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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
Products Chips, wafers, semiconductors, and other related industries.
  • Decrease US$ 2,814.049 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 2,929.408 million (2014) [2]
  • Decrease US$ 661.340 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 772.070 million (2014) [2]
  • Decrease US$ 366,158 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 582.755 million (2014) [2]
Total assets
  • Decrease US$ 4,826.012 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 5,535.846 million (2014) [2]
Total equity
  • Decrease US$ 421.439 million (2015) [1]
  • Increase US$ 3,669.346 million (2014) [2]
Number of employees
6,100 (2015)
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 products for the semiconductor, data storage, LED, and related nanoelectronics industries. The company's products, software and services are intended for all phases of integrated circuit chip production, from research and development to wafer fabrication and advanced packaging processes, to final volume development.[3]

KLA-Tencor’s products and services are used by the vast majority of bare wafer, IC, lithography reticle and disk manufacturers around the world. These customers rely on KLA-Tencor’s inline wafer and IC 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.

K-T Services[3] is the company’s global service network that maintains the productivity and performance of all of its tools. It formally established its foundation in 2000, KLA-Tencor Foundation,[4] which supports various global giving efforts.

On 21st Oct 2015, Lam Research reached an agreement with KLA-Tencor to acquire KLA-Tencor for $67.02 a share. The deal was expected to complete by Summer of 2016. The merger agreement with Lam Research was officially terminated on 5th Oct 2016. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that the semiconductor industry will be better served by having KLA-Tencor remain as an independent company.


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

In October 2015, Lam Research 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.[7]

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 [8]

Research and Development[edit]

The market for yield management and process monitoring systems is characterized by rapid technological development and product innovation. Such technical innovations are inherently complex and require long development cycles. KLA-Tencor keeps a significant staff of full-time research and development professionals, and makes significant investments in product research and development.[8]


KLA-Tencor has operations throughout the world, with manufacturing, support and R&D facilities in the United States, India, Israel, Belgium, Germany, China, and Singapore.


  • Chief Executive Officer and President: Rick Wallace
  • Chief Financial Officer: Bren Higgins
  • Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Alliances: Ben Tsai


  1. ^ a b c d e "KLA TENCOR CORP 2015 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. August 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "KLA TENCOR CORP 2014 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. August 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b KLA-Tencor Website
  4. ^ KLA-Tencor Foundation Website
  5. ^ "Lam Buys KLA-Tencor as Chip-Sector Deals Mount". WSJ.com. 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  6. ^ "Chip equipment maker Lam Research calls off KLA-Tencor deal". reuters.com. 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  7. ^ Mattioli, Dana; Benoit, David (January 19, 2017), Activist Investor Presses Rudolph Technologies, Nanometrics to Merge, New York: The Wall Street Journal, retrieved January 23, 2017 
  8. ^ a b KLA-Tencor Corp 2015 Annual Report Form (10-K) United States Securities and Exchange Commission. September, 2015

External links[edit]