June 29, 2007 – KLA-Tencor Corp. apparently has quietly acquired FabSolve LLC, a US firm with “design-based metrology” software, based on its Vietnam parent group’s digital mapping/GIS technology, that can be used for in-line metrology in semiconductor manufacturing. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
FabSolve’s technology is based on work from DolSoft Inc., a Vietnam-based developer of geographical information systems (GIS)/digital mapping technology, which had already has found other applications for its GIS algorithms, e.g., security & video surveillance, noted Steve Cintron, VP of marketing for FabSolve, in a phone conversation with WaferNEWS.
In 2005, two new hires with backgrounds at fabs in the 1990s (e.g. Texas Instruments) and Knights Technology joined the company, he said, and realized what the GIS technology could do for semiconductor manufacturing: capturing SEM data in real-time and overlaying it with the design to locate and classify deviations/defects, databasing the data, and figuring out what process parameters to change to improve yield.
Cintron indicated that FabSolve had progressed its technology to the point of customer demos, and was on the brink of signoff with two top-10 global semiconductor firms (one top-5) for both a purchase order and a joint development agreement. But at a recent industry event, KLA-Tencor approached them interested in the technology for in-line metrology, laying the groundwork for this acquisition, he said.