KLA-Tencor Introduces New Technology for Disk Drive Substrate and Media Defect Inspection


KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) today unveiled the Candela 7100 series for advanced defect inspection and classification of hard disk drive substrates and media. Built upon the production proven Candela line, the 7100 series is designed to help manufacturers identify and classify submicron critical defects such as pits, bumps, particles, and buried defects, for maximizing yield and lowering total cost of inspection.

"The Candela 7100 series is an innovative extension of our optical surface analysis technology that customers already recognize as the tool of record for defect inspection and classification," said Jeff Donnelly, group vice president of Growth and Emerging Markets (GEM) at KLA-Tencor. "With improved sensitivity and classification capabilities, the 7100 series' all-in-one solution is designed to reduce dependency on other tools, lower our customers' costs and provide them with faster time to results."

Continued growth in areal, or bit, density has driven the need for lower surface contamination levels, smoother disk surfaces, increased sensitivity to smaller defect sizes, and an emphasis on controlling specific defect types early in the process. Moreover, with magnetic recording head fly-heights shrinking, small defects now have a much larger yield impact. With industry-leading sensitivity, the Candela 7100 series is the ideal solution to address these industry challenges.

The hard disk drive industry continues to demand increasing price-performance for their customers, so manufacturers must remain cost competitive with faster time to results and statistically valid decisions. The Candela 7100 reduces dependency of multiple non-production tools and methods, such as an atomic force, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopes, as well as electrical testing. Analyses currently being conducted by multiple inspection tools can now be done faster and at a lower cost on a single tool.

The Candela 7100 series is being qualified by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), a leading storage technology company.

KLA-Tencor is currently accepting product orders. Shipments are scheduled to begin in October.

KLA-Tencor will also showcase the Candela 7100 series and other yield management solutions for the data storage industry Sept. 17-18 at the DISKCON USA 2008 Trade Show and Conference -- booth No. 115 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in 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 Milpitas, Calif., the company has sales and service offices around the world. An S&P 500 company, KLA-Tencor is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol KLAC. Additional information about the company is available at http://www.kla-tencor.com (KLAC-P).

Candela 7100 Technology Summary

This innovative technology represents KLA-Tencor's continued investment in the data storage market and illustrates the progress of the company's future extension to next-generation patterned media requirements. New features of the Candela 7100 series include:

    --  A new dual-wavelength laser configuration, which is optimized
        for higher sensitivity, flexibility in application recipe
        settings for layer-based power modes, and improved laser
        output and stability

    --  Multiple independent scatter detectors, which provide the
        ability to detect and classify sub-micron defects such as
        pits, bumps, particles and buried defects

    --  Improved phase, specular, and magnetic channels which offer
        improved sensitivity and stability for capturing stains and
        imaging advanced perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR)

    Source: KLA-Tencor