FREMONT, Calif. In a move that looks to expand the breadth of its test offerings, Credence Systems Corp. recently merged its wholly owned DFT subsidiary, Fluence Technology, with the newly acquired Integrated Measurement Systems Inc. (IMS).
The union looks to provide the automatic test equipment vendor with a greater portfolio of front-end test solutions to complement its line of automated test systems. According to Dave Ranhoff, chief operating officer of the company, IMS' line of validation systems will help Credence achieve its end as a "front-to-back" test provider.
"The combined company has the opportunity to offer integrated test strategies from engineering to production test," Ranhoff said. "IMS' engineering validation systems are used in the front end, to verify and characterize complex semiconductors," Ranhoff said. "It lets our customers test designs at the pre-silicon stage and correct their process, if required."
Acquired in May in an all-stock transaction valued at $155 million, the 18-year-old IMS touts the Vanguard, an engineering validation system aimed at high-performance logic and system-on-chip devices, as its flagship product. The Vanguard system features as many as 512 pins at up to 1-Gbit/second-per-pin performance.
Ranhoff said that Credence is working with a third-party management consulting firm to support the integration, which the company hopes to have on track by the end of this fiscal quarter. Just how the newly acquired silicon characterization and validation tools will work with Fluence's built-in self-test and Credence's hardware is still being ironed out, he said.
"We're working on an integration plan that we expect to complete by the end of this quarter," Ranhoff said. "The plan will determine whether IMS products will be re-branded under the Credence name. We're in the process of developing product road maps."
Ranhoff said the company will be working hard to optimize its testers for the design validation and production phases, as well as developing "a more streamlined transition" from engineering to production with compatible fixtures, software and databases.
The new wholly owned subsidiary incorporating Fluence and IMS will be named Integrated Measurement Systems Inc. a Credence company and will be based in Beaverton, Ore. Keith Barnes, chairman and chief executive officer of IMS, will head the new subsidiary as an executive vice president of Credence and president of IMS.
The acquisition of IMS brought more than technology to Credence. While the lion's share of Credence's revenue comes from the foundry and subcontractor markets of the Asia-Pacific region, IMS sells mainly to the integrated device manufacturers, and boasts such heavyweights as National Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics as customers. IMS had been gaining momentum in the fabless space recently, having garnered wins with the likes of Sandcraft, Transmeta and Navarro Networks.
Credence will combine the revenue of IMS with its own in the company's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in October.