KLA-Tencor today unveiled the MRW3TM its third-generation magnetic metrology system for the hard disk drive (HDD) and semiconductor memory markets. Based on the market-leading MRW200 platform, the MRW3 measures the magnetic properties of HDD recording heads and magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) on product wafers for production control and early detection of process issues that could adversely impact yield. Leveraging a proprietary closed-loop magnet system, the MRW3 delivers best-in-class magnetic field repeatability of less than 0.1 oersted without sacrificing its performance advantage of sub-one second per resistance/magnetic-field transfer curve. In addition, the MRW3 introduces features such as GEM/SECS factory automation, high reliability (1000 hours MTBF) and both 200-mm and 300-mm configurations making it the first "fab-ready" quasi-static test system on the market today.

The MRW3 system has completed an extensive beta evaluation at one of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturing companies.

Advanced HDD recording heads, as well as MRAM, a leading candidate for next-generation non-volatile solid state memory, use magnetic tunnel junctions for their core technology. The MRW3 system incorporates specific features to accelerate the development of this important new technology, including constant-voltage electronics and bit toggle tests. According to Janusz Nowak, a leading researcher in the field of magnetic tunnel junctions, "The KLA-Tencor MRW3 provides essential measurement capability that accelerates the development and production of devices using magnetic tunnel junctions."

KLA-Tencor is currently accepting orders for the MRW3. Shipping will begin this month.