KLA-Tencor Launches First Of Its Kind Customer Support Program
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New iPartner™ program cuts service costs and boosts tool uptime

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 24, 2002-KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ: KLAC) today broke new ground in capital equipment service and support with the introduction of its new iPartner™ portfolio of customer support offerings. iPartner is designed to address the needs of semiconductor fabs to remain competitive by reducing the service costs associated with their KLA-Tencor tools, while at the same time increasing tool uptime. Based on the company's field-proven iSupport technology, the iPartner program creates a unique partnership between the customer and KLA-Tencor's on-site and online resources allowing customers to tailor their support level to match their unique manufacturing requirements.

A number of customers partnered with KLA-Tencor in the development of the iPartner program, and have already received the benefits of reduced service costs and increased uptime. "Atmel has seen cost savings and improvement in the performance of KLA-Tencor's 2139 patterned wafer inspection and SP1 unpatterned wafer inspection tools as a result of this new level of diagnostics support," said Donn Turner, equipment operations manager for Atmel's Fab 8 in Irving, Texas. "KLA-Tencor's new approach to customer support has helped us to improve mean time to repair (MTTR) and ownership costs, boosting overall tool effectiveness. Suppliers that offer robust remote diagnostics solutions, such as KLA-Tencor, are raising the bar for other equipment vendors."

"The iPartner program is a response to our customers' needs for reduced service costs. We are the first company in the semiconductor industry to offer 7x24 online support at no additional cost," stated Mike Allison, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Global Support Services. "Coupled with on-site support, the iPartner program provides functionality to significantly enhance the effectiveness of the customer's own support staff in resolving tool issues. As a result, MTTR can be reduced, positively impacting tool uptime and ultimately fab profitability, all while helping to reduce overall service costs."

The iPartner program takes into account the customer's evolving manufacturing requirements. For example, a 300-mm fab with highly complex inspection and metrology tools, as well as critical applications, requires a high level of support to ensure a timely return on investment. On the other hand, for a 200-mm fab-where the technology is more mature, the tool sets less complex, and the applications less critical-the customer may opt for a support package that lowers service cost. The iPartner program has support offerings specifically tailored for each of the above cases, all with opportunities to reduce costs. In addition, the program is designed to factor in the change in service and support requirements that occur as process and product cycles mature.

Other support programs offered to the semiconductor industry today invariably focus on assigning sizeable service and support teams to the customer site. Such an approach is both costly and inefficient, since it requires the customer to pay for a level of support that is not constantly required. In contrast, the iPartner program uses a highly efficient support model that leverages a combination of online and on-site resources. With 7x24 online support, customers work with KLA-Tencor online engineers to resolve common issues, reducing the need for on-site dispatch, thereby reducing costs to the customer and increasing tool uptime. Even when an on-site visit is needed for complex issues, KLA-Tencor online engineers diagnose the problem and then identify and order the necessary parts so that the local customer support engineer arrives on-site with the parts in hand to quickly resolve the problem. This approach reduces MTTR, further cutting service costs and increasing tool uptime.

The iPartner program incorporates the latest in online security measures. KLA-Tencor worked closely with one of the industry's leading security experts to develop multiple levels of security for its iSupport technology, which powers the iPartner program's online features. Numerous safeguards-including hardware firewalls, proxy servers, encryption servers to browsers, dial-back ISDNs, challenge handshake authentication protocols (CHAP), a physically secure on-site support center, user authentication, token cards and certificate servers-have been incorporated to protect both customer and KLA-Tencor assets. In addition, the customer is in total control of secure information at all times.

iPartner is based on the company's field-proven e-diagnostics technology, iSupport. Over the past four years, KLA-Tencor has made a significant investment in e-diagnostics technology, security and on-tool diagnostic capability, and was the first to introduce this technology to the semiconductor industry. Through partnerships with leading customers, KLA-Tencor has gained an in-depth understanding of the best ways to leverage e-diagnostics to reduce costs and improve tool uptime. The program is currently supporting KLA-Tencor tools in more than 20 fabs around the globe.

About KLA-Tencor: KLA-Tencor is the world leader in yield management and process control solutions for semiconductor manufacturing and related industries. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., the company has sales and service offices around the world. An S&P 500 company, KLA-Tencor is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol KLAC.

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