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KLA-Tencor:What's it like to work here?

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Review averages

  • 15 employees say

    Excellent (6)
    Good (4)
    Satisfactory (3)
    Subpar (2)
  • 0 applicants say

    Excellent (0)
    Good (0)
    Satisfactory (0)
    Subpar (0)

Company summary

KLA-Tencor was formed in April 1997 through the merger of KLA Instruments (KLA) and Tencor Instruments (Tencor), two long-time leaders in the semiconductor equipment and yield management software system industry. Prior to the merger, both businesses served a segment of the inspection and metrology area; with KLA focused on defect inspection solutions and Tencor placing its emphasis on metrology solutions. Merging together in a one-to-one stock swap valued at $1.3 billion, KLA-Tencor became the most important process control player in the industry, bringing to market a complete line of yield management products and services from a single company.

KLA was named after its founders, Ken Levy and Bob Anderson. The word “Tencor” came about because the founder of Tencor, Karel Urbanek, wanted a two syllable name that would be easy to remember.

KLA Instruments was first established in 1975, with its first yield management product emerging on the market in 1978—an automated inspection system that reduced photomask inspection time from eight hours to 15 minutes. Shortly thereafter, KLA Instruments went public and expanded its inspection product portfolio to include patterned wafer inspection systems. Two years later, KLA further broadened its offerings into the wafer metrology business through optical overlay and line-width measurement systems. During the subsequent few years, the company expanded its product base through the development of yield management software solutions to help integrate inspection and measurement data for yield management analysis—ultimately forming the industry’s first yield management software services group to provide customers with expertise in yield enhancement through engineering consulting services.

1977, Tencor Instruments established its name, and first introduced its yield management product—the Alpha-Step stylus surface profiler system just seven months later. This yield management solution provided significant improvement in step-height measurement, a critical parameter in measuring film layer thickness. In 1984, Tencor Instruments launched its first Surfscan product—a particle and contamination defect system based on laser scanning technology, which soon became the production standard. By the late 1990s, Tencor had broadened its yield management product offerings to also include defect review and data analysis tools. Following an initial public offering in 1993, Tencor then acquired Prometrix, a leading supplier of thin-film measurement solutions, and further expanded its yield management product offering. At the time of its merger with KLA, Tencor had revenues of approximately $403 million and 1,400 employees around the world.

KLA-Tencor Corporation, a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions, partners with customers around the world to develop state-of-the-art inspection and metrology technologies. These technologies serve the semiconductor, LED, and other related nanoelectronics industries. With a portfolio of industry-standard products and a team of world-class engineers and scientists, the company has created superior solutions for its customers for 40 years.

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Company info

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Products, services


Broadband Plasma Patterned Wafer Defect Inspection Systems

2930 Series

2920 Series

2910 Series

2900 Series

Product Description

The 2930 Series broadband plasma defect inspection systems provide advancements in optical defect inspection, enabling discovery of yield-critical defects on leading-edge IC devices. Using enhanced broadband plasma illumination technology, new optics modes, and pin•point™ and super•cell™ technologies, the 2930 and 2935 broadband plasma defect inspectors provide the flexibility required to capture a wide range of defect types and to address optical defect inspection challenges. The sensitivity of the 2930 Series is paired with optical wafer defect inspection speed, enabling fast defect discovery and full characterization of defect issues for proven reduction in defect learning cycle times. The 2930 Series broadband plasma inspectors complement the inspection performance of the 39xx Series broadband plasma inspectors and are part of a broad portfolio of advanced optical defect inspection systems that accelerate the development and production ramp of leading-edge memory and logic devices.

