Xitronix Wins Patent Infringement Case Against KLA-Tencor
AUSTIN, TX, February 2, 2011 – Xitronix Corporation, a developer of advanced measurement systems designed to control key process steps in the manufacturing of semiconductors, today announced it has received a final judgment invalidating KLA-Tencor’s patent claims against the company.
In the litigation before the Federal Court in Austin, Texas, originally filed on September 24, 2008, KLA-Tencor alleged that Xitronix had infringed on its patents, and sought a permanent injunction against Xitronix. Instead, a jury found that KLA-Tencor’s asserted claims were invalid and that Xitronix did not infringe.
“We are excited to announce our victory against KLA-Tencor and focus now on bringing Xitronix’ unique process control solution to the semiconductor industry,” said Judd Chism, CEO and a founding member of Xitronix. “From the outset, we were confident that we would win. Our technology provides a clear competitive advantage to leading-edge manufacturers which cannot be achieved using other technologies.”
The technology at the center of the case was Xitronix’ non-destructive photo-modulated reflectance (PMR) solution that enables process control measurements to be performed quickly, cost-effectively and accurately to enhance production and yield for semiconductor manufacturers.
Xitronix’ XP700 system is a high throughput, fully automated 300mm measurement system designed to meet the production needs of advanced process semiconductor manufacturers worldwide. The Xitronix XP700 incorporates the proven dopant activation and strain measurement capabilities of Xitronix PMR technology in a fully automated platform suited for real-time process control.
“Our technology clearly solves a new and unmet process control requirement in semiconductor manufacturing. The Xitronix PMR technology is a game-changer for manufacturers seeking to control the material and electronic properties of semiconductor nanostructures,” said Will Chism, Ph.D., Xitronix' CTO and the inventor of the technology.
“We are excited to be in a position to now fully pursue the market potential. Our customers can be assured that we are the sole source provider for the technology,” added Will Chism.
Xitronix developed the technology in response to the semiconductor industry’s focus on engineering properties as chips become increasingly smaller and reach physical limits. The Xitronix solution is able to measure material properties quickly and precisely in a non-destructive manner, thus increasing yield by ensuring correct production early in the manufacturing process.
“We believe KLA-Tencor’s motivation for the litigation was purely a competitive concern and not a desire to protect intellectual property. Once we got into discovery, there were obvious problems with the validity of the patents being asserted,” said Steve Hershberger, lead trial attorney for Xitronix.
“When we originally began to introduce the PMR technology to major manufacturers in 2007, we garnered a great deal of excitement and interest. The infringement case put our efforts on hold; however, the demand is even greater today. Our near-term focus will be on key early adopters who understand the competitive advantage afforded by our technology,” stated Judd Chism.
Xitronix has raised a total of $2.4 million since its inception, including a $500,000 award from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
Xitronix Receives $500,000 Investment from Texas Emerging Technology Fund
AUSTIN, TX, April 3, 2008 – Governor Rick Perry today announced Texas’ investment of $500,000 in Xitronix Corporation, an Austin-based semiconductor metrology company, through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Xitronix will use the investment to bring its powerful measurement and characterization technology for atomic-scale devices to market in a fully-automated 300mm platform for use by semiconductor manufacturers.
“We are excited to receive this investment from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund,” said Bob Shepard, a Xitronix board member. “This confirms Rick Perry and the leaders of Texas’ commitment to creating high value jobs and economic prosperity in Texas.”
Xitronix was selected for investment after an extensive due diligence process based on multiple criteria, including a stringent analyses of the market and financial opportunity, technology potential, management team and economic impact to Texas. Xitronix is first to market with disruptive technology that meets critical process control needs in advanced semiconductor manufacturing for active dopant, strained silicon and gate channel mobility. Xitronix technologies are protected by US and international issued patents and patents pending.
“Consumer demand for increased speed, power and integration in computing and electronic devices drives semiconductor manufacturers to scale the size of transistors in integrated circuits smaller and smaller in order to pack more performance onto a single chip. As transistor sizes get smaller, due to the limits of physical scaling, manufacturers are encountering a proliferation of manufacturing problems at each process node,” said Judd Chism, CEO of Xitronix. “Xitronix’ PMPR technology enables manufacturers to directly measure and control nanophysical properties immediately after each critical step in the process is completed, instead of after the entire device is completed.”
About the Emerging Technology Fund
The TETF is a $200 million initiative created at the governor’s request by the Texas Legislature in 2005 to ensure a vibrant economy and a global leadership position for Texas. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House. Further information on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund can be found at gov.texas.gov/ecodev/etf/.