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Advantest Again Named THE BEST Supplier of Chip Making Equipment in VLSIresearch Customer Satisfaction Survey


Advantest Corporation has again topped the ratings chart of the 2021 VLSIresearch Customer Satisfaction Survey, capturing the No. 1 spot on this annual survey of global semiconductor companies for the second consecutive year. Advantest has now been named to VLSIresearch’s 10 BEST list for the 33rd consecutive year. The survey ratings are based on direct customer feedback representing 89 percent of the world’s chip producers — Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs), Foundry, Fabless, and Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) companies. 

According to VLSIresearch, the world’s leading semiconductor market-research firm, Advantest ranked as THE BEST supplier of test equipment in 2020 and 2021 and topped the 10 BEST list of large suppliers of chip making equipment once again this year. Worldwide participants rated equipment suppliers among 14 categories based on three key factors:  supplier performance, customer service, and product performance. The categories span a set of criteria, from cost of ownership to quality of results, field engineering support, trust, and partnership.  

In the 2021 survey, Advantest achieved customer ratings 9.5/10 and above in categories including Recommended Supplier, Trust in Supplier, Technical Leadership, Partnering, and Field Engineering Support. According to VLSIresearch, Advantest continually ranks high among THE BEST Suppliers of Test Equipment and in 2021 was the only automatic test equipment supplier to receive a 5 VLSI Star designation. 

“Advantest’s ability to continually innovate and adapt to changing market dynamics while sustaining successful customer relationships is a testament to its strength as an ATE business partner,” commented G. Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSIresearch. “Throughout the industry, Advantest is recognized for its stability, product excellence, and customer service. Even during this tumultuous time, Advantest maintained its customer-first attitude and continued to enable customers to move forward with their latest chip designs and products. With its comprehensive product portfolio, broad slate of dedicated customers, and steadfast commitment to innovation, Advantest has deservedly earned the highest ratings from the world’s global manufacturers,” Hutcheson continued.

“We are honored to be recognized once again by our global customers as the industry’s top-ranked supplier of test equipment, and pleased that even in these challenging times we are able to maintain our commitment to supporting them,” said Yoshiaki Yoshida, president and CEO of Advantest Corporation. “We remain dedicated to expanding our test and measurement solutions throughout the value chain and hope to continue to earn the trust of the world’s leading chipmakers.” 

Since 1988 the VLSIresearch annual Customer Satisfaction Survey is the only publicly available survey tool for customers to provide feedback for suppliers of semiconductor equipment and subsystems.

Advantest, a global provider of test solutions for SoC, logic and memory semiconductors, has long been the industry’s only ATE provider to design and manufacture its own fully integrated suite of test-cell solutions – comprised of testers, handlers, device interfaces, and software – assuring the industry’s highest levels of integrity and compatibility.

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Advantest’s VOICE 2021 Developer Conference Goes Virtual on June 21-23

The Advantest VOICE 2021 Developer Conference will commence as a virtual event on June 21-23 under the unifying theme “Converging Technologies. Creating Possibilities.” With eight technology tracks and a line-up of thought-provoking speakers, Virtual VOICE will continue to offer insightful learning opportunities through its technical presentations, kiosk showcases and Partners’ Expo. Attendees can further enhance their Virtual VOICE experience by attending Workshop Day on June 24 with three sessions covering exascale high performance computing, edge computation, and 5G/mmWave.


Virtual VOICE 2021 Highlights 
The Virtual VOICE program features two dynamic keynote addresses, focusing on social robotics, technology design, and more:

Dr. Kate Darling
Expert in Social Robotics and MIT Media Lab Research Specialist
Leading social robotics expert Dr. Kate Darling explores the emotional connection between people and life-like machines, seeking to influence technology design and policy direction. Named one of the “Women in Robotics You Need to Know About” by Robohub, she currently conducts experimental studies on human-robot interaction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.


Fredi Lajvardi
Vice President of STEM Initiatives at Si Se Puede Foundation
Nationally recognized STEM educator Fredi Lajvardi will share his remarkable story of how he transformed a group of disadvantaged high school students into a national champion robotics team. Their story inspired the acclaimed documentary Underwater Dreams and was also adapted into the major motion picture, Spare Parts.



