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KLA Corporation
FormerlyKLA-Tencor Corporation (1997–2019)
Company typePublic
Founded1997; 27 years ago (1997) (merger of KLA and Tencor)
HeadquartersMilpitas, California, United States
Key people
Edward W. Barnholt (chairman)
Richard P. Wallace (CEO & president)
ProductsProcess control systems and solutions that support semiconductor, wafer, reticle and other related industries
RevenueIncrease US$10.5 billion (2023)
Increase US$3.98 billion (2023)
Increase US$3.39 billion (2023)
Total assetsIncrease US$14.1 billion (2023)
Total equityIncrease US$2.92 billion (2023)
Number of employees
c. 15,000 (2023)
Footnotes / references
Financials as of June 30, 2023.[1]

KLA Corporation is an American 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.[2]


KLA Corporation was formed in 1997 as KLA-Tencor through the merger of KLA Instruments and Tencor Instruments, two companies in the semiconductor equipment and yield management systems industry.[3] The merger was intended to create a single source for chip process and diagnostics equipment.[3] KLA Instruments was founded in 1975 by Ken Levy and Bob Anderson, and focused on photomask detection to identify chip defects. KLA later broadened its product line to include wafer inspection, wafer metrology and integrated inspection and analysis software.[4] Tencor was founded in 1976 by Czech scientist and US immigrant Karel Urbanek, along with colleague John Schwabacher.[5][6] The company initially focused on making precise measurements of semiconductor film layer thickness, and in 1984, developed laser-scanning technology to detect particle and other contamination. The company also developed defect review and data analysis equipment.[4] At the time of the merger, the companies' combined revenue was greater than $1 billion.[3]

In February 1998, KLA-Tencor acquired Freiburg, Germany-based Nanopro GmbH, a company that used advanced interferometric technology for wafer shape and thickness measurements.[7] In April, the company acquired Amray, Inc., a Bedford, Massachusetts-based provider of scanning electron microscope (SEM) systems for applications including semiconductor manufacturing.[8] In June, the company acquired San Jose, CA-based VARS, a developer of image archiving and retrieval systems.[7] In November, KLA-Tencor acquired the Quantox line of oxide monitoring products from Solon, Ohio-based measurement and instrument company Keithley Instruments.[9] In December, the company acquired the Ultrapointe subsidiary of Uniphase Corporation.[10]

In December 1999, the company acquired Taiwan-based yield analysis software maker ACME Systems.[11]

In February 2000, KLA-Tencor acquired Austin, Texas-based Finle Technologies, Inc., a developer of lithography modeling and analysis software.[12] In March, the company acquired Austin, Texas-based advanced process control (APC) software developer Fab Solutions, from parent ObjectSpace.[13]

In 2001, the company acquired yield management and process control company Phase Metrics, Inc.[14]

In 2004, KLA-Tencor acquired surface inspection system manufacturer Candela Instruments, Inc.[15] and the Wafer Inspection Systems business of Inspex, Inc.[16]

In 2006, the company acquired ADE Corporation, a supplier of silicon wafer metrology and related gear.[17]

In 2007, KLA-Tencor acquired lithography and plasma etch products manufacturer OnWafer Technologies,[18] temperature monitoring firm SensArray Corporation[18] and process control and metrology company Therma-Wave Corporation.[19]

In 2008, the company acquired test and measurement company ICOS Vision Systems Corporation NV,[20] and the Microelectronic Inspection Equipment (MIE) business unit of Vistec Semiconductor Systems, Inc.[21]

In 2010, KLA-Tencor acquired technology hardware company Ambios Technology, Inc.[21]

In 2014, the company acquired computational lithography and inspection company Luminescent Technologies, Inc.[21]

In 2017, the company acquired optical profiling and inspection company Zeta Technologies Co. Ltd.[21]

In 2018, KLA-Tencor acquired the Nano Indenter product line from Keysight Technologies. The company also acquired Nanomechanics Inc. and MicroVision.[21]

In March 2018, KLA-Tencor announced an agreement to acquire Yavne, Israel-based automated optical inspection equipment vendor Orbotech for approximately $3.4 billion.[22] Orbotech also owned Newport, Wales, UK-based SPTS Technologies Ltd, a manufacturer of etch, PVD and CVD wafer processing equipment for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LED, high-speed RF, and power management devices.[23]

On January 10, 2019, KLA-Tencor announced that they were changing their name to KLA Corporation.[24] In February, the company announced that its acquisition of Orbotech was complete.[22] The company's name change took effect in July 2019.[25] In June, KLA announced plans to open a second US headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The facility was scheduled to open in summer 2021, with plans to host 500-600 new hires, around 50% of whom were to be engineers.[26] The facility would reportedly have a relationship with the University of Michigan and support automotive industry partnerships.

