This past July, I visited Multitest’s San Jose location to learn about the company’s activities in 3D IC test, as well as gain a better understanding of the company’s Plug & Yield™ philosophy, which spans handler, contactor and load board technologies. Earlier this month, the company announced its acquisition by LTX-Credence, along with its sister company, Everett Charles Technologies. The newly formed entity expands the company’s offerings to now include semiconductor test cells. I spoke with Reinhart Richter, President, Multitest, to learn more about the new company’s structure, and how it will serve the 3D IC test market.
von Trapp: First of all, how will the company be structured? Will it have a new name or will all three brands be maintained?
Richter: All 3 brand names will survive, they have a strong and positive image with customers, employees and suppliers. Whether or not there will be a new company name in the future has not been decided.
von Trapp: What do you see as the greatest advantage to Multitest as a result of this acquisition?
Richter: It is difficult to say what the greatest advantage will be. However, I see several significant advantages and opportunities: cross-selling of Multitest product through LTX-Credence channels and vice versa, strengthened field support, synchronizing handler and tester capabilities and roadmaps to better match customer needs, and the ability to develop integrated test solutions for example for MEMS test.
von Trapp: What offerings in the 3D IC test space does LTX-Credence have that will be supported by Multitest and Everett Charles?
Richter: When we talked in July, I mentioned that 3D will change the way we do test. The process path between Known Good Die (KGD) and 3D Package Final Test is too long and will cause costly yield losses. Moreover, a final test the way we do it today would require several test passes or testers with memory, microprocessor and mixed signal instrumentation. Multitest has developed an in-process test partly using Everett Charles contact pin technology allowing partial stack test. Working toogether with LTX-Credence gives us the opportunity to match tester capability with handling capability, offering customer best cost and benefit.
von Trapp: One of the things we discussed during my visit was the diversity of your customer base due to the company’s unique offering across the test supply chain. How will the acquisition by LTX-Credence affect your business partnerships with other tester companies like Advantest and Teradyne?
Richter: Well, this is a good question. At Multitest we have sold our handlers with 3rd party sockets or boards, and our socket and boards for 3rd party handlers for many years. We strongly believe that each product line has to stand on its own. While we showed with Multitest’s Plug + Yield™ that we can often offer a better performing integrated solution, we were always open to work with competitors for the benefit of our customers. Going forward we will continue to work with Advantest and Teradyne in the same spirit. And of course LTX-Credence will continue to sell its solutions into test cells containing products competing with Multitest. Both Multitest and LTX-Credence will continue to develop best-in-class products for those customers that want to buy the products individually. At the end of the day, our customers need to decide which way is best for them.