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AEHR Receives Over $1.3 Million in Orders for WaferPak™ Consumables for Volume Production Test of Electric Vehicle and Data Center Devices

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ: AEHR), a worldwide supplier of semiconductor test and reliability qualification equipment, today announced it has received orders for its proprietary WaferPak consumables totaling over $1.3 million from existing customers for their installed base of FOX multi-wafer test systems. The orders are for multiple new designs and ramp of volume production test of silicon carbide power semiconductors for electric and hybrid electric vehicles and silicon photonics devices for data center and 5G infrastructure fiber optic transceivers.

Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented, “We are pleased to report these orders for our WaferPak full wafer test and burn-in contactors, which include new designs as well as added production capacity from customers in the silicon carbide and silicon photonics segments.

“These orders reflect multiple new WaferPak design wins for volume production test of silicon carbide power semiconductors for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Our WaferPaks, in combination with Aehr’s FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in systems, have now been in production and qualified by automotive suppliers for full wafer test of silicon carbide power devices used in electric and hybrid electric vehicle power trains since early 2020. Multiple WaferPak designs that were previously shipped have now been qualified and are ramping in production. We anticipate new production capacity orders over the next year for systems and WaferPaks from our existing as well as new customers for production test and burn-in of silicon carbide devices.

“The silicon carbide semiconductor device market is growing very rapidly and is a new and exciting market opportunity for Aehr and our unique FOX wafer level test solutions. Silicon carbide is exceptionally well suited for high power and particularly high voltage power applications such as the needs of electric and hybrid electric vehicles power trains, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, IT/data center power supplies, and renewable energy power conversion such as wind and solar. Silicon carbide based power transistors used in the power conversion are much more efficient than other semiconductor materials and are extremely reliable. Many companies are making significant investments in silicon carbide and most car manufacturers making electric vehicles/hybrid electric vehicles are expected to use silicon carbide power devices in the near future.

“Interestingly, while silicon carbide is known for its high reliability, it is also well known in the industry to have high infant mortality rates. However, these defects can be completely removed after a reliability burn-in screening to provide extremely reliable devices for mission critical applications such electric vehicle power conversion. A critical capability that only Aehr’s solution can provide on the market today is the ability to test 100% of the die on a wafer in a single insertion before it is put into a single or multi-die package or module while providing 100% traceability of pass/fail results of each device including exactly what time during the test and burn-in cycle the devices failed. This is a critical feature that provides confidence to customers that they are removing all early life failures prior to shipment. Our systems are not only able to test 100% of their devices on 4”, 6”, 8” and 12” wafers, but we can test and burn-in 18 wafers at a time in a single FOX-XP system. By moving these tests to wafer, it saves the significant cost and impact of yield loss at the package or module level.

“We are also excited to see this new wave of capacity needs from our silicon photonics customers, and to see the resumption of orders to these customers for devices for data center and 5G infrastructure expansions that is driving the increased test capacity need. We continue to be very optimistic about the silicon photonics market, which is seeing increasing deployment of devices used in the expansion of bandwidth and infrastructure to meet the explosive growth of data center and 5G. Silicon photonics devices are highly integrated silicon based semiconductors that have embedded or integrated the non silicon based laser transmitters and receivers to enable a smaller, lower cost, higher reliable alternative to traditional fiber optic transceivers currently used in data center and telecommunication infrastructure.

“Silicon photonics devices all need to have their photonics transmitters stabilized under high power and temperature and customers also use our systems to screen for infant mortality of these devices to ensure high initial quality and long-term reliability. This is a manufacturing step done on 100% of the die, and in the case of silicon photonics we provide a much more cost effective and scalable solution for this step than doing this equivalent stabilization and screening after the die are put onto the final PCB substrate and package. Market research company Yole Dévelopement predicts the silicon photonics market will grow at a CAGR of 42% between 2019 and 2025 to a $3.6 billion annual market and we believe that the industry will transition to wafer level or singulated die for this critical manufacturing step, which is where our FOX-P products stand alone as the most cost effective solution for this and a portfolio of patents and IP in this area.

