Lam Research Acquires Coventor

Lam expands into the modeling and analysis market.


In a move to expand its product portfolio, Lam Research has acquired Coventor, a provider of simulation and modeling solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS industries.

With the acquisition of Coventor, fab tool vendor Lam enters the simulation and modeling technology market. Coventor sells the so-called SEMulator3D modeling and analysis platform, which simulates a fab process flow. The “virtual fabrication” technology allows engineers to understand manufacturing effects early in the development process and reduce time-consuming and costly silicon learning cycles.

Privately-held Coventor was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Cary, N.C. On its Web site, Coventor is listed as a Lam Research company. The deal has been completed.

The move will expand Lam’s advanced process control efforts. “We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam’s desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units,” said Mike Jamiolkowski, president and CEO of Coventor, in a statement. “We believe that our combination will increase the value we can deliver to our customers by providing more capability and improving their time to market.”

“We are looking forward to Coventor being a part of Lam and increasing the value and contribution we jointly provide to our customers,” said Rick Gottscho, executive vice president and corporate chief technical officer of Lam Research. “To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market. Together, our collective goal is to deliver more simulation, more virtual fabrication, and an overall increase in computational techniques to support the development of next-generation transistors, memories, MEMS and IoT devices.”

Besides simulation, Lam is also taking a step into the life sciences arena. NanoString Technologies and Lam recently announced a strategic collaboration to develop NanoString’s proprietary next-generation sequencing platform.

The move to buy Coventor represents Lam’s latest acquisition efforts. In 2015, Lam entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KLA-Tencor for about $10.6 billion. But after a series of delays due to regulatory issues, Lam Research and KLA-Tencor terminated their proposed merger agreement.

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