Kla Corporation  (KLAC)
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What are Kla's Business Segments?

We operate in one operating segment for the design, manufacture and marketing of process control and yield management systems for the semiconductor and related microelectronics industry. We market and sell our hardware—consisting of patterned and unpatterned wafer inspection, optical overlay metrology, e-beam review, reticle and photomask inspection, spectroscopic- and e-beam-based CD metrology, and film and surface measurement tools—as well as our advanced yield analysis and defect classification software to provide fab-wide yield management solutions that are optimized for the manufacturing process cells used in IC production, including lithography, etch, deposition and chemical mechanical planarization (“CMP”). Our offerings can be broadly categorized into four groups: Defect Inspection, Metrology, Customer Service and Support, Yield Management Software Solutions and Data Storage. In addition we provide to our customers manufacturing with older technologies, refurbished KLA-Tencor certified tools along with warranty and support.

Defect Inspection

Our defect inspection tools are used to detect, count, classify and characterize particles, pattern defects, surface anomalies and electrical failures both inline at various manufacturing process stages and offline during engineering analysis.  Our portfolio includes the tools necessary for our customers to detect, correlate and analyze physical and electrical defects, as well as determine and correct their cause.

High-Resolution Imaging Inspection

Our 2xxx wafer inspection series, first introduced in 1992, set the standard for high-sensitivity patterned wafer inspection through a unique combination of high-speed image processing, an ultra-broadband brightfield illumination source and our Segmented Auto Threshold technology. Earlier this year, we introduced our latest-generation high-resolution imaging inspection system, the 2365, which incorporates multiple-bandwidth brightfield illumination and other enhancements to extend the performance of the 2xxx series to the 90-nm node and below.

High-Speed Laser Scattering Inspection

Our advanced inspection technology (“AIT”) wafer inspection family is designed to provide fast and accurate feedback on process tool performance, as well as advanced line monitoring for films, CMP, and non-critical etch and photo modules.  The AIT series uses double-darkfield technology, which is a low-angle illumination technique particularly effective for detecting defects on planar surfaces such as post-CMP wafers. First introduced in 1995, the AIT platform has been continually enhanced over the years with increasing levels of sensitivity and throughput to address the inspection needs for sub-100-nm design rules.

Earlier this fiscal year, we unveiled the AITFusion XUV, our latest-generation double-darkfield ultraviolet (“UV”) optical inspection tool designed to meet the stringent demands associated with 65-nm device geometries and their associated materials. The tool is especially effective in inspecting CMP layers, copper/low-k interconnects, and multi-layer film stacks.

Electrical Line Monitoring

For advanced IC manufacturing, e-beam inspection is essential—not only during IC development, where the highest levels of sensitivity are needed to root out electrical defects, but also in production, where dedicated high-speed e-beam inspection systems are required at key process steps. Our µLoop ™ (MicroLoop) methodology, introduced in 2001, provides a fab-wide framework of solutions that accelerates yield learning for new semiconductor processes in development and production. eDo, the first product in the µLoop family, combines non-contact electrical test with inline physical defect inspection to produce a fast root-cause analysis.

E-beam Defect Review

In 2000, we introduced the eV300 defect review system—an advanced, automated scanning electron microscope (“SEM”) designed to gather and analyze defect excursion information, as well as report the results with the improved sensitivity required at 130-nm and smaller design rules. The eV300 provides topographical information to enable accurate defect classification.

Wafer Surface Inspection

The wafer substrate is the foundation of an IC. Having a defect-free wafer substrate is essential, since defects on the surface of the wafer can adversely affect subsequent semiconductor processes and ultimately impact IC performance.  In the IC fab, wafer surface inspection is often used to qualify new process tools quickly in order to begin making product wafers as soon as possible. Wafer surface inspection is also critical for monitoring the defect performance of fab equipment during production to ensure they remain within specification.

