The Semiconductor automated test equipment (ATE) is used for testing Semiconductor chips. It is mainly driven by the demand in the consumer, computing, and communication markets. With the growing need for efficiency and increasing complexity, the cost of testing has been rising. The semiconductor ATE market is anticipated to multiply, unlike in the past, because of growing demand from several end-user segments such as consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive, communication and defense. The semiconductor ATE can be segmented into four categories:
- Memory ATE
- Non-memory ATE
- Discrete ATE
- Test Handlers
The demand for ATE is mainly due to the increased production of semiconductor devices, complexity used across various electronic products along with the rise of semiconductor device technology. The consumer demand for the low-cost products is increasing the pressure on the cost of testing. There is an increased volume of product in specific application along with reduce pricing, there is also a need to reduce the cost of testing to increase volumes, thus directly increasing the profitability and returns from the highly expensive automated test equipment (ATE). In the coming years, the market is likely to witness a significant growth of connected devices. Every individual is expected to have up to 15 different connected devices that would require chipsets with processing and communication protocols. The proliferation of connected devices will trigger an excellent opportunity for memory ATE that will then force a good demand for testers, because higher speeds and higher device-under-test (DUT) counts will be needed. Another important driver would be the high-speed testing capabilities that would be required to provide for wafer-level sorting. Consumer electronics such as wearable computing, 3D HDTV, video calling, and gaming are some of the future technologies expected to impact the market by 2020.
The main restraint for this market is the cost of testing. The cost of testing is always experiencing pressure, which is being exploited by leaders in the PXI market that provide PXI-based test solutions, helping low-volume semiconductor companies and test service providers gain traction in the market. The increasing need for low-cost testing solutions is leading to the introduction of alternative test methods and systems.
The total revenue of the global semiconductor (ATE) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2015 to 2022, and reach $5.4 billion by 2022. Asia-Pacific (APAC) is a key region and is expected to continue contributing to the growth of the semiconductor ATE market in the coming years. The current trend in ATE is that testing of both memory and non-memory devices are located in APAC. Over 75% of ATE revenue is being generated from the installed base in APAC. The memory ATE market is likely to grow significantly across applications, especially coming from IoT and cloud infrastructure, which will probably trigger the more consistent growth of ATE. The NAND test market is expected to boost the growth of the memory ATE market. The non-memory ATE market consists of a variety of semiconductors with non-memory circuitry, such as logic and analog circuits. The non-memory ATE market is not as volatile as the memory ATE market because of the more extensive variety of applications for non-memory semiconductor products. Discrete ATE systems are capable of testing components such as diodes, rectifiers, and transistors. The need to replace older equipment is likely to sustain the growth of this product segment. High demand for reliable electronic products is driving the growth of the test handlers market. The semiconductor ATE market is offering lot of opportunities and there will be greater demand for the test equipment in the following years.