In July 2021, the company introduced new inspection products for automotive chips.[27] In November, KLA's new North American headquarters opened in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[28] The facility is 230,000 square feet, and is designed to support 1,000 employees.[28]

Illegal stock options backdating

In January 2008, KLA paid $65 million to settle allegations that the company and certain executives had illegally backdated stock option grants.[29] The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated that "KLA dramatically overstated its reported financial results, depriving investors of accurate information about the company's compensation costs and financial performance. It is especially troubling for a public company to engage in such misconduct even after being cautioned that these practices were impermissible."[30]

KLA Foundation

KLA Foundation (originally KLA-Tencor Foundation) is the company's philanthropic arm, and was founded in 2000.[31] KLA Foundation supports and benefits the global communities in which KLA employees live, such as donations to the Milpitas school district, the American Red Cross, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group's COVID-19 Aid Coalition.[32]


  1. ^ "KLA Corporation FY2023 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. August 4, 2023.
  2. ^ "KLA CORP (KLAC:NASDAQ GS): Company Description - Bloomberg". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "KLA Instruments, Tencor to Merge". LA Times. January 15, 1997. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "KLA-Tencor". Silicon Valley Historical Association. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  5. ^ Rechcigl, Miloslav Jr. (November 7, 2016). "Encyclopedia of Bohemian and Czech-American Biography, Volume 1". Google Books. ISBN 9781524619879. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  6. ^ "Tencor at 20 Years". The Chip History Center. 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "KLA-Tencor Weathers Storm, Builds for Future". Semiconductor Online. August 12, 1998. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  8. ^ "Amray was acquired by KLA-Tencor on April 7, 1998". Mergr. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  9. ^ "Keithley sells Quantox line to KLA-Tencor". eeTimes. November 12, 1998. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  10. ^ "KLA-Tencor Buys Ultrapointe from Uniphase". Photonics Online. January 8, 1999. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  11. ^ "KLA-Tencor acquires yield analysis software maker". Electronics Weekly. December 1, 1999. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  12. ^ "KLA-Tencor to Acquire Finle for lithography modeling, analysis capabilities". eeTimes. February 1, 2000. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  13. ^ "KLA-Tencor acquires Fab Solutions for advanced process control". eeTimes. March 24, 2000. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  14. ^ "KLA-Tencor acquiring Phase Metrics to expand in data storage inspection markets". eeTimes. April 11, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  15. ^ "KLA-Tencor buys Candela Instruments, moves to expand storage metrology business". eeTimes. October 4, 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "KLA buys wafer inspection technology from Inspex". eeTimes. October 26, 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "KLA completes acquisition of ADE". eeTimes. October 12, 2006. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  18. ^ a b "OnWafer Technologies, Inc". Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances. Regents of the University of California / UC Berkeley. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  19. ^ "KLA-Tencor set to buy Therma-Wave for $75 million". eeTimes. January 8, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  20. ^ "KLA-Tencor to acquire Belgium's ICOS Vision Systems". Vision Systems Design. February 26, 2008. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d e Krejca, David (February 1, 2019). "KLA-Tencor: A New Acquisition To Add To The Company's Revenues - KLA Corporation (NASDAQ_KLAC)". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved November 2, 2019.(subscription required)
  22. ^ a b "KLA completes long-awaited acquisition of Orbotech". Evaluation Engineering. February 20, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  23. ^ "KLA completes acquisition of SPTS' parent firm Orbotech". Semiconductor Today. February 20, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  24. ^ "KLA-Tencor Corporation to change name to KLA Corporation". Evaluation Engineering. January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  25. ^ "KLA Corporation Form 8-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. July 16, 2019.
  26. ^ "KLA to open $150M second headquarters in Ann Arbor". mLive. June 11, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  27. ^ "Look inside KLA's new $200M headquarters in Ann Arbor". dBusiness. July 6, 2021. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  28. ^ a b "KLA Debuts New Portfolio of Automotive Chip Testing Products". Click on Detroit. November 11, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  29. ^ "Law firm says KLA-Tencor to pay $65 mln to settle lawsuit". Reuters. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2022-09-02.
  30. ^ "Press Release: SEC Charges Former KLA-Tencor CEO With Fraud For Improper Stock Options Backdating; 2007-143; July 25, 2007". Retrieved 2022-09-02.
  31. ^ "KLA-Tencor Foundation". Guidestar. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  32. ^ "Corporate Champion: When Covid hit, KLA made face shields, procured equipment for Valley Medical". Silicon Valley Business Journal. November 12, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.