In 1997, we introduced the Surfscan SP1 ™ series, which is today considered the de facto standard for bare wafer qualification, process monitoring and equipment monitoring applications. The latest member of the Surfscan SP1 family, the Surfscan SP1DLS, was the first 300-mm tool to provide brightfield, darkfield and surface roughness information in a single scan. It has the sensitivity to capture a wide variety of defects as small as 50-nm at high throughput speeds. This past fiscal year, we also unveiled our next-generation Surfscan platform, the Surfscan SP2, incorporates a proprietary new UV illumination technology, which significantly enhances inspection sensitivity and speed. The system is capable of detecting defects as small as 30-nm, and is able to provide defect detection on engineered substrates, such as SOI, strained silicon, and strained SOI. Wafer backside defects can have a significant impact on wafer and process uniformity, both of which are critical issues in advanced 300-mm processing. In 2002, we unveiled a new Backside Inspection Module (“BSIM”) option for the Surfscan SP1 series that provides an automated, non-destructive inspection solution for the backsides of patterned production wafers.

Macro After-Develop Inspection

Macro defects, which can ruin the entire wafer, are costly to chipmakers in 300-mm production, since more than twice the number of die are at risk with these larger wafers compared to 200-mm wafers. With the introduction of the 2401 macro defect inspection system in 1999 we enabled our customers to automate after-develop inspection (“ADI”) for macro defects. Designed to replace inefficient manual macro ADI, the 2401 is an automated inspection system able to detect and classify front-end macro lithographic defects, which are 50 microns and larger in size. In 2001, we introduced the 2430 macro ADI series, which brought the benefits of the 2401 to 300-mm production.

Photo Cell Monitoring

The introduction of thinner photoresists, new resist chemistries, tighter process windows and smaller design rules have all given rise to new and smaller defect types within the lithography cell—a large area of investment within the fab.  Defect management in the lithography cell is thus critical for qualifying new lithography processes and establishing a benchmark for controlling defects and minimizing yield losses during production. In 2002, we introduced our µPCM (Micro Photo Cell Monitor) solution to provide fabs with a methodology for identifying and eliminating lithography-related micro defects before product lots are placed at risk. Combining our most advanced defect management hardware and software tools, a new proprietary reticle design, optimized test wafers and industry-leading expertise, µPCM provides the high sensitivity and capture rate required for reducing lithography-related micro defects. It monitors the health of the lithography cell and enables chipmakers to make rapid and accurate “go/no-go” decisions about their product reticles, track systems and exposure tools.

Reticle Inspection

Error-free reticles are the first step in ensuring high yields in the manufacturing process, since defects in reticles can be replicated on wafers. Reticles are high-precision quartz plates that contain microscopic images of electronic circuits.  Placed into steppers or scanners, these reticles are used to transfer circuit patterns onto wafers to fabricate ICs. The extension of optical lithography below the 130nm node has resulted in the mask error enhancement factor, where reticle defects once too small to print on the wafer become enhanced in the lithography process to create yield-killing wafer defects.

In 2000, we unveiled our TeraStar ™ reticle inspection system for high-resolution reticle inspection down to the 90-nm node. With its ability to inspect up to a terapixel (one million by one million pixels) per reticle, TeraStar provides significant improvements in throughput compared to previous-generation systems.  Tera ™ algorithms enable the inspection of smaller linewidth geometries and complex resolution enhancement techniques, such as optical proximity correction (“OPC”) assist features and phase shift masks (“PSMs”). Its high throughput and sensitivity make TeraStar ideal for pre- and post-pelliclization inspection in photomask manufacturing operations, as well as incoming quality control and reticle re-qualification in wafer fabs.

Reticle CD errors are a major cause of yield loss in IC manufacturing at the 130-nm node and below. In 2002, we introduced a new option on TeraStar, called TeraFlux ™, which detects minute but relevant CD errors on contact- and via-layer reticles prior to their first use in the wafer fab. TeraFlux measures the energy that passes through the contact hole and compares it to another reference—either die or database—to look for unexpected energy variations. This enables the TeraStar system to capture reticle CD defects, such as incorrectly sized contacts or semi-transparencies—both of which will adversely affect the amount of light passing through the contact holes during the lithography process. By capturing these critical defects during reticle inspection and qualification, TeraFlux enables chipmakers to ramp their deep sub-wavelength lithography processes into production, while minimizing the costs associated with scrapped wafers.

