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Heard on the Beat: Agilent's ATE biz for sale?

Posted: 18 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:automatic test equipment? advantest?

Who's up or down in ATE?

Rumors were running rampant at Semicon West that Agilent Technologies Inc. is looking to sell its automatic test equipment (ATE) business. No word on which company would buy the business, but Advantest Corp. and Teradyne Inc. are likely candidates.

Electronics and test equipment maker Agilent, which was spun off from Hewlett Packard Co., is also looking to sell its semiconductor products division (see June 6 story).

Teradyne has its own troubles, as it announced plans to cut 400 jobs during the Semicon West trade show this week. Teradyne has seen little traction for its Tiger tester and the jury is still out on Flex.

ATE vendor LTX Corp. has had its share of ups and downs. And Credence Systems Corp. has experienced a series of losses, but the company is poised to rebound and appears to be well-positioned with its acquisition of NPTest.

Credence also recently won the flash-test business at Intel, beating Advantest and Agilent for the huge order.

But the only company in ATE really making money is Japan's Advantest. The company has dominated the memory test market and is shooting for market share gains in the SoC test sector.

Its T2000 line of SoC testers has experienced mixed results. Advantest has reportedly shipped 200 machines thus far, mostly to Intel Corp. Toshiba Corp. is buying some as well.

Advantest upgraded the T2000 with a SerDes test option. Overalll, it hopes to ship 300 more machines in its fiscal year. However, the company's orders are flat and Japan's capital spending is down.

- EE Times

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