KLA-Tencor's New Puma 91xx Darkfield Inspection System Provides Almost Twice the Throughput of Highly Successful Puma 9000 Sensitivity and Ease-of-Use Enhancements Enable Rapid and Cost-Effective

Inspection of DRAM, SRAM, Flash and Logic Devices at High Defect Capture


    SEMICON TAIWAN, TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq:   KLAC) today unveiled the Puma 91xx darkfield patterned
 wafer inspection system-the latest member of its widely adopted Puma
 product family. Designed to capture the broadest range of critical defect
 types at the lowest cost of ownership (CoO), the Puma 91xx Series provides
 nearly double the throughput of the previous-generation Puma 9000 Series at
 equivalent or better sensitivity-making it the performance leader for
 darkfield inspection for the 65-nm and 45-nm nodes. Multiple Puma 91xx
 Series systems have already shipped to leading logic, DRAM and Flash fabs
 worldwide, where they are used for advanced tool and line monitoring
 applications in production. KLA-Tencor's current installed base of Puma
 9000 systems can be field upgraded to 91xx Series performance levels.
     "Defect capture, sampling frequency, and cost per inspection are very
 important considerations for optimizing our inspection strategy," stated
 Masanori Numano, manager of the Material and Process Engineering Group at
 Toshiba Oita. "As we transitioned to 65 nm, we needed an inspection
 platform that could meet production throughput requirements without
 compromising sensitivity. The Puma 91xx has demonstrated this capability in
 our 300-mm production line."
     At sub-65-nm design rules, the competitive environment, shorter product
 lifecycles, and the escalating costs of advanced process nodes drive the
 need for cost-effective manufacturing. These economic pressures increase
 the focus on cycle time reduction, CoO, and capital management. As a
 result, IC manufacturers need to extract the most value from their
 equipment without sacrificing the performance required to maximize and
 protect their yield. To meet this need, inspection tools must be capable of
 providing both cost- and performance-optimized defect monitoring on the
 broadest range of process layers. The Puma 91xx Series leads in defect-type
 capture as well as production throughput, and its flexible architecture can
 be configured to meet a wide range of applications and price points for
 memory and logic devices.
     The Performance Leader for All Device Types
     The Puma 91xx Series provides significant improvements in speed,
 sensitivity and ease of use. Enhanced data processing nearly doubles
 inspection throughput compared to the Puma 9000 Series at equivalent
 sensitivity. Additional pixel combinations provide the widest range of
 production-mode throughputs available, to enable more sampling, higher
 sensitivity or lower CoO. Like its predecessor, the Puma 91xx Series
 incorporates KLA-Tencor's proprietary Streak(TM) multi-pixel sensor and
 line scanning technologies to achieve high-resolution darkfield imaging
 inspection without the speed and sensitivity limitations of darkfield
 systems based on acousto-optic device (AOD) and photo multiplier tube (PMT)
     Enabling Faster Integration into Production
     Tool recipe setup has been significantly simplified with KLA-Tencor's
 new Fast Adaptive Single Threshold (FAST) algorithm, which reduces the
 number of parameters needed to create and tune tool recipes by nearly 80
 percent over the previous algorithm. KLA-Tencor's inline Defect
 Organizer(TM) (iDO(TM)) binning solution provides more accurate defect
 classification for faster root-cause identification. Commonality with
 KLA-Tencor's 23xx/28xx brightfield inspectors and the eS3x e-beam
 inspectors enables recipe sharing between platforms for optimizing
 inspector capacity and speeding inspection tool integration into
     "With the introduction of the Puma 9000 last year, we experienced rapid
 adoption primarily because of the tool's ability to simultaneously address
 our customers' technological and economic pressures," stated Paul Marella,
 vice president and general manager of KLA-Tencor's Wafer Inspection
 Division. "We are pleased that the next-generation Puma 91xx Series offers
 our customers an even faster, easier-to-use system that can uniquely
 address a broad range of inspection applications for 65-nm and 45-nm memory
 and logic devices."
     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
     NOTE: Streak, inline Defect Organizer and iDO are trademarks of


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