In 2003, we introduced TeraScan ™, the successor to TeraStar. A DUV reticle inspection tool developed for sub-90-nm IC production, TeraScan offers high sensitivity to detect classical defects (intrusions, extrusions and point defects) as small as 80-nm, and CD defects as small as 50-nm. TeraScan has the ability to inspect nearly any type of photomask used in IC production, regardless of reticle wavelength and resolution enhancement technology, for sub-90-nm design rules.


Our metrology or process window optimization products provide virtually all of the critical measurements fabs require to manage their advanced manufacturing processes. With our unique combination of overlay, critical dimension, film thickness and reflectivity measurements, IC manufacturers have the capabilities to maintain tight control of their lithography, etch, deposition and CMP processes.

Optical Overlay

Decreasing linewidths, larger die sizes and increasing numbers of layers in semiconductor devices all affect the tolerances for layer-to-layer matching, or overlay, and can result in overlay misregistration errors—a crucial cause of yield loss. Metrology systems are needed to measure the alignment between different layers of the semiconductor device to ensure overlay parameters are kept within specification.

In 2001, we unveiled Archer 10, which enables overlay measurements to within 2-nm for sub-130-nm and 300-mm production. To augment the performance of the Archer 10, we introduced a new software tool in 2002 called Archer Analyzer that conducts fully automated, real-time, on-tool overlay metrology analysis.  Seamlessly integrated with the Archer 10, Archer Analyzer provides information, such as wafer lot dispositioning and stepper correction data, which helps chipmakers eliminate unnecessary wafer rework and quickly address variations in the performance of their lithography tools to minimize yield loss.

In fiscal year 2004, we introduced Archer AIM, which leverages a grating-style target technology to capture design-rule overlay errors and improve the accuracy of stepper corrections. Archer targets are denser than traditional box-in-box targets, resulting in the collection of more process information for improved correlation to in-device overlay performance.

Focus-exposure control in lithography is a key challenge for CD control at the 130-nm node and below. Unseen lithography focus-exposure excursions can result in CD process variations that lead to lower yields, cause unnecessary and costly rework, and reduce scanner productivity. Monitoring focus and exposure variations inline is thus critical to maintaining tight CD control at these advanced design rules. A new option on our Archer overlay metrology platform, called MPX, enables lithographers to detect and control stepper defocus and exposure variations on product wafers non-destructively. Leveraging dual-tone-design targets and analysis software, MPX can simultaneously provide separate exposure and focus measurements on product wafers with a high degree of sensitivity and precision. This enables MPX to provide fast and accurate feedback on the key parameters needed to maintain tight CD control without requiring periodic offline monitoring of the exposure tool.

E-Beam CD Metrology

Every nanometer in CD variation in the IC manufacturing process affects device performance, which consequently impacts yield and bottom-line profitability.  The eCD-1, which we introduced in fiscal year 2004, offers the precision and resolution needed to meet the CD metrology performance requirements for the 90-nm node and beyond. The eCD-1 is based on a new platform, and all of its design aspects have been precision suited for 90-nm node metrology requirements, with extendibility to the 65-nm node. eCD-1 is well suited for applications involving 193-nm lithography and very-high-aspect-ratio structures.

Our pQC ™ (“Pattern Quality Confirmation”) software enables the eCD-1 to provide inline, real-time monitoring of feature shape integrity during the patterning process—enabling the detection of subtle variations in feature shape that can occur at and below the 130-nm node and go undetected by traditional CD SEM measurements.  Our 8250-R reticle CD control system provides precise and high-throughput measurements on advanced reticles used in the production of sub-130-nm devices. 

Spectroscopic CD Metrology

Traditional CD linewidth measurements are no longer sufficient by themselves for providing all the information that chipmakers need to accurately predict yield and transistor performance. Today, complete feature profile information is needed, including CD, sidewall angle, height and depth. Contact hole profile measurements are also critical, since contact hole sizes that are significantly reduced or closed at the bottom of the structure can result in significant yield loss. 