Virtual VOICE 2021 will also include a featured industry talk on semiconductor market trends and growth:

G. Dan Hutcheson
CEO and Chairman of VLSIresearch Inc.
Semiconductor industry thought leader Dan Hutcheson, will deliver a featured industry talk on 5G, IoT, AI, and other critical IC markets, including key trends and China’s rising role in the semiconductor market. In 2012, Hutcheson won SEMI’s Sales and Marketing Excellence Award for “empowering executives with tremendous strategic and tactical marketing value,” through his e-letter, The Chip Insider®.


Registration Opens in March
Online registration opens in March. Group discounts are available to attend Virtual VOICE 2021; email for details.

Additional information will be posted on the VOICE website at as it becomes available.

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Posted in Featured

Advantest’s myAdvantest Online Portal Provides 24/7 Access to Digital Products and Web-Based Services

Advantest has introduced a new online portal enabling customers to place orders and get instant delivery of Advantest’s cloud-based services and software products, making these items available on demand, anytime and anywhere.  Users can access the myAdvantest portal from any internet-connected device without having to install an app or software program.

One of the portal’s initially available services is interactive online training.  Dojo™, the Advantest Online Training System, is a cloud-based eLearning service.  In addition to offering self-paced, interactive multimedia courses, Dojo also offers unlimited access to a virtual SmarTest Software Playground environment for practicing and executing lab simulation tests as well as live interactive sessions with Advantest experts to discuss, practice and demonstrate SmarTest’s capabilities on real V93000 testers.  This online training leverages the most modern eLearning methodologies to supplement traditional classroom training sessions and offer the unmatched flexibility of web-based courses.

In addition, cloud-based test engineering is available for the first time with the innovative Test Engineering Cloud (TE-Cloud™), a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution that is accessible exclusively through myAdvantest.  With this one-stop test engineering platform, customers can utilize a complete test development environment online including an integrated set of software tools for test program development, standard test IP libraries and a suite of self-help tools such as customer forums, documentation and training.  Moreover, online interaction with Advantest technical support and application engineers is available on demand to help with tasks such as remote debugging of test programs. TE-Cloud’s pre-installed software bundles are scalable and offered as flexible subscription options.  

The myAdvantest portal makes it easy for Advantest’s customers to educate their personnel and develop test programs while also reducing their investments of time and capital to bring new device designs to market resources.  This launch represents a new era in how Advantest serves their global customer base.

Your Digital Gateway for all Advantest Cloud Services:


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Finding the Optimum Test Solution for Next-Generation Automotive ICs

By Masashi Nagai, Senior Executive Director, Strategic Planning Group, Advantest Korea Co., Ltd.

Our world is changing, driven by technological advances in areas as varied as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, smart factories, green energy, energy storage, drones, security, and smart appliances. The automotive industry is leveraging the same technologies with the arrival of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV), all-electric vehicles (EV), autonomous driving, and connected cars, and it will be a key driver of technology moving forward.

Market data

Figure 1. LMC Automotive forecasts a return to growth after a falloff from global peak light vehicle sales in 2017. (Source: LMC Automotive,


It’s true that worldwide light vehicle sales are off their 2017 high of 95.2 million units, according to LMC Automotive. However, the market appears to be entering a period of recovery, with growth resuming this year (Figure 1). Jonathon Poskitt, director of global sales forecasts at the firm, writes in a recent blog post that he expects the market to reach new record highs in the first half of this decade, as vehicle ownership becomes more affordable in markets that have not reached maturity and as the demand for mobility grows.1

Figure 2. Omdia (formerly IHS Markit) predicted a CAGR greater than 35% for hybrid-electric and electric-vehicle powertrain module unit shipments from 2018 through 2024. (Source – Omdia, Power Semiconductors in Automotive, May 2019. Results are not an endorsement of Advantest Corporation. Any reliance on these results is at the third-party’s own risk.)

The research firm Omdia (formerly IHS Markit) forecasts significant growth for electric vehicles. The firm in 2019 predicted a CAGR greater than 35% for hybrid-electric and electric-vehicle powertrain module unit shipments from 2018 through 2024 (Figure 2).2

Automotive paradigm shift

Automotive technology is undergoing a paradigm shift. Sensors and high-end computing technologies began enabling driver-assistance capabilities in 2015. This year is seeing increasing use of sensor fusion. By 2030, full driverless functionality will appear with passengers embedded in a safety cocoon. 

