SAN JOSE -- The new alliance between Integrated Measurement Systems Inc. (IMS) and Schlumberger Semiconductor Solutions will create a new and low-cost outsourcing model for chip-testing, according to company officials.
Last week, the two companies announced plans to set up the first in a series of independent test centers that will provide IC debug, validation, characterization, probing, and related services for chip makers (see June 19 story ).
This first center, to be located in San Jose, will operated by Schlumberger. The service center will be equipped with IMS' Vanguard 500-MHz IC Validation System and Schlumberger's IDS PICA probe system.
Eventually, the companies will establish four to five independent test service centers worldwide, said Jean Luc Pelissier, vice president of marketing and business development for Schlumberger Semiconductor of San Jose. "We plan to have a service center in every region of the world," Pelissier said in an interview. He did not elaborate, however.
The new service centers will create a new chip-testing outsourcing model, he said. Many chip makers, especially the fabless design houses, cannot afford to procure the latest automatic test equipment (ATE) in the marketplace.
The centers will enable chip makers to gain access to IC-verification and debug testing--without having to procure this equipment in-house, he added.