This fiscal year, we unveiled SpectraCD 100—our next-generation inline optical CD metrology system for advanced patterning process control at the 90-nm and 65-nm nodes. SpectraCD 100 utilizes a new hardware platform and advanced 3-D modeling capabilities to conduct complete profile measurements of yield-critical structures with a two-fold improvement in precision and tool-to-tool matching over our previous-generation SpectraCD system. These capabilities, coupled with SpectraCD 100’s production throughput and ability to non-destructively measure features down to 30-nm, provide chipmakers with an effective inline process control and product dispositioning tool for their most critical patterning steps.

Film Measurement

Our film measurement products measure a variety of optical and electrical properties of thin films. These products are used to control a wide range of wafer fabrication steps, where both within-wafer and wafer-to-wafer process uniformity are of paramount importance to semiconductor manufacturers—enabling them to achieve high device performance characteristics at low cost.

In 2002, we unveiled SpectraFx 100, our latest-generation thin-film metrology system, which delivers the precision, matching and stability required for advanced film-measurement applications for 90-nm device production, including 193-nm lithography processes. Designed to fully support next-generation and “operator-free” 300-mm fabs with automation and tool-to-tool matching capabilities, SpectraFx 100 enables foundries and other multi-product high-volume chip manufacturers to reduce the process development time for advanced materials and accelerate their adoption into volume production. These materials include 193-nm photoresists, complex copper dual-damascene film stacks, and low-k and high-k dielectrics. AccuFilm, an advanced option on the SpectraFx 100, eliminates the effects of airborne molecular contamination (“AMC”) on ultra-thin-film measurements. A key roadblock to achieving control of advanced gate processes below the 100-nm node, AMC grows rapidly on film surfaces and degrades the accuracy and repeatability of gate dielectric metrology. AccuFilm enables SpectraFx 100 to remove these contaminants from product wafers in a matter of seconds before taking film measurements at each measurement site without placing product at risk. 

Contamination Monitoring

Gate dielectric quality is critical to the speed and reliability of an IC.  Below the 130-nm node, dielectrics become so thin (less than 20 angstroms, or the equivalent of 2 nm) that electrical performance characteristics of the dielectric films become just as critical as physical characteristics in determining overall transistor performance. Our Quantox ™ product line provides non-contact, inline electrical performance measurements of key parameters that determine the quality of advanced gate dielectric films, including contamination and oxide thickness, as well as electrical capacitance and leakage. 

Our latest addition to this product family, called Quantox XP, provides information on both the physical and electrical properties of advanced gate dielectric materials.  These materials include SiON and high-k dielectrics, which are required for sub-130-nm IC production. Quantox XP data provides high correlation to device electrical test data, enabling chipmakers to predict transistor performance inline, rather than having to wait until end-of-line electrical test—a process that normally can take days or weeks to complete.

Surface Metrology 

Our Stylus profilers measure the surface topography of films and etched surfaces, and are used in basic research and development as well as semiconductor production and quality control. The latest generation of our HRP® high resolution profilers, the HRP-240ETCH, combines the dishing and erosion measurement capabilities of our long-scan profilers with high-aspect-ratio etched feature measurement capability, which has historically been limited to atomic force microscopes (“AFM”). This allows customers to monitor their critical etch processes, such as shallow trench isolation (“STI”) and dual-damascene via/trench. We also provide stress measurement systems and capabilities, such as our new wafer bow and wafer stress option for our ASET-F5x and SpectraFx 100 thin-film metrology tools, which detects reliability-related problems such as film cracking, voiding and lifting.

AFM has become a necessary technology for measuring trench depths and CMP processes, especially at the 90-nm node and below. Until now, however, traditional AFMs have lacked the throughput and reliability needed to monitor these processes effectively on the production floor. Our new AF-LM 300 system, introduced in fiscal year 2004, is the first true line monitoring solution for trench depth and surface planarity process control at the 90-nm and 65-nm nodes

Yield Management Software Solutions

Our productivity and analysis software systems translate raw inspection and metrology data into patterns that reveal process problems and help semiconductor manufacturers develop long-term yield improvement strategies.