Semiconductor technology has a key role to play in driving this shift. Advanced vehicles require semiconductor and electronic components in various automotive application areas, including infotainment (navigation, audio, networking), drivetrain (engine and transmission control), body and comfort (air-conditioning, lighting, seat, door/window, and mirror/wiper control), and chassis and safety (antilock braking systems, electronic power steering, airbag control, and advanced driver assistance systems).

In addition, electric and hybrid electric vehicles require semiconductors for motor-drive applications as well as battery monitoring and charging and power management. And modern cars require pressure, acceleration, magnetic, yaw-rate, gas, and other precision sensors.

The vehicle represents only the tip of the iceberg regarding the semiconductors that will populate the entire automotive ecosystem. Beyond the car itself, the next generation of automotive technologies will have a role to play in cost management and product planning in the factory and throughout the supply chain, for example.

Furthermore, the connected car offers many opportunities for semiconductor technology, with support for V2X and IoT connectivity, media integration, and integration with smartphones and wearables. Strong cybersecurity will be necessary to prevent malicious incursions. In addition to semiconductors within the vehicle, connected car technology will have implications for the semiconductors deployed in infrastructure such as datacenters and 5G networks, and demand for semiconductors to support infrastructure for cloud computing is expected to increase.

Test systems

Advantest offers SoC and memory testers and handlers to test the semiconductor devices that implement these advanced technologies, including the V93000 and T2000 for SoC test. The V93000 offers several test modules, including the FVI16 floating power VI source for testing power and analog ICs and the Wave Scale RF and mmWave card for 5G and future mmWave test. The V93000 Wave Scale Millimeter solution has the high multi-site parallelism and versatility needed for multi-band millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies. The operational range extends from 24 GHz to 44 GHz and FROM 57 GHz to 72 GHz. Advantest can also support over-the-air (OTA) test solutions including antenna-in-package (AiP) test and device test over 72 GHz, such as car radar.

The T2000 Series includes two application-specific testers for SoC test: the T2000 IPS (Integrated Power device test Solution), for mixed-signal devices and analog power ICs, and the T2000 ISS (CMOS Image Sensor test Solution), for CMOS camera and time-of-flight (ToF) sensors. For the T2000 IPS, the company offers several test modules, including the SHV2KV super-high-voltage arbitrary waveform generator/digitizer, the MMXHE multifunction mixed high voltage card, and the MFHPE multifunction floating high power card.

For memory ICs, Advantest offers the V93000 High-Speed Memory (HSM) system, the T5833 system for performing both wafer sort and final test of DRAM and NAND flash memory devices, the T5503HS system for double-data-rate SDRAMs and other next-generation memory chips, and the T5511 Memory Test System offering multifunctionality and industry’s top test speed of 8 Gb/s.

These systems can be applied to several types of test in automotive and related applications areas, as described below.

High-voltage test

As semiconductors become more pervasive in automotive applications, it will become important to ensure continuous safety and security—with zero failures. For example, with the shift to electric vehicles, the number of high-voltage components will increase, and achieving zero failures will become an issue.

Automotive applications for high-voltage parts include the HEV, PHV, and EV powertrain, requiring voltages to 700 V and incorporating silicon processes such as high-voltage BCD. (BCD is an integrated silicon-gate technology combining bipolar linear, CMOS logic, and DMOS power parts.) Alternator and related powertrain and efficient-system-drive (ESD) applications will operate from 200 V to 300 V and may incorporate silicon-on-insulator (SOI) BCD processes. And finally, safety/body applications such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and airbag control may incorporate BCD processes and operate at 80 V to 150 V. To test these high-voltage semiconductors, Advantest offers T2000 IPS test modules, including the SHV2KV super high-voltage (2,000-V, 20-mA) arbitrary-waveform generator (AWG)/digitizer (DGT) with two ports per card.3

Operating-temperature test

Figure 3. A conventional temperature-test method based on a chamber requires a long time to apply the appropriate temperature and offers limited accuracy (left). An alternative dual-fluid temperature application method enables temperature to be switched in a short time, and temperature accuracy is ±1°C (right).

