Xcerra’s Stock Buoyed by Busted Deal


The stock chart for XCRA, Xcerra’s common shares traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, looks like a hockey stick since late February, when the company called off its acquisition by Chinese investors in the face of opposition by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. That busted deal may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Xcerra, which posts impressive finan... » read more

2017: A Good Year for ATE


The rising revenue enjoyed by automatic test equipment vendors in 2017 translated into soaring stock prices for some publicly held companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25% for 2017. Advantest’s shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange had a 2017 low of 1,787 yen (about $15.85 at the year-end currency exchange rate) and a 52-week high of 2,698 yen ($23.92), up 51% from the... » read more

Changes Ahead For Test


Testing microprocessors is becoming more difficult and more time consuming as these devices are designed to take on more complex tasks, such as accelerating artificial intelligence computing, enabling automated driving, and supporting deep neural networks. This is not just limited to microprocessors, either. Graphics processing units are grabbing market share in supercomputing and other area... » read more

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

Time For Massively Parallel Testing


Time is money in electronics, as in other industries, and the more time that is invested in testing chips means more costs being added to the product in question. To speed up testing for memory devices and other semiconductors, test equipment vendors have resorted to parallel testing technology, simultaneously testing multiple chips at a time. The industry also is turning to system-level tes... » 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

ATE: The Road Ahead


Watching the ATE market is like having a front-row seat to watch the semiconductor industry's ups and downs, with none of the hype to confuse you. So 2014 was a very good market for SoC test, and it likewise a good year for SoCs. As we head into the latter half of this year and into 2016, however, a projected downturn in the mobile arena will likely put a crimp in those earnings. The prob... » read more

ATE Market Gets More Crowded


Over the years, the automatic test equipment (ATE) industry has undergone a dramatic shakeout. In fact, the ATE industry has shrunk from about a dozen major vendors several years ago to just three sizable companies today. There is also a smattering of smaller ATE players in the market. In other words, the big ATE vendors became bigger and the mid-sized players were gobbled up. The consol... » read more