Manufacturers of Automated Test Equipment Adopt Lowering of Production Cost as Key Strategy

A rise in the use of electronic devices has caused a parallel growth in the automated test equipment market. Automated test equipment (ATE) assists the semiconductor, manufacturing, and communication industries by dramatically reducing the test time, while increasing accuracy, thus enabling higher productivity and lower cost of production.

Such equipment also helps manufacturers meet stringent regulatory norms and are thus, extensively used across the globe. According to a research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global automated test equipment market stood at US$3.54 bn in 2011 and is expected to reach US$4.36 bn by 2018. The market is expected to expand at a modest 2.88% CAGR between 2012 and 2018.

Q. What are the major factors driving the global demand for automated test equipment?

The rising demand for telecom equipment is causing many developments in the automated test equipment industry. The growing semiconductor industry is also fueling the demand for ATE. ATE is used even after ICs have been packaged to test if they are in accordance with the number of test patterns.  The internet of things (IoT) is also influencing the electronics industry, which will in turn reflect positively on the demand for automated test equipment.

Automated test equipment is used in smartphones, televisions, digital cameras, computers, and music players. The growing complexity in the design of consumer electronic devices will also bolster the demand for automated test equipment. The rise in the integration of electronic devices in automobiles owing to increasing demand for higher safety, navigation, and parking assistance is also benefitting the global ATE market.

Q. What are the strategies implemented by key players in the global automated test equipment market?

Key players in the automated test equipment market are opting for merger and acquisition activities in order to strengthen their hold and expand in the market. Players are concentrating on developing new instrumentations and providing enhanced test platforms to meet customer requirement.

Manufacturers and designers are striving to lower the production cost of these equipment, which makes the competition in the market intense. The leading players operating in the global automated test equipment market include LTX-Credence, Advantest, and Teradyne, Inc. These three companies together accounted for 85% of the global automated test equipment market in 2011.

Q. What is new in the global automated test equipment market?

LTX-Credence has combined the instruments Diamondx with NighthawkCT, which are used for low cost RF test for the connectivity of devices. The combination has been designed specifically to offer new test capability for applications driven by the IoT.

Teradyne, Inc. has introduced a new test system for the power semiconductor industry, known as the ETS-88TH, which has the ability to combine AC and DC testing in a single device insertion. It also reduces the overall cost of the test significantly.

Such new developments and innovations will continue to ensure higher adoption of ATE in the coming years.


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