  • Broadband plasma illumination technology enhancements deliver >1.3x the light intensity of the 2920 for increased signal on very small yield-critical defects, such as voids and bridges

  • Multiple optical innovations – including high-resolution optics, low-noise sensor, two-dimensional Directional E-Field™, selectable apertures and numerous wavelength bands – boost defect signal, reduce wafer noise, and provide the flexibility required to detect new defect types across a broad range of process layers and device types

  • pin•point™ provides advanced design-based technology that enables the definition of very small care areas for improved defect discovery and monitoring of defects in critical die regions and improved focus on yield-relevant defects through systematic nuisance suppression

  • super•cell™ provides enhanced cell-to-cell inspection for improved defect capture in PMOS and NMOS regions

  • Repeater-in-array inspection capability supports early EUV reticle characterization and monitoring

  • New advanced algorithms, including iColorFilter™, suppress noise related to pattern or process variations, increasing defects’ signal-to-noise ratios for ultimate sensitivity

  • Higher data rate provides the 2930 Series with increased throughput compared to the 2920 Series enabling higher sensitivity operation at the same cost-of-ownership or increased sampling for improved process control

  • Accu-ray™ and Flex Aperture technologies quickly determine the best optical settings for capture of critical defect types, significantly reducing the time required to discover critical yield issues

  • Stage delivers sub-0.5μm defect coordinate accuracy for faster and more efficient review and classification of defects on the wafer

  • Upgradeability from previous-generation 29xx systems and extendible platform architecture protects a fab’s capital investment

  • Synergy with KLA-Tencor’s e-beam defect review and classification systems enables accurate and rapid identification of small defects for faster yield learning



Lithography: The technological innovations implemented on the 2930 Series broadband plasma defect inspectors can deliver significantly improved defect capture on after-develop inspection (ADI) layers. The 2930 Series’ performance on ADI is comparable to the defect capture results obtained at after-etch inspection (AEI). This allows engineers to inspect product wafers at ADI instead of AEI, shortening the time required to identify critical excursions in the patterning process and reducing the number of wafers scrapped. In addition, the 2920 Series’ integrated design-aware capability can provide improved process window qualification (PWQ) performance, helping engineers to quickly identify sources of systematic yield loss throughout the lithography process module.

Etch: Used in critical etch line monitoring and defect discovery applications, the 2930 and 2935 inspectors utilize a enhanced broadband plasma illumination and a range of optical modes to capture voids, residues, micro-bridges, bottom bridges, protrusions, and other yield-limiting etch defect types. In addition, by leveraging critical patterns, pin•point can discover and monitor yield-relevant etch defects in dense pattern areas, providing engineers with early feedback on design errors or process drift. Additional innovative algorithms suppress nuisance, thereby reducing the time required to discover etch defects, enabling faster time to resolution of yield issues.

CMP Defects: With the sensitivity improvements provided by increased light intensity and advanced algorithms, the 2930 Series broadband plasma optical defect inspectors can detect opens, voids, bridges and other critical defects on CMP layers. By focusing CMP defect inspection on critical patterns, pin•point technology significantly reduces noise due to line edge roughness and metal grain on BEOL Cu CMP layers, enabling detection of very tiny yield-killer CMP defects in dense pattern regions at advanced design nodes. The performance of the 2930 optical defect inspector on CMP layers enables faster process development and better yield monitoring in the CMP process module.

Additional Products


2920 Series: Provides high sensitivity at high throughput for yield-critical defect capture on 16nm and below memory and logic devices.

2910 Series: Enables defect capture on 2Xnm/1Xnm memory and logic devices.

2900 Series: Provides capture of yield-relevant defects on 2Xnm memory and logic devices.

For information on the 39xx Series broadband plasma patterned wafer defect inspectors, please see the 39xx Series product page.

For other broadband plasma patterned wafer defect inspection tools, please see K-T Certified.


Benefits –

Calling the explorers.

We offer plenty of ways for our team to stay healthy and happy at work and at home. After all, our employees are enabling the digital age. That level of excellence calls for equally excellent benefits.

KLA-Tencor Total Rewards Include 

  • Competitive salary and bonuses

  • Comprehensive health and wellness programs (including risk assessments and seminars)

  • Employee stock purchase program

  • Paid time off

  • Gym discounts/reimbursements and on-site fitness center

  • 401(k) plan with company matching

  • Volunteer and community involvement opportunities

  • Continuing education tuition reimbursement

  • Group discounts on auto, home/renters and pet insurance, as well as legal services

  • Pre-tax Commuter Assistance program

Intern Benefits
Interns are an important part of our team, so we offer excellent intern benefits including:

  • Medical (depending on hours worked)

  • Relocation

  • Housing/car stipend


For applicants


KLA-Tencor Innovation: 1Xnm Defect Discovery
KLA/Tencor Technology
KLA-Tencor Careers: Working at KLA-Tencor

What we offer

What is special about working for us?

