Firm seeing increased orders for Gen 4 SSD testers
Fab equipment maker Neosem was close to finishing the development of testers for Gen 5 solid-state drives (SSD), the company said.
The company will likely begin supplying the kits to customers during the second quarter of next year.
The tester is used at the back-end of PCIe 5.0 SSD production. Gen 5 SSD needs CPU makers like Intel to support PCIe 5.0 to be widely adopted.
Neosem said the testers will began supply near the end of the first quarter or during the second quarter next year.
The delay was caused by Intel’s postponement of the launch of its CPU Sapphire Rapids, which supports PCIe 5.0, to the first quarter of next year, the company said.
Gen 5 SSDs will go into engineering during the first half of next year and go into production during the second half, it added.
Current mainstream SSDs support PCIe 4.0. PCIe 5.0 supports double the bandwidth, with PCIe 5.0 X4 supporting up to 15.7/GB bandwidth.
AMD is also planning to launch its Zen4 Epyc processor that supports PCIe 5.0 next year.
SSD companies have also delayed their procurement of Gen 5 SSD equipment from Intel’s postponement.
They were planning to order Gen 5 SSD testers during the second half of the year originally but this has also been pushed back.
Instead, they are ordering more Gen 4 SSD testers.
Meanwhile, Neosem saw its sales decline 56% year-on-year in the first quarter this year to 4.6 billion won. As of July, it has 20 billion won of accumulated contracts thanks to customers putting in order during the second quarter.
A Neosem spokesperson said as it is seeing more orders for its Gen 4 SSD testers, it expects earnings to recover in the third and fourth quarters.
It expected further growth next year as Gen 5 SSD will go into engineering and production.
Last year, the company recorded 48.6 billion won in sales, an increase of 78% from the previous year. SSD testers had accounted for 86% of its sales. Besides Neosem, other SSD tester suppliers include US' Teradyne, Japan's Advantest, South Korea's Unitest and Exicon.