Advantest Corporation is a leading manufacturer of test equipment and measuring instruments that are used in the design, production and maintenance of electronic systems including fiber optic and wireless communications equipment and digital consumer products. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has three reportable segments of business:
- mechatronics (handlers),
- semiconductor and component test systems
- services, support and others.
The company is operating in 13 countries and has subsidiaries throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Advantest Corporation currently has approximately 4,500 employees worldwide.
Advantest was founded in Japan in 1954 as Takeda Riken Industry Co., Ltd., and was a maker of electronic measuring instruments. In 1959 the company moved into its newly constructed headquarters in Tokyo.
The company’s stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.
In 1971 Advantest launched the Spectrum analyzer business with the release of the TR-4100, a frequency axis universal measuring instrument known as a tracking scope and entered the semiconductor testing business in 1972.
In 1977 the company contributed to the successful launch of a Japanese satellite by supplying measurement instruments for rocket fuel combustion tests to NASDA, the National Space Development Agency of Japan (now JAXA).
Expanding its semiconductor test business, Advantest established its North American subsidiary, Advantest America, in 1982, and its European operations (Advantest Europe, GmbH) in Munich in 1983, to locate its sales and service operations closer to its North American and European customers. The company also has subsidiaries throughout Asia and operates in 13 countries. The company began trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1983 and changed its name to Advantest Corporation in 1985.
In 1986 Dong-Hwa Advantest Co., Ltd. (now Advantest Korea Co., Ltd.) was established in Seoul, South Korea and in this same year Advantest Singapore Pte. Ltd., was created to expand services to Southeast Asia. The company established Advantest Taiwan, Inc. in Hsinchu, Taiwan in 1990.
In 1993 the company name was changed to Advantest AD Corporation (ADC). Their house mark ADCMT stands for "Analog to Digital Conversion and Measurement Technologies," and its ADC part became the company name.
In 1997 Advantest launched the R3131 low-cost, low-end spectrum analyzer, designed to meet market needs and becomes a hit product.
In 2000 Advantest acquired the semiconductor test equipment division of Asia Electronics, Inc., a Japan based manufacturer of instruments to measure electricity and electrical signals.
In 2002, Advantest was one of the founding member companies that established the Semiconductor Test Consortium (STC), the first international, industry-wide collaboration aimed at developing a highly scalable, flexible test platform to reduce the cost of test of SoC’s and other advanced IC’s that incorporate complex technologies such as copper interconnects, sub-100 nm device geometries and 300mm wafers.
In 2003 ADC Corporation separated from Advantest Corporation. ADC developed analog measurement technologies and became a measuring instrument company.
In 2004 the company relocates its headquarters to the Shin-Marunouchi Center Building in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district.
In 2009 the company reported the largest loss in company history. The 68 billion USD loss intensified reorganization and reform efforts. In the same year the company introduced a new global sales structure.
In December 2010 Advantest made an all-cash offer for Verigy, Inc., a Singapore based supplier of semiconductor measurement equipment that existed till 2006 as a business within Hewlett Packard before it was spun off from Agilent Technologies as a separate company. A month before, Verigy announced its intent to merge with LTX-Credence (a merger between LTX and Credence Systems, Inc.) and in July 2011, after two reviews of the transaction by the Department of Justice the company announced that Advantest Corporation acquired Verigy for 1.100 billion USD in cash. The resulted company was the largest manufacturer of semiconductor test equipment in the world and has approximately 4,500 employees worldwide.
In 2011 Advantest facilities were hit by the great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Advantest's facilities in Sendai, near the epicenter of the disaster, were up and running again within days.
In May 2013 Advantest Corporation acquired and US based W2BI, Inc., a supplier of system level test automation software focusing on wireless communications. Based in New Jersey, USA, W2BI became a fully owned subsidiary of Advantest America, Inc.
www.dealbook.nytimes.com Edition 28 March 2011