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Interview: We offer Test Hardware and Test IP on a Subscription Model

Advantest-Manabu KimuraAdvantest introduced in September 2013 a new revolutionary semiconductor test solution named CloudTesting. The new concept is targeted for silicon validation and debugging and offered only as a service. All-about-Test talked to Mr. Manabu Kimura, President and Representative Director of Cloud Testing Service, Inc. asubsidiary of Advantest, about the success of this new business model.

AaT: How does CloudTesting work and what are the main differences to conventional test solutions?

Manabu Kimura: We offer tester hardware to customers just like a cable TV box provider. Once the customer has installed the system, they can utilize our software, which we call testing IPs, similarly to subscribing to the TV program monthly contract. Various programs or IPs are available on our eCommerce site. Customers can select any testing IPs on demand. Unlike conventional test solutions, CTS is available on an as-needed basis with no CAPEX investment and with no programming required.

AaT: Which markets and applications is Advantest addressing with CloudTesting?

Manabu Kimura: Any segment related to IC and electronic device tests, such as IC design verification, debugging, QA, failure analysis, R&D, small production, academia, education, etc.

AaT: CloudTesting is based on a completely different business model and is offered as a service. So far your customers invested in hardware and software, now Advantest supplies a complete solution and they have to pay for a service. What do your customers think of this new business model?

Manabu Kimura: Customers see many advantages to the CTS business model, such as minimal financial investment and ease of use, expense rather than asset investment, and “Off-the-shelf” solutions free the engineer from programming or application development.

AaT: How many customers have CloudTesting already in use and in which markets/applications? Are there any customers in Europe? What are their experiences? Did they realize any cost and time reductions?

Manabu Kimura: More than one hundred customers from various segments and markets already have experience with CTS. These include IC design, verification, module test, small production, etc. In the autumn of 2013 we started introducing CTS in Europe. We have seen various users show strong interest throughout EU and peripheral regions.

Per our experience, many customers have discovered benefits in using CTS. For example, one customer in the IC design area saw a 1/10 turn-around-time (TAT) in comparison to the current testing solution. Another customer in IC distribution, who is not a test specialist, thanked us that he successfully won the business by screening their IC chip which they bought from a third party. This was possible because CTS provides “off-the shelf” testing solutions which do not need special test knowledge.

AaT: Is CloudTesting also used in production?

Manabu Kimura: This is not intended for mass production, but it may be suitable for small production.

AaT: What are your experiences with this new service? What can we expect for the near future?

Manabu Kimura: More and more customers are now learning about our unique service and showing particular interest in it. Our preference is to be a standard solution for IC related testing in any electronics segment.

AaT: Thank you very much!

The interview was conducted by Herbert Hoenle.


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