KLA-Tencor's K-T Analyzer Enables Real-Time Patterning Control for 65-nm and Below IC Manufacturing

Automated Lithography Cell Correctables Solution Speeds Decision Making for

Advanced Process Control

Feb 21, 2006, 00:00 ET from KLA-Tencor

    SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- KLA-Tencor
 (Nasdaq:   KLAC) today formally unveiled the K-T Analyzer lithography
 correctables platform to effectively accelerate and improve advanced
 lithography cell qualification and control.  Seamlessly integrated with KLA-
 Tencor's Archer overlay, eCD CD SEM, and SpectraCD optical CD metrology
 platforms for 65-nm and below IC production, K-T Analyzer provides automated,
 on-tool analysis of overlay and critical dimension (CD) metrology data in real
 time -- giving engineers immediate feedback on the quality of their
 lithography process.  This enables them to correct errors quickly, reduce
 unnecessary wafer rework, and make efficient use of lithography equipment,
 thereby ensuring that optimal productivity and tight process control are
 maintained in the lithography cell.  K-T Analyzer is now being used to enhance
 focus/dose analysis applications at several leading logic and memory
 manufacturers worldwide.
     "K-T Analyzer is exactly what we need, because it significantly raises our
 potential to be effective when developing advanced lithography processes,"
 stated Shaunee Cheng, principal scientist at IMEC.  "Almost every metrology
 tool vendor provides raw data, but what we really need is to automatically
 access the actionable information required to make accurate decisions."
     The K-T Analyzer platform now encompasses overlay correctables through
 Archer Analyzer, and CD correctables through the eCD Analyzer and SpectraCD
 Analyzer components.  The new eCD Analyzer collects data -- including CD
 linewidth, feature shape and profile information -- directly from KLA-Tencor's
 eCD platform in real time.  Using sophisticated algorithms, it converts the
 data into best exposure and focus, exposure latitude and depth of focus
 information to provide an immediate snapshot of the size and position of the
 process window.  It characterizes, quantifies and centers process windows
 across multiple pitch and CD structures, multiple points across the reticle
 field, and multiple lithography cells.  eCD Analyzer can also monitor the
 process window over time to detect temporal variations.  Chipmakers can feed
 the information generated by eCD Analyzer into a fab's existing advanced
 process control (APC) or automated equipment control (AEC) framework to enable
 improved feed-forward and feed-back process corrections, lot or tool
 disposition, root cause analysis and automated fault detection.  This in-depth
 knowledge is also simultaneously sent to an off-line server for engineering
 troubleshooting analysis, thus contributing significantly to the speed,
 efficiency and accuracy of the overall decision-making process.
     The Archer Analyzer software was previously introduced by KLA-Tencor as an
 option on the Archer overlay metrology platform.  Collecting data directly
 from the Archer tool in real time, Archer Analyzer provides overlay
 correctables, overlay disposition, focus/dose product excursion monitor,
 focus/dose litho cell monitor and engineering analysis functions.
     "Shrinking design rules and reduced process tolerances mandate more
 stringent CD and overlay control requirements, which in turn is now inundating
 our customers with a flood of process data," stated Avi Cohen, executive vice
 president and group general manager of the Parametric Solutions Group at KLA-
 Tencor.  "They need to be able to make sense of all of this data, and they
 can't afford to spend countless hours doing off-line analysis when they have
 product wafers that need to be patterned per specifications and to be sent on
 for further processing.  K-T Analyzer is designed to help ease this burden so
 our customers can make the right decisions -- the very first time -- in order
 to keep their lithography process optimized and production running smoothly."
     eCD Analyzer and Archer Analyzer are both available now as part of the K-T
 Analyzer platform.  SpectraCD Analyzer will be available in the second quarter
 of 2006.
     KLA-Tencor will showcase its K-T Analyzer solution at SPIE's
 Microlithography 2006 Exhibition, February 21-22, at booth #1013 at the San
 Jose Convention Center, San Jose, 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