October 12, 2011

KLA-Tencor™ Announces Adoption of Candela® Inspection System by Epistar, a Leading LED Manufacturer

Advanced Wafer Defect Detection Technology Expedites Root Cause Analysis, Speeding Process Development and Improving Yield

MILPITAS, Calif., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --Today KLA-Tencor Corporation™ (NASDAQ: KLAC), the world's leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, announced that Taiwan-based Epistar, a leading manufacturer of LED chips, has adopted KLA-Tencor's Candela® substrate and epitaxy (epi) wafer inspection system. This order marks the growing adoption by LED device manufacturers worldwide of this advanced inspection system for wafer defect detection and classification at production-grade throughputs.

The introduction of the Candela tool to Epistar's manufacturing process provides automated inspection methods for sapphire substrates to ensure vendor quality, and provides greater visibility into the (GaN) epi process to help detect root cause defectivity and early prediction of process excursions. According to an Epistar spokesperson, "Adoption of KLA-Tencor's Candela inspection has provided Epistar with improved sapphire quality control and MOCVD process control."

Substrate defects are known to impact epi process yield, and the Candela system provides increased sensitivity to these yield-limiting defects. With its proprietary optical design and detection technology, the Candela system detects and classifies sub-micron defects—including micro-cracks and -scratches, polishing and brushing streaks, and chemical residues. As LED manufacturers transition production to larger wafer sizes and introduce new patterned sapphire substrate (PSS) processes, the economic impact of resulting process-induced defects is significant. For defects occurring during the epi process steps, the Candela tool can detect hexagonal pits and bumps which can lead to electrical failure and epi cracks that can adversely impact field reliability.  

"The Candela system allows LED manufacturers to conduct root cause analysis to speed process development, quickly fine tune production processes to minimize process excursions, and ultimately achieve higher yield per wafer," said Jeff Donnelly, group vice president, Growth and Emerging Markets (GEM) Group at KLA-Tencor. "We are pleased to add Epistar to the growing list of Candela adopters."

The Candela tool is now installed in Epistar's Taiwan facility, adding to the hundreds of Candela tools currently installed around the world. The Candela tool is part of KLA-Tencor's integrated LED portfolio, which includes the ICOS® WI-series and Klarity® LED. These tools are backed by KLA-Tencor's global, comprehensive service network. For more information on KLA-Tencor's LED market offerings, please visit www.kla-tencor.com.

About KLA-Tencor:

KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC), a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions, partners with customers around the world to develop state-of-the-art inspection and metrology technologies. These technologies serve the semiconductor, data storage, LED, photovoltaic, and other related nanoelectronics industries. With a portfolio of industry-standard products and a team of world-class engineers and scientists, the company has created superior solutions for its customers for more than 30 years. Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., KLA-Tencor has dedicated customer operations and service centers around the world. Additional information may be found at www.kla-tencor.com. (KLAC-P)

Forward Looking Statements:

Statements in this press release other than historical facts, such as statements regarding the Candela system's expected performance, expected growth of adoption of Candela tools by LED manufacturers, and the anticipated cost, operational and other benefits realizable by users of the Candela system, are forward-looking statements, and are subject to the Safe Harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in such statements due to various factors, including delays in the adoption of new technologies (whether due to cost or performance issues or otherwise), the introduction of competing products by other companies or unanticipated technological challenges or limitations that affect the implementation, performance or use of KLA-Tencor's products.

SOURCE KLA-Tencor Corporation

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