Firm buys Cypress’ test site, touts “labless” services trend

July 23, 2007 – Further stepping into the fabless realm, Cypress Semiconductor Corp. says it has sold its test facility in San Jose, CA, to Presto Engineering Inc., which will in turn provide product engineering services to Cypress and other semiconductor manufacturers.

The 9800-sq. ft operation offers in-house test capabilities and capacity for electrical testing services, to evaluate device performance and localize areas of concern for subsequent physical analysis.

“As semiconductor design and manufacturing have become more complex, product engineering — the process of refining the initial design to achieve profitability in high-volume production — has become exponentially more difficult,” requiring deep technical expertise in electrical test, physical analysis, process technology, and design, according to Michel Villemain, Presto Engineering CEO, in a statement.

In fact, the company there’s a huge potential in such outsourced engineering services, claiming that registering a design at tape out can save significant additional time by allowing advance preparation of test fixtures and procedures. “We expect the industry to move toward ‘labless’ product engineering in the same way it has moved to ‘fabless’ manufacturing,” Villemain stated.

“Presto’s acquisition of our test floor gives us ready access to their extensive expertise and new advanced analysis capabilities,” added Mike LaBouff, VP of engineering for Cypress, noting the importance of “anything that enhances the speed and predictability” of the process from first silicon to high-volume production.


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