Aehr Test Systems, a supplier of semiconductor test and reliability qualification equipment, today announced it has received orders from a new customer and their subcontract manufacturing supplier for a FOX™ solution including a FOX-NP™ full wafer test system, an initial WaferPak™ Contactor, and a FOX WaferPak Aligner to perform production qualification of their silicon photonics devices. The total solution, including the FOX-NP system, WaferPak Aligner, and WaferPak Contactor, is expected to ship prior to the end of Aehr’s next fiscal quarter ending August 31, 2020.
This new customer will begin utilizing Aehr’s FOX-NP system for initial production burn-in and stabilization of their high performance silicon photonic devices and is then expected to transition to Aehr’s FOX-XP wafer-level test and burn-in systems to meet their volume production forecast.
The semiconductor industry today exceeds $400 billion per year with a single CMOS chip containing as many as a billion or more transistors, forming complex circuits that are still 100% electrical. Using photons instead of electrons, silicon photonics brings optical communications into the fabrication space of the semiconductor industry, enabling low-cost, high-volume assembly and the capability to bring faster, smaller, interconnects, which consume less power and offer the entire semiconductor industry a whole new world of opportunities. Silicon photonics is expected to be the most scalable optical transceiver technology available while delivering lowest cost per bit for 100Gb and higher transfer speeds. Next generation data centers, high performance computers, and eventually consumer video products will all benefit from optical interconnects built from silicon photonics.
Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented, “We are delighted to announce another new customer for our FOX-P™ Platform, beginning with this initial order for our new FOX-NP test and burn-in system to support their initial product qualification of their high performance silicon photonics devices. This is a 100% production test application, so unlike a sampling burn-in process step, this customer uses the FOX system to stabilize each device as a critical production process step, and will need incremental capacity for FOX systems and WaferPaks with each increment in their volume production forecast.
In addition to the FOX-NP system, which is capable of testing 100% of the devices on each of two silicon photonics wafers in parallel, we have also provided this customer with proposals for, and they have told us they plan to purchase, our high volume production FOX-XP system that is capable of testing up to 18 wafers in parallel to meet their production needs. The FOX-XP is 100% compatible with our dual-wafer FOX-NP and proprietary WaferPaks, which allows our customer to make a very simple transition between initial qualification and low volume production to high volume production.
We view this large player in the silicon photonics market as a very important customer win for Aehr, and we are also encouraged to be working with one of the world’s leading semiconductor assembly and test subcontract manufacturers that we believe will broaden our customer base as they market our FOX Wafer Level Test & Burn in Systems to their installed base of customers.
Market research company Yole Développement predicts silicon photonics technology will grow from approximately 3.5 million silicon photonic transceivers shipments in 2019 to 24 million units shipped in 2025, or a CAGR of more than 37%, with a resulting market value for transceivers expected to be worth almost $4 billion. We believe that the Silicon Photonics market will continue to be a high growth opportunity for Aehr Test Systems for many years.
As a global supplier to Critical Infrastructure companies as defined by the US government, we are taking extraordinary measures to be able to safely operate up to nearly full capacity in manufacturing and across the company so that we can support the vital needs of these Critical Infrastructure customers while fully complying with the local and state mandated ‘Shelter in Place’ directives. Through direct and indirect representatives, Aehr also has engineers and infrastructure around the world to support our customers and meet our contracts, response times, and critical parts lead times for our installed base of Aehr Test systems, WaferPaks, DiePaks®, and accessories.
Aehr’s FOX-NP is an entry level, production proven full-wafer test solution that allows companies to do initial production qualification and ship thousands of devices per day, and is fully compatible with the high-volume FOX-XP system, enabling an easier transition to full production test. Aehr’s FOX-XP system is the Company’s multi-wafer and singulated die/module test solution that is designed for high volume production and can be configured to test and burn-in up to 18 wafers of up to 1000 Watts of power per wafer using its WaferPak contactors and up to 9 wafers of up to 2000 Watts of power per wafer using its WaferPak contactors and DiePak carriers enabling massive parallel test and burn-in of up to tens of thousands of devices at a time.“
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