In addition to high-voltage test, achieving zero failure for automotive SoCs and memory ICs will require accurate and quick actual-use temperature and operation test. The conventional temperature-test method based on a chamber requires a long time to apply the appropriate temperature, and accuracy is limited to ±3°C or ±5°C. Alternative Advantest solutions are a combination of a conductive heater and chamber solution on the M4841 and dual-fluid active thermal control (Figure 3) on the M4872. With the handler and device interface (DI) solution, Advantest can provide a test-cell automotive solution to its customers.

Battery-monitoring test

With the shift to HEV/PHV/EV, the market for battery-monitoring ICs will expand to maximize the use of battery capacity. Consequently, the demand for high-precision test of battery-monitoring ICs will increase. For the T2000 IPS system, Advantest offers two modules to test high-voltage and high-power devices used in the powertrains of electric vehicles. The enhanced MMXHE (multifunction mixed high voltage) and MFHPE (multifunction floating high power) modules enable massively parallel, high-performance testing by leveraging Advantest’s multifunctional pin design. The former provides ±300-V, 6-A pulsed outputs with 36 ports per card; the latter provides 120-V, 24-mA outputs with 64 ports per card. For the V93000 platform, Advantest offers the FVI16 floating power VI source for testing power and analog ICs. It supplies 250 W of high-pulse power and up to 40 W of DC power.

Testing precision sensors

Precision sensors are key components for automated driving applications. These sensors include CMOS image sensor chips and time-of-flight (ToF) sensors as well as millimeter-wave radar devices. The T2000 ISS provides the necessary features to test these devices, including control signals, and illuminator to provide an input light source to the device under test, serial and parallel capture of the output of the device under test, and the image processing necessary to derive the test result.

Figure 4. Accelerometers include capacitor types (left), piezo-resistor types (center), and thermal types (right).

Precision automotive sensors also include accelerometers, including capacitor types, which detect acceleration by finding differences in stray capacitance; piezo-resistor types, which detect acceleration by finding differences in piezo-resistance values; and thermal types, which detect acceleration by finding differences in a temperature profile (Figure 4). 

Figure 5. The HA7200 physical stimulus unit can precisely control temperature and pressure for testing automotive sensors.



Figure 6. The EVA100 evolutionary value-added measurement system is available in an “E Model” for engineering (left) and a “P Model” for production.

For automotive test, Advantest offers the HA7200 physical stimulus unit (Figure 5), which can precisely control temperature and pressure for testing automotive sensors. The HA7200 can be coupled with a handler and the EVA100 evolutionary value-added measurement system (Figure 6) to create a high-productivity test cell. The EVA100 is available in an “E Model” for engineering and a “P Model” for production.


In summary, Advantest offers optimal testers and handlers for next-generation automotive ICs, including SoC and memory. These solutions are available now to help your drive for perfection for next-generation automotive ICs.



  1. Poskitt, Jonathon, “Peak auto?” LMC Automotive, January 30, 2020.
  2. Eden, Richard, and Anderson, Kevin, Power Semiconductors in Automotive Report-2019, IHS Markit, May 16, 2019.
  3. Koo, Jerry, “Next-Generation Vehicles Pose Automotive Semiconductor Test Challenges,” GO SEMI & BEYOND, March 20, 2019. 
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Posted in Featured

I Think, Therefore I Am… Machine?

By Judy Davies, Vice President, Global Marketing Communications, Advantest

The ability to think has been a central, defining aspect of humanity since our beginning. Today, technologists are using artificial intelligence to instill that capability into machines. Through statistical models and algorithms, machine learning enables computers to perform specific tasks without receiving explicit instructions from a human. This means that the computer reaches conclusions by accessing available data, identifying patterns and using logical deduction. This does NOT mean AI systems can generate original ideas (at least, not yet). Rather, their intellect stems from their near-instant ability to crunch large volumes of data and then employ their massive memory capacity to compare and search for linkages that yield logical answers.

An emerging area of machine learning is generative adversarial networks (GANs): deep neural network architectures comprising two nets, in which one is pitted against the other in an unsupervised learning environment. For example, one computer might generate a realistic image, and another is then tasked with determining whether or not the image is authentic. By having these two neural nets engage in game-playing to repeatedly fabricate and then detect realistic likenesses, GANs can be used to produce images that a human observer would assess as genuine.

