The world semiconductor automated test equipment (ATE) market is expected to witness sustained growth, fueled by the demand for system-on-chip (SoC) products in smart phones, wireless and wired communication devices, and consumer electronics. The success of tablets, PDAs, and handsets has created a boom in the consumer market, triggering the demand for greater functionality in terms of higher speeds, performance, and pin counts.
With products becoming increasingly mobile, radio frequency (RF) connectivity is likely to assume greater importance. Greater device complexity will boost growth in the semiconductor ATE markets.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (testandmeasurement.frost.com), World Semiconductor Automated Test Equipment (ATE) Markets, finds that the market earned revenues in the range of US$3.0 billion-US$3.2 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2 percent during 2010-2017. In 2010, the non-memory semiconductor ATE market segment accounted for the largest market share of 75.9 percent.
"As the demand for tablets, PDAs, smartphones, and handsets continues to grow, increasingly rapid innovation is likely to be observed with the unceasing rollout of products with enhanced features and performance," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Susan Sahayan. "It will be imperative for ATE market participants to up the ante to improve their testing capabilities to keep pace with the quickly evolving end-user requirements."
With the increase in volumes in a consumer driven market, high functional integration in semiconductor devices, and huge pressures on the average selling price of these devices, there is a need for cost-effective test systems to test complex chips. Consumer demands have exerted pressure on test cost, requiring assembly and test costs to be driven down.
To cope with CAPEX reduction, manufacturers of low-end digital devices often conduct in-house testing, using self-made ATE or by developing self-testing methods that are less expensive. Although these self-made test solutions cannot compare with the more sophisticated test solutions available in the market, they do affect the lower cost ATE market in general.
Competition is currently intense, as the market is consolidating, leaving very few key participants. This may hinder the performance of smaller companies and new entrants who wish to enter the fray with low-cost test equipment. Mergers and acquisition, will also limit the innovativeness of smaller companies to some extent, while the big market participants grow bigger.
In this scenario, the semiconductor ATE market participants need to continue to guarantee customer satisfaction by ensuring fast time-to-market deliveries for their customers, while enabling lower test costs and superior functionality in their product offerings.
"Establishing local presence for technical sales and support is vital for ATE market participants to strengthen customer relations," says Sahayan. "Having local presence is especially important in Asia, which has the largest installed base of testers."
The drive to continuously innovate and enhance product offerings will enable ATE market participants to remain competitive in the highly saturated market.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Donna Jeremiah, Corporate Communications, at djeremiah[.]frost.com, with your contact details.
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