify incoming reticles and inspect production reticles for contaminants and other process-related changes.

Defect Review

KLA-Tencor's defect review systems capture high resolution images of the defects detected by inspection tools. These images enable defect classification, helping chipmakers identify and resolve yield issues. KLA-Tencor's suite of defect inspectors, defect review and classification tools and data management systems form a solution for finding, identifying and tracking yield-critical defects and process issues. The Company has introduced the eDR7280, an electron-beam wafer defect review and classification system that utilizes imaging and automatic defect classification capability to identify detected defects and produce a representation of the detected defect population.

Advanced Packaging Process Control

KLA-Tencor offers standalone and cluster inspection and metrology systems for various applications in the field of advanced semiconductor packaging (at the middle and back-end of the semiconductor manufacturing process). Its CIRCL-AP all-surface inspection, metrology and review system supports advanced wafer-level packaging processes, such as 2.5D/3D IC integration using through silicon vias (TSVs), wafer-level chip scale packaging (WLCSP) and fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP). Used for packaging applications associated with LEDs, MEMS, image sensors and flip-chip packaging, its WI-22x0 Series products focus on front side wafer inspection and provide feedback on wafer surface quality, quality of the wafer dicing, or quality of wafer bumps, pads and pillars. Its component inspector products, the ICOS T830 and ICOS T640, inspect various semiconductor components that are handled in a tray, such as microprocessors or memory chips.


KLA-Tencor offers a range of systems and solutions that support the metrology market. The Archer Series of overlay metrology tools enables characterization of overlay error on lithography process layers for advanced patterning technologies. The SpectraShape family of optical CD and shape metrology systems characterizes and monitors the critical dimensions and three dimensional (3D) shapes of geometrically complex features incorporated by some IC manufacturers in their latest generation devices. The SpectraFilm and Aleris families of film metrology tools provide measurement of film thickness, refractive index, stress and composition for a range of film layers. The WaferSight PWG system measures patterned wafer geometry after a range of IC processes, helping identify and monitor variations that can affect patterning. K-T Analyzer offers advanced, run-time data analysis for a range of metrology system types.

In-Situ Process Monitoring

KLA-Tencor's SensArray SensorWafers are a portfolio of advanced wireless and wired temperature monitoring wafers that capture the effect of the process environment on production wafers. These SensorWafers provide insight into thermal uniformity and profile temperature under real production conditions.

Lithography Software

KLA-Tencor's PROLITH product line provides researchers at advanced IC manufacturers, lithography hardware suppliers, track companies and material providers with virtual lithography software to explore critical-feature designs, manufacturability and process-limited yield of proposed lithographic. Its ProDATA process window analysis software tool provides analysis of experimental data, including roughness, sidewall angle, top loss and pattern collapse.

Wafer Manufacturing

KLA-Tencor's wafer inspection portfolio for wafer manufacturing is anchored by the edge handling configuration of the Surfscan SP5 and the Surfscan SP5XP. The Surfscan SP5 Series and Surfscan SP3 Series are wafer inspection systems designed to enable development and production monitoring of polished wafers, epi wafers and engineered substrates. The SURFmonitor module (integrated on the Surfscan SP5 Series and Surfscan SP3 Series) characterizes wafer surface quality and captures low-contrast defects. The WaferSight Series offers bare wafer geometry and nanotopography metrology capabilities. FabVision offers fab-wide data management and automated yield analysis for wafer manufacturers.

Reticle Manufacturing

The Company's reticle inspection portfolio includes the Teron 600 Series for development and manufacturing of advanced optical and EUV masks, the TeraScan 500XR system for mask shop production of reticles for the 32 nanometer (nm) node and above, and X5.2, X5.3 and Teron SL650 Series products for reticle quality control capability for IC fabs. These products include the capability for mapping critical dimension uniformity across the reticle. In addition, it offers the LMS IPRO line of reticle metrology systems for measuring pattern placement error, including the LMS IPRO6, which measures on-device pattern features in addition to standard registration marks. If the pattern on the reticle is displaced from its intended location, overlay error can result on the wafer, which can lead to electrical continuity issues affecting yield, performance or reliability of the IC device.

LED, Power Device and Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing

KLA-Tencor offers a portfolio of systems, including Candela 8720, Klarity LED, WI-2280, 8 Series, MicroXAM Series optical profilers and P-Series and HRP-Series stylus profilers. The Candela 8720 substrate and epi wafer inspection system provides automated inspection and quality control of LED substrates, detecting defects that can impact device performance, yield and field reliability. Klarity LED is an automated defect data management and analysis system for LED yield enhancement. The WI-2280 system is designed specifically for defect inspection and two dimension (2D) metrology for LED applications. The 8 Series provides patterned wafer defect inspection capability for LED manufacturing. The MicroXAM Series optical profilers measure step height, texture and form for LED applications. The P-Series and HRP-Series stylus profilers are metrology systems for measurement of step heights and roughness for LED substrates and pattern wafer applications.

KLA-Tencor offers inspection and metrology systems to support power device manufacturing. The Candela CS920 inspection system integrates surface defect detection and Photoluminescence technology for inspection and defect classification of a range of defects on silicon carbide (SiC) substrates and epi layers. The MicroXAM Series optical profilers measure step height, texture and form for power device applications. The P-Series and HRP-Series stylus profilers measure step heights and roughness for SiC substrates and pattern wafer applications. The Company's primary products for compound semiconductor manufacturing include Candela CS20, the MicroXAM Series optical profilers and the P-Series and HRP-Series stylus profilers, used for the inspection and metrology of substrates, epi-layers and process films.

Data Storage Media/Head Manufacturing

The Company's process control and yield management solutions are designed to enable customers to understand and resolve complex manufacturing problems, which can manage time to market and product yields. In the front-end and back-end of thin-film head wafer manufacturing, the Company offers the same process control equipment that it serves to the semiconductor industry. In addition, it offers a range of test equipment and surface profilers with particular strength in photolithography. In substrate and media manufacturing, it offers metrology and defect inspection solutions with KLA-Tencor's optical surface analyzers.

K-T Certified

K-T Certified is the Company's refurbished tools program that delivers refurbished, tested and certified KLA-Tencor tools to its customers. In addition to pre-owned approximately 300 millimeter (mm) and sub-200 mm tools for the integrated circuit, reticle, substrate, MEMS and data storage markets, K-T Certified also offers system software and hardware performance upgrades to extend the capabilities of existing equipment. When a customer needs to move to the next manufacturing node, K-T Certified can help manage the value of the customer's existing assets through K-T Certified's repurchase, trade-in and redeployment services.

K-T Services

The Company's K-T Services program enables its customers in all business sectors to maintain the high performance and productivity of its products through a portfolio of services. Its services include service engineers, technical support teams and knowledge management systems, and parts network to ensure availability of parts across the world.

The Company competes with Applied Materials, Inc., ASML Holding N.V., Hermes Microvision, Inc., Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Nanometrics, Inc. and Rudolph Technologies, Inc.

Company Address

KLA-Tencor Corp

1 Technology Dr
MILPITAS   CA   95035-7916
P: +1408.8756000
F: +1408.8754144

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