Fab equipment maker Neosem’s Gen 5 solid-state drive (SSD) inspection equipment has passed the quality test of a South Korean chip maker, TheElec has learned.
This means Neosem will be supplying the equipment to the South Korean chip maker for the first time. The equipment maker’s main customer so far had been a US-based memory chip maker.
Neosem’s Gen 5 SSD can be used to check the performance and temperature durability of the latest SSDs that support PCI Express 5.0 (Gen 5) interface. PCI Express 5.0 offers a bandwidth of 31.6GB/s, double that of PCI Express 4.0’s 15.7GB/s.
The South Korean chip maker that Neosem won as a customer previously procured its SSD inspection equipment from Kosdaq-listed Exicon and it will now compete with Neosem for orders.
Neosem’s Gen 5 SSD equipment uses Intel’s latest server CPU Sapphire Rapids to test the PCI Express 5.0 interface.
This is different Neosem’s rival equipment, which receives the 4.0 interface signal and uses Broadcom’s switching chip to realize the 5.0 interface.
This means as there is no switching process, Neosem’s equipment will have wider use and offer faster test speeds. The South Korean chip maker has concluded as such during its quality test.
Memory chip makers are halting their spending due to the global chip downturn but are expected to invest large sums again and place large orders once the market began recovering.
Meanwhile, Neosem’s DRAM burn-in tester also passed the quality test of the other South Korean chip maker.
While Neosem received a large order for the testers, the project had been put on hold due to the downturn. Once spending resumes for chip makers, Neosem is expected to proceed with supplying the testers.
Meanwhile, Digital Frontier and Blue Eng were the previous suppliers of the equipment to the chip maker; one of them is expected to be dropped as a supplier once Neosem begins its supply.
Neosem recorded its largest annual revenue figure of 74.7 billion won last year and is expected to record high revenue in 2023 as well despite the downturn in the chip market thanks to existing large orders, according to securities firms.