KLA-Tencor Corporation® (Nasdaq: KLAC), the world's leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, today announced the 1000th shipment of its automated in-line inspection products for solar wafers and cells.
The rapid adoption of these products has been driven by the market's demand for technology to reduce the cost per watt of solar-generated electricity. These tools are currently installed at most of the major solar cell manufacturers around the globe.
"KLA-Tencor is proud to announce this important milestone as it reflects our ongoing commitment to providing solar cell fabrication engineers with more accurate inspection and metrology tools—enabling improved yield and higher cell efficiency and quality," said Jeff Donnelly, group vice president of Growth and Emerging Markets at KLA-Tencor. "We remain firmly dedicated to advancing new technologies for the solar industry and providing reliable products that enable our customers to inspect solar wafers and cells faster and with increased accuracy."
KLA-Tencor's PV inspection portfolio features the ICOS PVI-6™, which was introduced in March 2009 for optical in-line, dual-sided inspection of photovoltaic (PV) wafers and cells. The PVI-6, from KLA-Tencor's ICOS Division, a leader in metrology and inspection solutions for the PV industry, is now widely adopted in the market and installed at leading solar cell manufacturers worldwide. The ICOS PVI-6 offers a number of key technical benefits over the company's previous generation tools, including:
- Higher accuracy and repeatability of measurements, with up to a 4x measurement accuracy improvement, delivering higher yields and improved end-of-line cell classification
- Easier calibration and set-up, with calibration time decreased by approximately 80 percent to enable faster product ramp during initial installation
- Tool matching and central module management, offering consistent and easily attainable results in large production environments across multiple production lines
- Support from a global organization with dedicated solar inspection and metrology engineers
KLA-Tencor's solar process control portfolio will be on display at the 2010 Intersolar North America Tradeshow, which will be held July 13 – 15 at Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif., at Booth #9327.