Calling the focused.
The determined.
The best.


At KLA-Tencor, we’re making technology advancements that are bigger—and tinier—than the world has ever seen. We research, develop and manufacture the world’s most advanced inspection and measurement equipment for the semiconductor and nanoelectronics industries. We’re passionate about creating solutions that drive progress and transform entire industries.

We believe innovation can come from anywhere. So whether you’re a seasoned scientist or a new college graduate, if you’re looking to solve problems and improve how the world works, you’ll have the opportunity to do it at KLA-Tencor.

Calling the passionate.

KLA-Tencor is a smart place to work:We’re big enough to make an impact on the world and small enough to care about your career. We’ll help you develop professionally and personally through leadership training around the globe and advanced degree and certification programs from major universities.

We’re a global team of 6,000 people in 17 countries, united by a culture that rewards innovation and recognizes the power of collaboration to deliver breakthroughs.

Our CEO started as a KLA-Tencor engineer. That’s pretty good proof that we’re a company of opportunity.


·       Milpitas, CA, United States

·       Chandler, AR, United States

·       Hayward, CA, United States

·       Meridian, ID, United States

·       Westwood, MA, United States

·       Edina, MN, United States

·       Portsmouth, NH, United States

·       Albuquerque, NM, United States

·       Hopewell Junction, NY, United States

·       Beaverton, OR, United States

·       Austin, TX, United States

·       Richardson, TX, United States

·       Colchester, VT, United States

·       Manassas, VA, United States

How would we describe the company culture?

Our Values:

At KLA-Tencor, we believe in the power of collaboration, innovation and execution. We know that the best way to accomplish those goals is through a diverse environment built on communication, understanding, global culture, skills and knowledge. We know that technology is constantly changing—but our values sustain our market and technology leadership.

We never give up.

Drive to Be Better
There’s always room for improvement.

High Performance Teams
We lead and collaborate to perform at our best.

Honest, Forthright and Consistent 
We are honest, forthright and consistent in what we do and say.

We strive to be indispensable to our customers by providing them with unique and differentiated products and solutions.

What else should applicants know about us?

Calling the curious.

Our award-winning Corporate Learning Center is one of the best in the industry. It offers professional development and leadership classes around the globe, plus customized advanced engineering degree and certification programs from Stanford University, San Jose State University and the University of Michigan.

And we’re not the only ones who believe in our programs—Training magazine honored us as an inaugural member of its Hall of Fame after we were the first company to make their list of top 10 training companies five years in a row.

Key Programs Career Development 
Through our Corporate Learning Center, you’ll have access to classes, coaching, team-building events, talent development planning and other career-advancing benefits.

Information Resource Center 
The Information Resource Center is a centralized source for technical and business information for our global team.

Tuition Reimbursement Program 
You keep us ahead of the competition in product innovation, service and commitment to high-quality solutions. We support your continued learning by helping you pay for it.

Education Awards 
We’re such proponents of education, we’ll even reward you financially for completing degree or certificate programs.

Scholarship Programs

The Urbanek Founders Scholarship Fund provides financial support for the children of KLA- Tencor employees who continue their education after high school.


 “I chose KLA-Tencor to work on cutting edge technology with a market leader, to interact and work with highly motivated, intelligent people, to work in a global environment, to travel to new and exciting places and especially for the work variety. I never get bored at KLA-Tencor, there is always something new and exciting to work on. I also couldn’t say no to the great weather!”
- Technical Support Manager, Silicon Valley, CA

Application advice

Expectations of applicants

Calling the left brains.

The right brains.

The open minds.

Calling the adventurers ready to join a company that’s pushing the limits of nanotechnology.

We hire smart people, not just experienced workers. We recognize that sometimes the best solution doesn’t come from a seasoned engineer or a veteran scientist. It comes from a recent college graduate with a fresh perspective.