“We believe the electric vehicles market, the data storage and network infrastructure market, as well as multiple devices related to the worldwide 5G build-out are substantial new opportunities for our test and burn-in systems, where these end markets and customers require devices to have extremely high levels of quality and long-term reliability.

“Our customers purchase our proprietary WaferPak contactors not only with new systems orders, but also for their installed base of systems each time they have a change in their device design or add new devices to production. As we increase our installed base of FOX systems with current and new customers, particularly with our FOX-XP™ multi wafer systems, our consumables business will continue to grow in absolute value and as a percentage of our total sales. Over the long term, we expect to see as much as 50 percent of our total annual revenue to come from consumables as our systems business continues to grow,” Mr. Erickson concluded. 

The FOX-XP system, available with multiple WaferPak™ Contactors (full wafer test) or multiple DiePak™ Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, is capable of functional test and burn-in/cycling of integrated devices such as silicon carbide power devices, silicon photonics as well as other optical devices, 2D and 3D sensors, flash memories, Gallium Nitride (GaN), magnetic sensors, microcontrollers, and other leading-edge ICs in either wafer formfactor, before they are assembled into single or multi-die stacked packages, or in singulated die or module formfactor.

About Aehr Test Systems

Headquartered in Fremont, California, Aehr Test Systems is a worldwide provider of test systems for burning-in and testing logic, optical and memory integrated circuits and has installed over 2,500 systems worldwide. Increased quality and reliability needs of the Automotive and Mobility integrated circuit markets are driving additional test requirements, incremental capacity needs, and new opportunities for Aehr Test products in package, wafer level, and singulated die/module level test. Aehr Test has developed and introduced several innovative products, including the ABTS™ and FOX-P™ families of test and burn-in systems and FOX WaferPak™ Aligner, FOX-XP WaferPak Contactor, FOX DiePak® Carrier and FOX DiePak Loader. The ABTS system is used in production and qualification testing of packaged parts for both lower power and higher power logic devices as well as all common types of memory devices. The FOX-XP and FOX-NP systems are full wafer contact and singulated die/module test and burn-in systems used for burn-in and functional test of complex devices, such as leading-edge memories, digital signal processors, microprocessors, microcontrollers, systems-on-a-chip, and integrated optical devices. The FOX-CP system is a new low-cost single-wafer compact test and reliability verification solution for logic, memory and photonic devices and the newest addition to the FOX-P product family. The WaferPak contactor contains a unique full wafer probe card capable of testing wafers up to 300mm that enables IC manufacturers to perform test and burn-in of full wafers on Aehr Test FOX systems. The DiePak Carrier is a reusable, temporary package that enables IC manufacturers to perform cost-effective final test and burn-in of both bare die and modules. For more information, please visit Aehr Test Systems’ website at www.aehr.com.

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or Aehr’s future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates,” “going to,” "could," "intends," "target," "projects," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern Aehr’s expectations, strategy, priorities, plans, or intentions. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, Aehr’s ability to generate bookings and revenue increases in the future, including the second half of fiscal 2021; future requirements and orders of Aehr’s new and existing customers; bookings forecasted for proprietary WaferPak™ and DiePak consumables across multiple market segments; the temporary nature of customer pushouts; shipping timelines for products and follow-on capacity orders; the growth of Aehr’s systems and consumables, including as a percentage of total sales; financial guidance for fiscal 2021, including related to revenue and profitability; Aehr’s ability to expand its number of customers using its FOX-P™ solutions; the ability to secure potential customer engagements; expectations related to long-term demand for Aehr’s productions and the attractiveness of key markets; the belief that Aehr will be stronger after the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, including expectations related to greater production, more customers, more applications, and higher value products. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in Aehr’s Form 10-K for fiscal 2020, Form 10-Q for the first fiscal quarter of fiscal 2021 and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Aehr disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.

Contacts:

Aehr Test Systems                                      
Vernon Rogers                                                
EVP Sales and Marketing                              
(510) 623-9400 x215    
vrogers@aehr.com                              
MKR Investor Relations Inc.
Todd Kehrli or Jim Byers
Analyst/Investor Contact
(323) 468-2300
aehr@mkr-group.com

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