What’s in a Name?


Test Vision 2020 is a specialty workshop held each year during Semicon West. Formerly known as ATE Vision 2020, the program focuses on automatic test equipment and related topics. This year’s edition heard a lot about artificial intelligence, automotive electronics, and machine learning, which have been the leading topics at every tech conference I’ve attended in 2018. The workshop’s t... » read more

The Best in Test


“The 10 Best Semiconductor Equipment Supplier Rankings for 2018” was recently released by VLSI Research. Teradyne and Advantest placed first and second, respectively, in the large-company rankings, each rating five stars, based on evaluations by customers. Xcerra placed fifth in the focused-company rankings, with four-and-a-half stars. The market research firm also ranked the top vendors... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Test and packaging In a major surprise, Cohu has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Xcerra for approximately $796 million. With the deal, Cohu will enter the ATE market. Last year, a group from China entered into a definitive agreement under which it would acquire Xcerra. But the U.S. blocked Xcerra’s sale to the Chinese group. Ironically, at one time, Cohu was reportedly lobbyin... » read more

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

Trump Blocks Broadcom Bid for Qualcomm


President Trump has blocked Broadcom’s unsolicited, $117 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm, citing national security concerns. The president acted on the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which cited the possibility of Qualcomm’s chip technology being compromised by Chinese interests, if it were acquired by Singapore-based Broadcom. The move is t... » read more

Xcerra: Back to the Drawing Board


It’s been nearly two weeks since Xcerra and Hubei Xinyan Equity Investment Partnership announced they have terminated their merger agreement in the face of apparent opposition by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the federal interagency panel that reviews transactions for their impacts on national security. Xcerra and Hubei Xinyan also withdrew their CFIUS application.... » read more

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers Last year, Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) completed the acquisition of Linear Technology. Now, ADI plans to shut down one of Linear’s fabs as well as a test operation. “Analog Devices plans to close the smallest of its four wafer fabs, which was acquired as part of its March 2017 acquisition of Linear Technology and is located at Hillview Drive in Milpitas, California. This clo... » read more

Testing Analog Chips


The world of analog components is broad and diverse, and while testing analog chips may not take as long as running tests on complex SoCs, there are different requirements for analog devices. One type of chip that's seeing more application these days is analog microelectromechanical system devices. Automotive electronics call for a number of [getkc id="37" kc_name="analog"] chips, along with... » 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

The Week In Review: Manufacturing


Chipmakers, LCD suppliers United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has announced the availability of the company’s 40nm process platform that incorporates Silicon Storage Technology’s (SST) embedded SuperFlash non-volatile memory. The 40nm SST process features a >20% reduction in eFlash cell size and 20-30% macro area over UMC’s 55nm SST technology. Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage has s... » read more

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