News & Analysis

Advantest partners with PDF Solutions for cloud solution

30th July 2020
Mick Elliott

Advantest and PDF Solutions, a provider of software-based data analytics solutions to the semiconductor industry have established a wide-ranging partnership that includes PDF’s help in developing a cloud-based software solution for Advantest and a commercial agreement providing for the license of technology solutions based on Advantest’s test platforms and PDF’s Exensio software analytics platform.

In addition Advantest has a significant 5-year cloud-based subscription to PDF's Exensio analytics platform.

Advantest has also purchased 3,306,924 newly issued shares of PDF Solutions common stock for approximately $65.2 million.

PDF Solutions’ big data analytics, cloud-based platform, Exensio, spans the entire spectrum of the semiconductor value chain from IC design through fabrication, sort, assembly, final test and system level test, and is used by over 20 thousand engineers at over 130 companies to control tens of thousands of tools to optimise time to market, and maximise yield, profitability, reliability and quality.

As the semiconductor industry continues to move towards more advanced devices, the big data analytics provided by PDF's software platform, including the use of AI and machine learning (ML), is becoming critical to achieving yield on advanced manufacturing nodes, ensuring device quality and reducing test and measurement costs.

Importantly, as semiconductor companies use a disaggregated supply chain to produce, test and package chips, the PDF Solutions Exensio platform and Data Exchange Network (DEX) connect semiconductor engineers with automated test equipment (ATE) across the semiconductor value chain, enabling important design and manufacturing insights to reduce testing costs and improving performance/yield.

By combining the PDF Solutions Exensio platform and DEX with Advantest’s advanced testing equipment, Advantest will be able to provide its customers with the ability to connect, test, measure and analyse at any point in the semiconductor value chain, helping customers increase yield and reduce testing costs.

The partnership represents an important milestone in Advantest’s objectives of Grand Design.

PDF Solutions recognises the importance of connecting the Exensio platform with all semiconductor manufacturing systems across the semiconductor value chain and will continue to work with and maintain relationships with all manufacturers, both front-end and back-end.

“We will be able to offer stronger solutions to our diversified customer base and continue to add significant customer value in an evolving semiconductor value chain by entering into this partnership,” said Yoshiaki Yoshida (pictured), Advantest President and Chief Executive Officer. "The complexity of scaling production as well as decreasing test times and costs is shifting the entire industry towards analytics to achieve productivity gains. Together with PDF Solutions, we will be able to offer our customers a compelling technological solution to improve their manufacturing and economic efficiency, from design through system level test.”

He continued, “Importantly, our partnership with PDF Solutions will enable Advantest to accelerate our Grand Design objectives, delivering important artificial intelligence-based test analytics to our customers years ahead of schedule. Both companies have many common customers globally, and we have already worked together with certain leading IDMs to validate the combination of our systems with PDF Solutions’ technology.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Advantest to develop the Advantest Cloud powered by PDF Exensio,” responded John Kibarian, PDF Solutions President, Chief Executive Officer, and co-founder. “We share the common vision that foundries, fabless, OSATs and system companies benefit when they can apply advanced analytics in a collaborative fashion to improve their operations, yields and product quality. Advantest’s decision to develop advanced analytics on top of our PDF Exensio platform will enable better collaboration across the supply chain. Advantest’s technology, customer relationships, and global footprint will enable us to both accelerate our technology roadmap and customer adoption of our AI-driven data analytics solutions.

Added Kibarian, “As part of the partnership, Advantest has entered into a five-year Exensio cloud-based subscription agreement to power the Advantest Cloud, which we expect will result in more than $50 million of revenue over the next five years, subject to successful deployment of the Exensio platform, which is anticipated to be completed this year. Furthermore, we believe the future sale of joint solutions developed by Advantest and PDF Solutions to Advantest’s global ATE customer base represents an additional revenue opportunity.”

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