SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Will Teradyne Inc. enter the DRAM test market?
Raj Seth, an analyst with Cowen and Co. LLC, has indicated that Teradyne is readying a tester for ''DDR3'' applications. ''New DDRIII tester opens new market'' for Teradyne, Seth said in a recent report.
That implies that the automatic test equipment (ATE) giant is entering the DRAM test market, thereby going toe-to-toe with Japan's Advantest Corp. Advantest has held a near monopoly in DRAM test.
Teradyne declined to comment. Advantest recently announced availability of its new, expanded configuration T5503 high-speed memory test system. It boasts the industry's highest parallel test capability of up to 256 DDR3 devices -- double that of the previous model. It has a maximum test speed of 3.2-Gbps. The expanded configuration test system, known as the T5503 8448 Channel Test Head, is shipping.
Advantest, Teradyne and Verigy also compete in the flash memory and other ATE markets. ATE has been hit hard by the downturn, but Teradyne is seeing signs of improvement.
''Headed into the end of the quarter, Teradyne is tracking well,'' Seth said. ''Quarter isn't over but our contacts suggest good momentum. Despite low overall utilizations, there are pockets of strength. Wireless remains relatively strong (echoed by Verigy) as well as power management which is related to the handset market. Recent deals in the auto business make good headlines but there's little revenues attached. Memory orders (flash) remain elusive.''
In April, ATE vendor Teradyne said it planned to cut 350 jobs and will implement more pay cuts.
Teradyne recently reported revenue of $121 million for the first quarter of 2009. The GAAP net loss for the first quarter was $90.7 million, or minus $0.53 per diluted share.
This compares to sales of $194.8 million in the previous quarter and $297.3 million a year ago. It lost $388.6 million in the previous quarter and had a profit of $2.4 million a year ago.