Sizing up China’s Fab Tool Biz

China is pouring billions of dollars into its semiconductor industry and is building several new fabs. As reported, China is bolstering its IC industry for good reason. China is trying to reduce its huge trade imbalance in ICs. The country continues to import a large percentage of its chips from foreign vendors. Behind the scenes, China also continues to develop its domestic semiconductor eq... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing

Fab equipment and test VLSI Research has released its top 10 semiconductor equipment supplier ranking in terms of sales in 2016. Applied Materials topped the list again, achieving a growth of 18%. ASML was second, followed by Lam Research, TEL and KLA-Tencor. Fig. 1: Ranking based on 2016 sales. Source: VLSI Research. Unic Capital Management, a Chinese-based private equity fund, announ... » 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 Platform Strategy Gains Ground

More than a decade ago, at the urging of Intel, the ATE industry set out to reduce the cost of test in the digital chip market. Backed by companies such as Intel, Motorola, Renesas, Advantest and others, they formed an ATE consortium to make this all work. The aim of the consortium was to devise an "open architecture" for ATE. This would enable the development of third-party plug-and-play m... » read more