On our team you’ll collaborate with different global divisions, learn from global business practices and gain invaluable experience. We also offer hands-on college internships, where you’ll develop your talents through real-world assignments and projects that will directly impact our business.

Our opportunities will take you to the next level—where you’ll discover how technology with a small focus can have a huge impact.

University Recruiting
Internships & Co-ops
Summer Events – Silicon Valley, CA

University Recruiting

Calling the heroes.

If you’re currently enrolled in an undergraduate, master’s or PhD program at a school where we actively recruit, you’ll have opportunities to meet our recruiters at career fairs, information sessions and on-campus interviews. Check with your Career Services Center or on our Events Calendar for upcoming events.




















KLA-Tencor Total Rewards Include:

  • Comprehensive health and wellness programs

  • Employee stock purchase program

  • Profit-sharing to eligible employees

  • Paid time off

  • Gym discounts/reimbursements and on-site fitness center

  • 401(k) plan with company matching

  • Continuing education tuition reimbursement

For a comprehensive Total Rewards list click here.


How do I apply?

Visit our Hiring Process page for more information about how to join us.

Internships & Co-ops

Calling the exceptional.

"How’d you spend the summer?" "Oh, you know, developing advanced image processing algorithms."

We hire only the best for our College Internship Program because our interns are fully integrated members of our team. Once you’ve been accepted into this program, we’ll develop your talents through real-world projects. We’ll support you 360° with networking events, social activities and benefits.

Why the special treatment? We want to see you back at KLA-Tencor when you graduate.

What skills do I need?

Prospective interns should be critical thinkers with the ability to drive and implement ideas in a changing environment. Our ideal intern is self-driven—and still a strong team player. We also look for high ethical standards, excellent communication, and interpersonal and organizational skills.


  • Minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Good standing at your university

  • Completed sophomore year (60+ hours)

  • BS, MS or Ph.D.

  • At least one semester or quarter remaining

  • Able to work full time during internship

Intern Benefits

  • Medical (depending on hours worked)

  • Relocation

  • Housing/car stipend

What types of internship and co-op positions does KLA-Tencor offer?

Our internships and co-op positions include:

  • Applications Engineering Intern/Co-op

  • Electrical Engineering Intern

  • Field Applications Engineer Intern

  • Finance Summer Intern

  • Human Resources Intern

  • Industrial Engineering Intern

  • Marketing Intern

  • Mechanical Engineering Intern

  • Optical Engineering Intern

  • Software/Algorithm Engineer Intern

  • Supply Chain Intern

How do I apply?

Search Our Jobs can help you create a customized search and identify all current job openings, including internship and co-op opportunities near you.

Summer Events – Silicon Valley, CA

The University Relations Program will keep you busy with social events, volunteer activities, networking opportunities with executives and sessions covering all of our major business units. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:

  • Brown Bag Speakers Series

  • Clean Room Tours

  • Welcome Lunch with our CEO

  • Happy Hour Events

·         Intern Poster Board Session

·         Summer BBQ

·         Bowling

·         Volunteer Shifts at Family Giving Tree

Reviews for KLA-Tencor

Reviews - What employees say

3.54 Employees say
0.00 Applicants say
  • 01.Jan 2018
  • Employee

Suggestions for improvement

  • More employee bonding other than luncheon events. Maybe more team bonding
  • 13.Dec 2017
  • Employee

Support from management

Puppets- No backbone because of the good pay. They soeak up, there fired.


fellow Field Engineers help each other

Freedom to work independently

that's the job

Internal Communication

They (MNGT) can't handle the truth

Attitude towards older colleagues

After 50 your out!

Work-Life Balance

not enough employees Burning out workers!

Job Security

good employees get let go if you disagree with you MGR

  • 04.Dec 2017
  • Employee

Suggestions for improvement

  • More people to work here, don't have much

Review averages

  • 15 employees say

    Excellent (6)
    Good (4)
    Satisfactory (3)
    Subpar (2)
  • 0 applicants say

    Excellent (0)
    Good (0)
    Satisfactory (0)
    Subpar (0)

kununu score comparisons

15 reviews

Industry average (Consumer Electronics)
42,950 reviews

kununu average
2,542,000 reviews