Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler

The leading-edge surface profilometry technology of the KLA P-17, combined with a production-proven wafer handling system makes the P-170 a high performance solution for 24x7 production environments. Supports a wide range of automated measurements from a few nanometers to one millimeter. The system supports 2D and 3D measurements of step heights, roughness, bow, and stress for scans up to 200mm without stitching with advanced pattern recognition algorithms, enhanced optics, and an advanced stage for robust performance and seamless recipe transportability between systems.



A global technology leader who make an impact by creating solutions that drive progress and transform industries. Collaboration is the key to their success. KLA provide leading-edge technology and devices using advanced inspection tools, metrology systems, and computational analytics. Their solutions accelerate tomorrow’s electronic devices. The enable evolution and innovation in the data era across key industries including automotive, mobile and data center.  


Key Features

  • Step Height Repeatability of 4Å on a 1µm step
  • Long Scan Over Full 200mm Stage without stitching
  • Video: 5MP high-resolution color camera
  • Low force with constant force control: 0.03 to 50mg
  • 2D & 3D Measurements Including Stress
  • Auto Pattern Recognition & Sequencing
  • Automatic Wafer Cassette Handling System
  • Seamless Automation Recipe Transportability
  • Software: Easy-to-use software interface
  • Production capability: Fully automated with sequencing, pattern recognition and SECS/GEM
  • Wafer handler: Automatically loads 75mm through 200mm opaque

Automatic Sample Handling & Inspection

The KLA P-170 Stylus Profiler combines the marketing leading measurement technology of the P-17 with the production proven HRP®-260 automated sample handling system. This combination makes the P-170 a powerful and flexible solution for inspection applications in the semiconductor, compound semiconductor, and other related industries. The sample handling system supports up to two cassette stations, and samples between 75mm and 200mm in diameter, with fully automatic handling.

A comprehensive set of automation features are available with the P-170, including defect review, sequencing, pattern recognition, and integration with SECS/GEM and HSMS. KLA’s Pattern recognition algorithms provide automatic sample alignment, enhancing measurement stability and reducing operator error. Automation recipes are fully transportable between systems.

High Measurement Repeatability

With over 40 years of experience developing surface metrology technology, the UltraLite® sensor used in KLA’s P-170 is highly advanced, with excellent measurement speed and accuracy. The UltraLite® sensor features constant force control, which improves measurement stability, and enables the accurate measurement of soft materials such as photoresist. The UltraLite® technology also provides market leading measurement repeatability, with a step height repeatability of 4Å on a 1μm step.

A high vertical resolution and range, from nanometres to 1000μm, allows the UltraLite® sensor to provide unprecedented detail and clarity in surface measurements. The wide Z range allows for greater flexibility when measuring samples with large variations in topography.

Unmatched Scan Length Of 200mm

The P-170’s automatic stage is able to perform long scans across the full 200mm diameter of the stage, in a single continuous scan without the need for scan stitching. The full diameter of sample wafers can be measured in a single scan. With a 200mm long scan length the P-170 is a market leader, and provides unmatched accuracy and efficiency.

Comprehensive 2D & 3D Measurement Capabilities

The P-170 offers a fully featured range of 2D and 3D measurements suitable for production environments. Step height can be measured with a vertical range from nanometres to 1000µm. Detailed 3D topographies can be produced for surface visualisation and defect review. The UltraLite® sensor’s constant force control allows for accurate measurement of soft materials.

2D and 3D measurements of texture, including roughness and waviness, and 2D surface bow and shape measurements are also supported. The P-170 can also be configured for measuring 2D and 3D stress for samples with multiple layers. With the P-170’s motorised 200mm stage, 2D stress measurement can be measured in a single scan across the diameter of a sample without stitching. 3D stress uses a series of 2D scans, rotating the stage between scans.

Shown left: 3D Surface Topography
Shown right: 3D Stress Mapping

Product range

Alpha-Step® D-500
Alpha-Step® D-600
Tencor™ P-7
Tencor™ P-17 & P-17 OF
Tencor™ P-170


  • Step Height: 2D step height
  • Texture: 2D roughness and waviness
  • Form: 2D bow and shape
  • Stress: 2D thin film stress
  • Defect review: 2D and 3D defect surface topography


  • Universities, research labs and institutes
  • Semiconductor and compound semiconductor
  • LED: Light emitting diodes
  • Solar
  • MEMS: Micro-electro-mechanical systems
  • Data storage
  • Automotive
  • Medical devices

And more: Contact us with your requirements


Stylus Options

The Tencor P-170 has a variety of styli available to support the measurement of step heights, high aspect ratio steps, roughness, sample bow, and stress. The tip radius ranges from 40nm to 50µm and determines the lateral resolution of the measurement. The included angle ranges from 20 to 100 degrees, which specifies the maximum aspect ratio of the measured feature. All styli are manufactured from diamond to reduce wear and increase stylus lifetime.

Sample Chucks

The Tencor P-170 has a range of chucks available to support application requirements. The standard is a vacuum chuck with support for measuring samples from 75 to 200mm. A stress chuck is available with 3-point locators to support the sample in a neutral position for accurate bow measurements. Additional options for bowed wafer sample handling are available.

Handler Options

The Tencor P-170 handler includes an aligner for opaque wafers (e.g., GaAs) and a cassette station for 200mm wafers. Options include transparent sample alignment (e.g., sapphire), smaller sample sizes ranging from 75mm to 150mm, a second cassette station, a cassette slot mapper, a signal tower, and an ionizer.

Isolation Tables

The Tencor P-170 is configured with the TMC 68-500 Series free-standing isolation table, which uses air isolators to provide passive isolation. This is a custom isolation table that meets SEMI S8 ergonomic requirements, placing the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and cassette station at the correct ergonomic height.

Step Height Standards

The Tencor P-170 uses thin and thick film NIST-traceable step height standards offered by VLSI Standards. The standards feature an oxide step on a silicon die mounted on a quartz block, or an etched quartz step with a chrome coating. 200mm wafer based step height standards are also available. A step height range of 8nm to 250µm is available.

Apex Analysis Software

Apex analysis software enhances the standard data analysis capability of the Tencor P-170 with an extended suite of leveling, filtering, step height, roughness, and surface topography analysis techniques. Apex supports ISO roughness calculation methods, plus local standards, such as ASME. Apex can also serve as a report writing platform with the capability to add text, annotations, and pass/fail criteria. Apex is offered in eight languages.

Offline Analysis Software

The Tencor P-170 offline software has the same data analysis and recipe creation capability that exists on the tool. This enables the user to create recipes and analyze data without using valuable tool time.

Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition uses pre-taught patterns to automatically align the sample. This enables fully automated measurements for enhanced measurement stability by reducing the impact of operator error. Pattern recognition combined with advanced calibrations reduces stage positioning error and enables seamless transfer of recipes between systems.


SECS/GEM and HSMS communications support factory automation systems and enable remote control of the Tencor P-170. Measurements results are automatically reported to host SPC systems, plus alarms and key calibration/configuration data. The Tencor P-170 is compliant with SEMI standards E4, E5, E30, and E37.


Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler Brochure

Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler Brochure

Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler Specification Sheet

Tencor™ P-170 Stylus Profiler Specification Sheet

Find out more about how the P-170 can improve the efficiency of your semiconductor production by talking to our experienced technical experts today. The surface metrology specialists at CN tech would be happy to discuss your production application and help you find the right solution. Contact us today!