KLA-Tencor Delivers New Levels of Topography Measurement and Defect Inspection Capability to Hard Disk Drive Manufacturers

Unique Technology Provides Industry's Widest Spatial Bandwidth to Address

Emerging Challenges Associated With Advanced Head-Disk Interface Control

Sep 13, 2006, 01:00 ET from KLA-Tencor

    SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- KLA-Tencor
 (Nasdaq:   KLAC) today unveiled its Candela Optical Surface Analyzer 6300
 series tool-a system that delivers best-in-class metrology and inspection
 capabilities for data storage substrates and finished media. As data
 storage manufacturers strive to enhance device storage capacities by
 reducing head fly-heights even further, controlling disk surface roughness
 is becoming increasingly important. The 6300 series leverages the
 industry's widest spatial bandwidth coverage (from 0.22 microns to 2,000
 microns) and a noise floor below 0.5 angstroms to satisfy emerging
 requirements for comprehensive roughness and micro-waviness measurements.
     The 6300 series also harnesses patented multi-channel optics, combined
 with unique laser stability management technology, to deliver powerful
 measurement capabilities for edge roll-off and texture/polish uniformity,
 as well as scratch and particle inspection. As a result of its
 comprehensive capabilities, manufacturers can now employ a single tool to
 measure the quality of their substrates. This makes the 6300 series the
 ideal solution for next-generation process control of disk topography on
 conventional metal or glass substrates and finished media.
     "The key trends in the data storage industry -- the moves toward
 smaller form factors, glass substrates, higher areal densities and improved
 reliability -- are all driving the need for better control of the head-disk
 interface, requiring improvements in inspection and metrology of disks,"
 said Mark Geenen, president of market research firm TrendFOCUS. "It is
 becoming especially critical to acquire repeatable measurements of
 extremely low roughness levels, to quantify edge roll-off and also detect
 sub-micron particles and very shallow surface scratches. Concurrently,
 testing time and total product cost are under sustained pressure. An
 approach like this may not only reduce equipment expenditures, but also may
 provide a new path to optimizing quality and throughput times."
     "The 6300 series is a breakthrough tool that enables our data storage
 customers to reduce their dependence on multiple toolsets by providing a
 single system for topography metrology and defect inspection," stated Jeff
 Donnelly, vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Growth and
 Emerging Markets (GEM) Division. "The 6300 is built on a production-proven
 platform and directly contributes to enhancing our customers' time to
 market and ultimate profitability. The newest offering in our comprehensive
 product lineup, the 6300 offers significant advantages over alternative
 point solutions -- especially when it comes to its unrivalled spatial
 wavelength capability combined with fast, full-surface coverage," he added.
     The 6300's leading-edge optical scanning technology enables full
 surface disk topography metrology in both radial and circumferential
 directions, and allows manufacturers to use a single tool to measure the
 entire spatial spectrum. Increased laser power, a lower noise floor and new
 optics design eliminate the need for sputtering glass substrates in order
 to detect defects and also allows for identification of roughness
 variations of less than 0.1 angstroms. Compared with other scatterometers
 or laser doppler vibrometry systems, the 6300 delivers radial and
 circumferential data and full surface topography information on
 ultra-smooth substrate and media. The 6300 also provides full-disk,
 non-contact coverage at a much lower cost of measurement and faster speed
 than stylus profilers or atomic force microscopy (AFM) technologies.
 Furthermore, the 6300 series offers excellent correlation to AFM --
 simultaneously reducing AFM dependence and making it a more efficient
 reference source.
     The 6300 series has undergone extensive beta evaluations and KLA-Tencor
 is currently accepting product orders. Shipping will begin in October 2006.
     KLA-Tencor will showcase the 6300 and other yield management solutions
 for the data storage industry at the DISKCON USA 2006 Trade Show and
 Conference, September 13-14, at booth #115 at the Santa Clara Convention
 Center, Santa Clara, Calif.
     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. Additional information
 about the company is available on the Internet at http://www.kla-tencor.com