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AUSTIN-Semiconductor equipment maker giant Applied Materials Inc. has bought a small Austin software company, Global Knowledge Services Inc. Specific terms were not disclosed, but Global Knowledge will be a wholly owned subsidiary of its takeover company.

Global Knowledge, based at 5918 W. Courtyard Dr. in the northwest submarket, develops data mining software to improve semiconductor manufacturing yield and efficiency. It could not be determined this morning whether Global Knowledge would move its operations to Applied Material’s Austin campus.

Applied Materials, based in Santa Clara, CA, makes, among other things, inspection equipment that can use the Global Knowledge software in a complementary manner. Applied Material’s main manufacturing facilities are in Austin’s northeast submarket. It has about 3,400 employees in Austin. The company has cut jobs and put other cost-cutting measures in place because of the worldwide slump in semiconductor sales and a resulting cutback in chip-making equipment.

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