Automated test equipment market size is poised for growth owing to increasing adoption of System on Chip (SoC) and surging demand for consumer electronics. In addition, increasing design complexity and the need for effective testing are also estimated to spur the demand over the forecast period. Technological advancements and development of cost-effective testing equipment are major trends impacting the demand. Growing electronic content in automotive and penetration of smartphones are also expected to positively impact industry growth in future. Miniaturization of devices has spurred the ATE demand across application areas including automotive, consumer electronics, defense, and IT & Telecom.
Wireless network expansion in developing countries and developments across the semiconductor manufacturing processes are anticipated to provide several market growth opportunities in future. These equipment offer benefits such as reduced cost, improved operator ergonomics, testing repeatability, and enhanced product quality. Furthermore, ATE enables testing with minimal human intervention and is a viable option of high-volume testing.
The demand for automated test equipment is driven mainly due to increasing unit production of semiconductor devices, complexity, and performance level of devices used across several electronic products along with the emergence of semiconductor device technology. Furthermore, increasing pricing pressure among semiconductor manufacturers has forced suppliers to leverage capital equipment utilization across multiple devices.
Asia Pacific automated test equipment by application, (USD Million), 2012 – 2020
The application segment comprises automotive, consumer, defense, IT & Telecom, and others. IT & telecom applications accounted for a substantial market share in 2013. Low-end wireless test equipment is used for products that do not have complex requirements such as power amplifiers. High-end test equipment is used for devices which have a combination of testing requirements, which may include mixed-signal, power management, and memory testing within a single device.
Increasing integration of electronic devices in automobiles is expected to fuel the automotive segment demand in future. Increasing electronic circuitry in automobiles is due to policies that mandate higher safety systems such as airbags, land departure warning systems, and parking assistance; and demand for navigation and communication systems, entertainment systems, and comfort features. Thus, the increasing content of electronic components in an automobile makes this a growth opportunity for the semiconductor industry. Some products that are increasingly being used in automobiles include microcontrollers, microprocessors, analog ICs, optoelectronics, logic, sensors, and memory.
The product segment includes memory, non-memory, and discrete ATE. The non-memory segment is estimated to dominate the global market in 2013 accounting for over 70% of the overall revenue. The non-memory semiconductor market serves a wide range of applications, and this makes it less volatile as compared to the memory semiconductor. In addition, another rapidly growing segment of the semiconductor industry is the three-dimensional (3D) IC industry. The main benefit of 3D ICs is the miniaturization, which thereby enables a saving of space on the board as well as on the final product.
Discrete ATE is usually developed in-house as companies do not want to invest in expensive test equipment for testing of low-cost discrete components, and is also expected to witness a considerable growth in future.
Asia Pacific, automated test equipment market, dominated the global industry in 2013 and accounted for over 70% of the overall revenue. The presence of several semiconductor industries is anticipated to drive the regional demand. Testing in North America is mostly done for high-end precision equipment, and the average selling price for this equipment is higher. The demand in Europe is characterized by trimming expenditure of semiconductor manufacturers as well as reducing semiconductor consumption.
The global automated test equipment market share is consolidated in nature with three companies, Teradyne Inc., Advantest Corporation, and LTX-Credence Corporation accounting for over 80% of the total demand in 2013. Mergers and acquisitions continue to be the major growth strategy adopted by the aforementioned market participants. Enhancing test platforms, development of new instrumentation, and maintaining a close relationship with the customers are expected to remain as key growth strategies. Semiconductor manufacturers and designers are striving towards cost-effectiveness in manufacturing these devices.
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