Yield /Data Analysis and Management

In 1999, we acquired Taiwan-based ACME Systems, Inc., a provider of yield correlation software. Combining the newly acquired technology from ACME with our own yield management expertise led to the development of our Klarity ACE yield analysis software, which helps our customers quickly identify the source of defects and process problems, as well as correct them. With our acquisition of FINLE Technologies in 2000, we developed our Klarity ProDATA lithography data analysis software, which, along with our PROLITH lithography and etch simulation software, helps manufacturers reduce their advanced lithography development time and cost.

Our IMPACT XP ™ automated defect classification (“ADC”) software provides consistent and accurate classification of yield-limiting defects to help our customers accelerate their ramp to higher process yields. IMPACT XP incorporates our SmartGallery ™ tool, which reduces the setup time associated with ADC implementation in fabs.  This is a critical requirement, particularly for foundries and application specific integrated circuit (“ASIC”) manufacturers, who specialize in short runs of multiple products. Our Real Time Classification ™ (“RTC”) and inline ADC (“iADC”) technologies, which provide classification and binning of defect types in real time during inspection, are critical features on all of our latest-generation e-beam and optical inspection tools.

Our recipe management service, called iRecipe ™, allows factory engineers to quickly and easily access existing recipes and associated information that reside on a central database from any personal computer that is connected to the fab intranet. By integrating iRecipe into their fab network, chipmakers can reduce their inspection and metrology tool CoO, as well as improve their overall fab efficiency.

Data Storage Industry

Outside the semiconductor industry, we manufacture, sell and service yield management solutions to the data storage market, with offerings for hard disk drive and component makers. In the front-end of thin film head wafer manufacturing, we are the leading provider of the same process control equipment with which we serve the semiconductor industry, with particular strength in photolithography control. In the back-end of head manufacturing, we are the leading provider of a range of test equipment, including fly-height and head resonance testers, CD-SEMs and high-resolution surface profilers. Additionally, we are leveraging our expertise in magnetics to meet customers’ needs in the emerging magnetic random access memory (“MRAM”) market.

Customer Service and Support

We enhance the value of our products through our customer service and support programs, which provide comprehensive worldwide service and support across all of our product lines. We also offer yield technology services to improve our customers’ return on investment (“ROI”).

Global Support Services

Our customer support organization is responsible for much of the support of our customers following the shipment of the equipment and software, including on-site repair, telephone support, system installation, relocation services and selected post-sales applications.

Our educational services offer a comprehensive selection of technical courses—from maintenance and service training to basic and advanced applications and operation.  We offer both standard and customized courses for individuals and groups, at the user’s location or at any of our three training facilities. We also offer self-paced learning packages, including video, computer-based training and study plans.

Yield Technology Services

Our Yield Technology Services group provides the systems, software and yield management expertise to speed the implementation of customers’ yield improvement programs. This practice provides a broad range of services and support, including new fab yield management solution planning, factory and field customer applications training, dedicated ramp management support, integrated yield management consulting and applications support for effective solution implementation, and regional customer response centers with remote-access diagnostics. Use of our consulting practice provides accelerated yield learning rates and improved device performance.


Kla Tax Rate Companies within the Scientific & Technical Instruments Industry

Kla Corporation Segments


Business Segments I. Quarter
(in millions $)
(Mar 31 2016)
(of total Revenues)
I. Quarter
(in millions $)
(Mar 31 2016)
(Profit Margin)
712.43 100 % -0.01 -

• Kla Income Statement • Kla supply chain • Revenue growth ranking by company and industry

Growth rates by Segment I. Quarter
Y/Y Revenue
(Mar 31 2016)
Q/Q Revenue
I. Quarter
Y/Y Income
(Mar 31 2016)
Q/Q Income
5.33 % - - -

• Kla Growth Comparisons Kla Profile • Kla Market Share

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