Technical writing philosophy: Samples of the KLA technical manual on killer faulty silicon wafers below

Note to readers: This was then (the late 1990s).

I will be addressing the issue of technical writing philosophy among other issues. In the interim, you might find the following link helpful:

Currently, l am writing documentation for a complicated electrical mobility tool. Ever since 1990, when my family and I relocated to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, I have written documentation on a regular basis working for such companies as Nortel Networks, IBM, Schlumberger/Sema, and three start-ups in the Silicon Valley (a place where my heart resides).

The following example dates from 1995, one of the most difficult years of my life. Certainly, I would not have made public any document that is classified (as is the one below) if time did not make such classification moot.


This is KLA-Tancor now (2020)

MILPITAS, Calif., Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — KLA Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC) today announced operating results for its second quarter of fiscal year 2020, which ended on Dec. 31, 2019, and reported GAAP net income attributable to KLA of $381 million and GAAP earnings per diluted share attributable to KLA of $2.40 on revenues of $1.51 billion.

“KLA once again demonstrated solid execution in the December quarter, delivering results in the upper end of the range of guidance, and capping multiple records across revenue, GAAP EPS and non-GAAP EPS for the quarter,” commented Rick Wallace, president and CEO of KLA. “As we begin the new calendar year, we are excited with the growth opportunities that lie ahead for KLA, with the industry outlook calling for growth led by technology transitions in advanced Logic, expanding investment in EUV, and with the expectation that Memory investment will improve in the calendar year. As the leading supplier of process control and specialty semiconductor process equipment for semiconductor and related electronics industries, and supported by a large and growing services business, KLA is uniquely positioned to benefit from this growth while continuing to deliver high levels of profitability.”


What follows are examples of the documentation work I did for KLA in the 1990s

What makes this sample useful is that it represents, as I will discuss, the best example of an optimal organizational structure to produce documentation. Since writing, KLA has merged with Tancor. I will always be grateful to KLA-Tancor for making possible the production of quality documentation unequaled by subsequent experience that made me write poetry in frustration.