SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The ATE probe card market is looking up after the downturn in 2009, according to VLSI Research Inc.
VLSI said that the weak memory IC market during 2009 had a severe impact upon demand for wafer test probe cards. Overall probe card revenue declined 29 percent in 2009, according to the firm. In 2009, the total
semiconductor probe card sales revenue fell to $738 million, which was only 53 percent
of the peak revenue seen in 2007, according to VLSI.
In 2010, sales of probe cards, including spares and service, are forecast to grow by 25.6 percent to $927 million, supported by a strong recovery in the IC market, according to the firm. VLSI projects that the probe card market will reach $1.3 billion by
Meanwhile, 2009 saw further changes in the probe card supplier ranking as those with sales primarily into the non-memory segment gained share. FormFactor, Micronics Japan
Co. and JEM retained their top three ranking. Technoprobe moved up from sixth place in 2008 to the fourth position in 2009 and Microprobe made big gains to take the fifth position, from the ninth spot in 2008.
MicroProbe was the fastest growing vendor in the top five in 2009. "We attribute our growth to two key factors: accelerated overall market migration to advanced probe cards for non-memory testing, combined with our market share gains through adoption of our advanced MEMS-based products," said Mike Slessor, CEO at MicroProbe, in a statement.