Bare board testing firm Bioptro is seeing high demand from semiconductor boards, TheElec has learned.
It is has already received enough orders for bare board testers to continue manufacturing them up to the end of 2021.
This is thanks to high demand for semiconductor boards, which has also increased demand for their testing equipment.
Bioptro manufactures testers for semiconductor boards, high density interconnect boards used in smartphones and for flexible printed circuit boards.
Bare board testers are used to inspect the electrical characteristics of printed circuit boards. They are used to inspect short circuits and cut circuits on the board, before the surface mount process. Testing bare boards before components are mounted on them saves companies inspection costs. It is more expensive to inspect boards with components mounted on them.
Japan’s Nidec-Read, the worlds largest bare board testing firm, is shipping more testers for flip chip ball grid array (FC-BGA) from high demand.
Due to the shortage in components, it is becoming increasingly difficult for bare board companies to secure the controllers and jigs they need to manufacture the testers. Bioptro is benefiting from this as higher tier tester makers are unable to handle all the orders they are given.
Bioptro currently relies heavily on bare board testers used for flexible printed circuit board. It also relies on Apple’s orders, its end customer.
Bioptro’s sales has fluctuated depending on how well an iPhone performs in terms of sales every year. The company is aiming to reduce this reliance.
Last year, the Korean firm saw high sales from the strong performance of iPhone 12. South Korea flexible printed circuit board partners of Apple ordered more bare board testers. Last year in December, it signed a 1.1 billion won contract to supply testers with BH. In October, it signed one worth 3 billion won with Youngpoong Electronics’ Vietnam subsidiary. Both BH and Youngpoong are suppliers to Apple.
Nidec-Read leads in bare board testers for semiconductor boards and high density interconnect boards. Hioki of Japan is also a player in these sectors. Yamaha of Japan leads in testers for flexible printed circuit boards. Bioptro is offering price-competitive testers and customized jig support to compete with these rivals. Like Nidec-Read, it offers testers for semiconductor boards, high density interconnect boards and flexible printed circuit boards.
The bare board tester market is seeing high demand for large capacity equipment with more test points. This is from printed circuit boards becoming more dense and integrated. A 32K bare board tester has 32,768 test points.
Bioptro listed on KONEX in 2016 and is based in Yongin. For its 2020 fiscal year (April, 2020 to March, 2021), it recorded 16.1 billion won in sales and 2.9 billion won in operating income. Sales increased 25.8% from the previous fiscal year. It returned to profitability over the same time period.