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KLA-Tencor Corporation
Traded as
Industry Semiconductor Equipment & Materials
Founded 1997 (merger of KLA and Tencor)
Headquarters Milpitas, California, United States
Key people
Edward W. Barnholt, Chairman
Richard P. Wallace, CEO and President
Products Process control systems and solutions that support semiconductor, wafer, reticle and other related industries.
  • Decrease US$ 2,984,493 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 2,814,049 million (2015) [2]
  • Decrease US$ 960,445 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 661,340 million (2015) [2]
  • Decrease US$ 704,422 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 366,158 million (2015) [2]
Total assets
  • Decrease US$ 4,962,432 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 4,826,012 million (2015) [2]
Total equity
  • Decrease US$ 689,114 million (2016) [1]
  • Increase US$ 421,439 million (2015) [2]
Number of employees
6,000 (2017)
Website www.kla-tencor.com

KLA-Tencor Corporation is a global capital equipment company based in Milpitas, California. It supplies process control and yield management systems for the semiconductor industry and other related nanoelectronics industries. The company's products and services are intended for all phases of wafer, reticle, integrated circuit (IC) and packaging production, from research and development to final volume manufacturing.[3]

KLA-Tencor’s products and services are used by the vast majority of bare wafer, IC, reticle and disk manufacturers around the world. These customers rely on KLA-Tencor’s inline unpatterned and patterned wafer defect monitoring, review and classification; reticle defect inspection and metrology; packaging and interconnect inspection; critical dimension (CD) metrology; pattern overlay metrology; film thickness, surface topography and composition measurements; measurement of in-chamber process conditions; wafer shape and stress metrology; computational lithography tools; and, overall yield and fab-wide data management and analysis systems.

KT Services[3] is the company’s global service network that maintains the productivity and performance of the extensive installed base of KLA-Tencor tools.

In 2000 the company formally established the KLA-Tencor Foundation, its philanthropic arm.[4] KLA-Tencor Foundation supports and benefits the global communities in which KLA-Tencor employees live and work.


KLA-Tencor was formed in 1997 through the merger of KLA Instruments and Tencor Instruments, two companies in the semiconductor equipment and yield management systems industry. KLA Instruments was founded in 1975 by Ken Levy and Bob Anderson, and focused on defect inspection solutions. Karel Urbanek established Tencor Instruments in 1977 with an emphasis on metrology solutions.

Since the merger, which was valued at $1.3 billion, KLA-Tencor has acquired 19 additional companies:

  • 1998: Amray Inc.; Nanopro GmbH; The Quantox product line from Keithley Instruments, Inc.; VARS; The Ultrapointe subsidiary of Uniphase Corporation
  • 1999: ACME Systems Inc.
  • 2000: Fab Solutions, from ObjectSpace Inc.; FINLE Technologies, Inc.
  • 2001: Phase Metrics
  • 2004: Candela Instruments; Wafer Inspection Systems business of Inspex, Inc.
  • 2006: ADE Corporation
  • 2007: OnWafer Technologies; SensArray Corporation; Therma-Wave Corporation
  • 2008: ICOS Vision Systems Corporation NV; Microelectronic Inspection Equipment (MIE) business unit of Vistec Semiconductor Systems
  • 2010: Ambios Technology
  • 2014: Luminescent Technologies
  • 2017: Zeta Technologies

In October 2015, Lam Research Corporation announced plans to buy KLA-Tencor for $10.6B, in what was viewed as a semiconductor industry consolidation move.[5] In October 2016, the company announced it had terminated its offer for KLA-Tencor amidst concerns that the deal would not meet regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Justice[6] over antitrust concerns.

Process control technology and applications[edit]

KLA-Tencor’s defect inspection and metrology products and related offerings can be broadly categorized into the following groups: Chip Manufacturing, Reticle Manufacturing, Data Storage Media/Head Manufacturing, LED Manufacturing, Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing, Microelectromechanical Systems (“MEMS”) Manufacturing, and Surface Profilometry and Metrology. KLA-Tencor also provides refurbished tools as part of its K-T Certified™ program [3]

Research and Development[edit]

The market for yield management and process control systems is characterized by rapid technology development and product innovation. KLA-Tencor employs a large staff of full-time engineers and scientists and invests heavily in product research and development.


KLA-Tencor’s global operations include manufacturing, support and R&D facilities throughout Europe, the United States, Japan and Asia/Pacific.


  • Chief Executive Officer and President: Richard P. Wallace
  • Chief Financial Officer: Bren Higgins
  • Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Alliances: Ben Tsai
  • Chairman of the Board: Edward W. Barnholt


  1. ^ a b c d e "KLA TENCOR CORP 2016 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. August 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "KLA TENCOR CORP 2015 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. August 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ KLA-Tencor Corp 2016 Annual Report Form (10-K)

External links[edit]