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

That Was The Year That Was In Test


Looking back on the year about to end, one deal stands out, because it is in legal limbo – the proposed $580 million acquisition of Xcerra by Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership. At this writing, the transaction has not been completed. Both parties said they planned to sew up the purchase by the end of 2017, so a few weeks remain to make that happen. The deal is in the hands of t... » read more

2017 ITC Wrap-up


Advantest was among the exhibitors and corporate sponsors at last week’s 2017 International Test Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The automatic test equipment company also presented papers, took part in sessions, and provided posters during ITC’s technical program. In the booth, Advantest demonstrated its on-demand CloudTesting Service. It also showed off its EVA100 analog/mixed-signal IC t... » 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

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

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