The 2017 International Test Conference


Machine learning is a hot topic at many technical conferences this year. It will be true at the upcoming International Test Conference, which opens near the end of this month in Fort Worth, Texas. On Sunday, October 29, there are two tutorials devoted to machine learning. Monday, October 30, will have one tutorial related to the topic. The conference gets fully under way on Halloween, wit... » read more

Whither Xcerra?


Trade tensions between the People’s Republic of China and the Trump Administration could sink a big transaction in the automatic test equipment business. Xcerra, a supplier of semiconductor test systems, board testers, and electronic interconnects, announced in April that it had accepted an offer from Unic Capital Management, an affiliate of Sino IC Capital, to acquire the company for $10.... » read more

A Tale of Two Testers


David Tacelli, president and CEO of Xcerra, was excited. His company’s reception for customers (and the press) at the Trou Normand restaurant in San Francisco’s hip South of Market neighborhood was going very well. Gourmet salames and other tasty foods were on offer, along with fine wines and craft ales and beers. He gleefully pointed out to editors that the product to be introduced at t... » read more

Test at “West”


As you wander through the North Hall of Moscone Center this week, you may notice that some of the big names in automated test equipment are not on the SEMICON West show floor this year. Advantest America has a booth, but the same cannot be said of Teradyne or Xcerra. Some of the bigger names in test and measurement instruments won’t be found exhibiting at SEMICON West, either – such as Keys... » read more

Leasing and Rental in T&M


Buying a high-end oscilloscope or a brand-new logic analyzer may be a tall order financially for small companies. In such cases, leasing or renting an expensive test instrument can be an affordable alternative. Having reliable test and measurement equipment is vital to product development in electronics. National Instruments has built a billion-dollar business on offering instrument hardware... » read more

The Future of Testing


In our previous test blog posts, we looked at the history of automated test equipment for semiconductors and for printed circuit boards. This month, we look ahead to the test technologies that are emerging. The chip ATE field has essentially boiled down to Advantest, Teradyne, and Xcerra (LTX-Credence), while the board test market is dominated by Teradyne and Keysight Technologies (formerly ... » read more

Looking Back at Board Test


Printed circuit board testing has been around as long as printed circuit boards, also known as printed circuit assemblies and printed wiring boards. PCB technology started in the early 20th century with Thomas Edison and other inventors. As boards shrink to fit inside wearable gadgets and other products with compact form factors, PCB test equipment vendors are addressing new challenges. Boar... » read more

A Brief History of Test


The history of semiconductor test systems is the subject of this blog post. We’ll turn to printed circuit board testing at another time. Boston-based Teradyne sold its D133 diode tester to Raytheon in 1961. Five years later, it introduced the J259 integrated circuit tester, which had a minicomputer to run the test programs. For many, this marks the beginning of automatic (or automated) tes... » read more

5G & IoT


“Designing to Evolving 4G and Pre-5G Requirements” was the title of a Tuesday morning tutorial at DesignCon 2017 in Santa Clara, Calif. Talk of 5G naturally segued into Internet of Things discussion during the session. Parviz Yegani, a consultant with GHB Intellect, laid out the IoT use cases that could be enhanced by 5G technology: Shopping, population-dense urban areas, remote computin... » read more

Looking Back On IoT In 2016


The Internet of Things was going great guns for most of 2016. Until October 21, that is. That’s the date of the coordinated cyberattacks on Dyn, an Internet performance management services firm. The distributed denial-of-service attacks quickly had impacts on Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, PayPal, Reddit, Twitter, and other popular websites. Dyn was able to fight off the aggressive att... » read more

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