Test at “West”

Big ATE, T&M vendors are in short supply on the SEMICON West show floor.


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 Keysight Technologies (also a vendor of board and chip test systems), Anritsu, and Rohde & Schwarz.

The North Hall, opened in 1992 to accommodate a SEMICON West exhibition that was bursting at the seams at the San Mateo County fairgrounds and the adjacent Bay Meadows Racecourse (closed in 2008), was to be the province of ATE vendors and other equipment suppliers, while front-end equipment and semiconductor materials dominated the larger South Hall of Moscone Center. (The South Hall is closed this year due to construction, and some of the spillover has moved to the West Hall.)

This is not to imply these companies aren’t involved in SEMICON West. Following a trend employed by several big companies in recent years, the ATE and T&M companies will use private hotel suites. Some companies have set a practice of meeting the press offsite, involving upscale and down-market hotels alike. Marketers know to take advantage of the opportunities at a big trade show, even if their plans don’t include a booth on the show floor. There are those who set up shop in San Francisco’s upscale hotels, with sweeping views of The City by the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands. And there are the budget-constrained practitioners, who have to operate at the airport hotels and other, less impressive lodging places.

Advantest, National Instruments, Teradyne, and Xcerra are among the companies presenting papers and other talks at the Test Vision 2020: Fast Track to Smarter Test conference during SEMICON West. Those four companies are among the sponsors of the two-day conference, along with Astronics Test Systems, Mentor, and Optimal+.

So, here’s to a successful SEMICON West, whether you are in and around Moscone all week, or cooped up in a swanky suite on the 30th floor.

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