Test And Measurement: Synopsys Acquires Semiconductor Analytics Company Qualtera


By Kelly Hill

Semiconductor design company Synopsys has acquired analytics company Qualtera, which focuses on analysis of semiconductor design and manufacturing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Synopsys said the transaction was not material to its financials.

Synopsys said that Qualtera’s analytics, combined with Synopys’ own solutions, will “[provide]the foundation for improving the process of using silicon measurements to guide improvements throughout a device’s development and manufacturing lifecycle.”

“Early in the device lifecycle, the analysis of silicon data enables improvements in design modeling parameters to be used in subsequent design iterations or in future designs in the same technology node. Later in the lifecycle, analytics correlating design information with detailed test result data can be used to improve product yield ramps during manufacturing,” Synopys said, adding that its Yield Explorer solution helps identify systemic limitations on yield that are due to physical design characteristics and manufacturing processes. “Analytics can also drive significant improvements on the production test floor. Intelligent analysis of manufacturing and test data can drive specific actions to increase the efficiency of the test process,” the company said.

The acquistion by Synopsys comes on the heels of a similar recent acquisition by National Instruments. NI agreed to buy OptimalPlus, a data analytics company focused on the semiconductor manufacturing space, for US$365 million. That transaction is supposed to expand NI’s enterprise software capabilities, the test company said, “to provide customers with business-critical insights through advanced product analytics across their product development flow and supply chain.”

In other test news:

–Viavi Solutions has leveraged its acquisition of 3Z Telecom to put together a new toolkit for tower techs that addresses the increasing presence of fiber and need for fiber-testing capabilities. The Fiber Installer Kit includes instruments needed to test, inspent and clean fiber and fiber connectors, including an optical loss test set, digital fiber microscope with automated capabilities and a visual fault locator.

“Connector contamination is one of the greatest causes of network failure. A single particle mated into the core of a fiber can cause significant back reflection, insertion loss and even equipment damage,” said senior director for converged instruments and virtual test at Viavi Solutions, Enzo Dalmazzo. “By testing and validating fiber before turning up a site, contractors will expand the range of services they offer, and enable carriers to maintain high standards of service and customer satisfaction.”

–National Instruments released its business outlook for the second quarter this week, saying that “a high degree of uncertainty remains for the industrial economy with the impact of COVID-19 varying across regions.” The outlook is not rosy: NI expects to see revenues between US$295-US$315 million for the second quarter, which at the midpoint would be a revenue decline of 9 per cent year-over-year. Similar estimates for organic revenue — which would exclude the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, such as NI’s OptimalPlus buy — anticipate an organic revenue decline of 7 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“Our diversity of business and ability to stay connected to our customers in this unprecedented time gives me confidence we are on the right path forward with the right strategy in place. I continue to be impressed with the resiliency of our employees and their commitment to our customers,” said NI President and CEO Eric Starkloff. “We remain committed to our long-term growth ambitions with short-term expense management to keep us in a position of strength.”

NI will hold its next quarterly earnings call on July 30 and plans to hold a virtual investor conference on August 4.

–Spirent Communications is touting its “extensive work” with new Japanese market entrant Rakuten Mobile to support the company’s LTE services and its planned 5G NonStandalone and Standalone deployments in Japan. Spirent said that Rakuten Mobile used Spirent Landslide for core network testing, and Spirent’s iTest network automation and verification solution for regression testing on new services. Spirent said that its work with the network operator “has been defined by the use of advanced automation processes that expedite testing, including for complex 5G NSA and SA testing scenarios.”

–Teledyne LeCroy this week launched its Summit Z58 PCI Express protocol exercise/analyzer, for use in testing PCIe 5.0 designs and products. The new analyzer provides 32 GT/s traffic generation on devices with link widths up to eight lanes, the company said, and can be used for both traffic generation and device/host emulation and developing standardized compliance test suites.

–Keysight Technologies said that communications equipment manufacturer Gemtek is using Keysight’s UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform to design customer premise equipment for private and national mobile networks, and also to verify 5G New Radio Standalone mode implementations. CTO at Gemtek, Fred Yeh said that Gemtek serves customers that rely on a combination of technologies (including 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi) to deliver broadband, and that the Keysight solutions “allow us to continuously expand operations into new technologies or standards, such as Wi-Fi 7 and O-RAN, as well as markets that serve industries and consumers that need reliable wireless connectivity, no matter where they are.”

–ETS-Lindgren India is outfitting a new test chamber in Bangalore for Mphasis, which will be used for testing and certification of wireless devices and can test Wi-Fi, 5G and internet of things technologies.

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