News & Events

IC test interface vendors embrace strong demand for networking chips

Taiwan's IC test interface specialists have seen strong demand for networking chips applications thanks to mounting penetration of Wi-Fi 6/6E solutions, compensating for the order decline in handset APs, according to industry sources.

MediaTek and Realtek Semiconductor have adjusted product portfolios with a greater focus on Wi-Fi 6/6E SoCs and other networking chips, and they, together with US peers like Broadcom and Qualcomm, are also stepping up the development of more advanced Wi-Fi 7 core chips, fueling demand for related chip probing solutions, the sources said.

To meet the demand, some IC test interface vendors including Chunghwa Precision Test Tech (CHPT) have rolled out cost-competitive, non-MEMS process fine-pitch probing needles, which are combined into their vertical probe cards (VPCs) for shipments to networking chip vendors. The combination is quite popular with chipmaking clients, the sources stressed.

The vendors are therefore optimistic that their third-quarter revenues may hit new highs despite a lackluster second-half 2022 in the consumer electronics sectors, the sources continued.

Usually, VPCs paired with MEMS probing needles are used in testing high-tier handset APs, which are too costly for networking chips applications that can do without the advanced MEMS probes, the sources said.

One of the non-MEMS probing needles rolled out by a leading test interface vendor is about 25.4um in diameter and suitable for pad pitch under 50um, which has attracted substantial orders from Taiwan's suppliers of networking chips, the sources added.