It should come as no surprise that training GANs is challenging. To use an analogy easily understood by the human mind: It’s easier to recognize an M.C. Escher drawing than it is to replicate one. Nevertheless, GANs hold extraordinary potential. Working from motion patterns captured on video, they can create 3D models of a wide range of objects, from industrial product designs to online avatars. They can also be used to digitally age a person’s image, showing how he or she may look a decade or more in the future – which may be useful in helping to identify teenagers or adults who went missing as children. Going a step further, GANs can sort through many terabytes of images culled from security monitors and traffic cameras to perform facial recognition. This can help to actually identify and track the whereabouts of missing kids or wandering Alzheimer’s patients – not mention wanted criminals.

As with most technology, there is a cautionary aspect to GANs. For example, they could potentially be used to generate artificial images for nefarious purposes, such as creating fake photographs or video clips that unsavory types might use to make innocent people appear guilty for political or financial gain. They may also be used to circumvent the CAPTCHA security feature of wavy letters and numbers that many websites use to deter bots from accessing the sites in the guise of human viewers. How to build in safeguards that prevent these types of illicit deployment of GANs is an important consideration.

GANs can be applied to synthesize or fine-tune everything from voice-activated smart electronics to robotic medical procedures. As the technology is further developed and applied, machine learning and GANs are becoming reality. Self-improving AI is increasingly being used to affect the authenticity of what we perceive and think – it’s a literal (human) brain-teaser.

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Posted in Featured

Blockchain May Soon Be Everywhere

By Judy Davies, Vice President of Global Marketing Communications, Advantest

Just as disruptive integrated circuit (IC) technologies have been invented, evolved, tested and secured adoption for widespread use, the same is true for innovative applications – such as blockchain. Conceived in 2008, blockchain is gaining momentum as a means of enabling the secure distribution of data for digital transactions. The technology, which has its roots in cryptocurrency, is appealing to businesses for two key attributes: it serves as a decentralized ledger, and it protects any entered data from being modified. Because it can be used to record transactions between parties efficiently, permanently and verifiably, the technology may become a key asset in combatting identity theft and online fraud.

Blockchain has the potential to streamline and safeguard digital business operations for companies of all sizes, from large chains to small online startups. In one of its more unique applications, blockchain is being used to certify the authenticity and history of natural diamonds, enabling buyers to distinguish the real thing from synthetic gems and fake stones. This could prove hugely valuable in helping eliminate support of blood diamonds or ensuring an engagement ring’s gems are the real thing.

Another application is a blockchain ledger, which can extend “smart” connected technology beyond phones, appliances and cars to include stock certificates, property deeds, insurance policies and other important documents. By maintaining the papers’ current ownership records, blockchain can become, in essence, a “smart key,” allows access to the permitted person(s) alone. Government, health care, finance and other fields that rely on unbreachable documentation could be transformed by this capability.

Verifying the path from farm to table to help ensure food safety is another potential use for blockchain. For example, by keeping a registry of the specific field or section from which a head of lettuce was harvested, blockchain may help to quickly pinpoint the sources of dangerously tainted foodstuffs. This will keep consumers safer from illness, as well as prevent unnecessary disposal of uncontaminated food. And if you sometimes wonder whether your produce really is organic or your turkey free-range, this technology can assure you of your food’s integrity.

While hacking is a fear with any networked technology, blockchain may actually prove to be the most impervious to being hacked. Instead of utilizing a central data storehouse, all information on a blockchain is decentralized, encrypted and cross-checked by the entire network. With this distributed design, there is no third-party data center for transactions. Each user’s computer, or node, has a complete copy of the ledger, so even if one or two nodes is lost, system-wide data loss is not a risk. Moreover, using encryption means that file signatures can be verified across all ledgers, on all networked nodes, to ensure they haven’t been altered. If any unauthorized change is made, the traced signature is invalidated.

Blockchain’s design also allows data tracking with validity that can be easily confirmed. Its transparency offers a welcome alternative to the way that much of our personal, online information has been dissected and manipulated for financial gain by some well-known technology behemoths. With its nearly unlimited breadth of applications, blockchain technology looks well-positioned to make the leap from managing digital currencies to becoming the next-generation solution for our online personal and work lives.

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