TOKYO -- KLA-Tencor Corp. announced today at Semicon Japan 99 that it has acquired Acme Systems Inc., a Taiwanese software developer. No financial details were available.
Acme's yield-engineering analysis software, which will become part of KLA-Tencor's yield management solution set, will also become integral to the company's new fab-wide yield information network, PMC-Net (see Nov. 15 story).
Concurrent with the Acme acquisition, KLA-Tencor announced the Klarity ACE software module, which incorporates Acme's patented Advanced Correlation Engine. Using the new module in conjunction with PMC-Net, device manufacturers will have access to process and test data that can be rapidly compiled, correlated and analyzed in the fab, according to Gary Dickerson, KLA-Tencor's chief operating officer.
"We consider this a very strategic acquisition," explained Dickerson. "Acme's advanced engineering analysis software has already proven its ability to deliver such advantages. The acquisition adds the vital link with parametric electrical test and wafer-sort yield data, complementing our integrated defect reduction solution and significantly enhancing our holistic yield-management approach.
Acme's software is installed at 15 fabs around the world, and customers report that the ACE technology has reduced the time from identifying problems to implementing a solution 10- to 20-fold.
KLA-Tencor believes that it now offers the first fully integrated yield software infrastructure. PMC-Net automates the yield management and process control functions, while optimizing its process module control (PMC) solutions. Acme's technology correlates parametric electrical test and wafer-sort yield data with in-line work-in-progress (WIP) and metrology data.
"ACME's engineering analysis and yield correlation software has been used in TSMC's Fabs 3 and 4 for the past 18 months and has been very helpful to our engineers in troubleshooting low-yielding problems," said Mark Liu, vice president of TSMC South-site in Hsinchu, Taiwan. "The combination of KLA-Tencor's proven yield management expertise and ACME's integrated software solutions should provide us with new advanced yield correlation and analysis capabilities in a rapid turnaround fashion. Together this should allow us to improve our manufacturing quality and further facilitate interaction with our customers."