KLA-Tencor to Acquire Finle Technologies, Developer of Industry-Standard Lithography Modeling And Analysis Software
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Acquisition will expand PMC-Net and position KLA-Tencor to enter the lithography simulation software market

San Jose, CA, Febuary 1, 2000 - KLA-Tencor Corp. (Nasdaq: KLAC) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire FINLE Technologies, Inc. The FINLE acquisition, when completed, will expand KLA-Tencor's recently introduced PMC-NetTM yield information network, adding significant new analysis and modeling capabilities that will enhance its process module control solution for lithography. FINLE's industry-standard lithography modeling and data analysis software enables semiconductor manufacturers to speed development of advanced lithography processes required to develop and produce integrated circuits (ICs) with 0.13-micron and smaller geometries.

"The 0.13-micron node is a critical inflection point for the industry," said Gary Dickerson, KLA-Tencor's chief operating officer. "Since these design rules are well below the wavelength of light used for imaging, the ability to model and control the lithography process becomes as mission-critical as the imaging technology used."

As part of KLA-Tencor's PMC-Net network, FINLE's lithography modeling and analysis software-together with KLA-Tencor's lithography inspection and measurement expertise-will provide customers with a closer connection between in-line parametric data, lithography process modeling and device performance. "As a result, our customers will be able to speed lithography technology transitions and achieve better parametric control over their lithography process modules. This, in turn, will help reduce their time to market, maximize their yields and increase lithography capital utilization," added Dickerson.

Representing the industry's first fully integrated yield software infrastructure, PMC-Net automates the yield management and process control functions for advanced IC manufacturing. In addition, it optimizes the effectiveness of KLA-Tencor's process module control (PMCTM) solutions, which utilize integrated defect reduction and process parametric control systems to help fabs accelerate the implementation of critical manufacturing technology transitions such as device shrinks, copper interconnects or low-k dielectrics.

"For 10 years, FINLE has provided the semiconductor industry with lithography modeling software that helped manufacturers quickly and accurately develop and optimize their lithography processes," commented Chris Mack, FINLE's president and chief technology officer. "Combining our modeling and analysis software with KLA-Tencor's defect reduction tools, parametric control systems and yield software will enable KLA-Tencor to deliver a comprehensive lithography control solution that encompasses lithography development, stepper characterization and monitoring, and production control."

FINLE's PROLITH Toolkit of simulation software helps semiconductor manufacturers reduce lithography development time and costs by reducing the number of experimental wafer runs required to validate a new process. In addition, when researching lithography module yield issues, it can be used to narrow the scope of the investigation and determine the criticality of the process parameters to be investigated. PROLITH software can also speed new process development by simulating the performance of new or unavailable materials or equipment.

"Our customers are already experiencing the benefits of the synergy between KLA-Tencor's tools and FINLE's simulation and analysis software," said Scott Ashkenaz, KLA-Tencor's vice president for litho module solutions. "Combining the capabilities of KLA-Tencor's 8100XP CD SEM with FINLE's ProDATA software has resulted in KLARITY CD, a lithography data analysis solution that is an integral part of our PMC-Net solution. KLARITY CD standardizes and automates experimental lithography data analysis, enabling CD process window optimization, stepper and scanner lens qualification, new reticle introduction and resist evaluation, thereby helping customers speed the development of new lithography processes and saving process engineers many hours of tedious analysis."

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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