Advantest Urges Employees to "Lay the Cornerstones of the Future"
TOKYO, Japan - Toshio Maruyama, president and CEO of Advantest Corporation (TSE: 6857, NYSE: ATE), has delivered a New Year message to employees and stakeholders, outlining the company’s approach and goals for 2009:
"This winter, we face what has been described as a ’once-in-a-century economic crisis.’ For Advantest, that means visiting our customers regularly, keeping our noses to the grindstone in the R&D lab, and carrying on our manufacturing tradition of high product quality, low costs, and prompt delivery. Going forward, we can expect the environment to get even harsher, prompting shakeouts in a number of markets that will separate the survivors from the doomed. We at Advantest see this as a unique opportunity to solidify our position so that we can pull away from the competition as soon as the industry recovers.
"One of the issues we will concentrate on this year is the development of new products that bring innovation to market. The expansion of semiconductor applications has created demand for a raft of new functions and capabilities. But at the same time, high-end semiconductors are making up a smaller fraction of total production, while chips used in a wide range of everyday goods are in greater demand. Semiconductors will have to become even faster and smarter to support the core industries of the future, but they will continue to be subject to the price collapses that result from commodification. Some say that commodification will encourage consumers to treat semiconductors as disposables, but I believe, on the contrary, that their increasing ubiquity will generate demand for even more stringent quality guarantees. Advantest leads the ATE industry in grappling with the problem of what kind of innovation to bring to a market that is defined by a changing cost structure, drastic price declines, and a simultaneous shift to higher functionality and performance.
"The Advantest spirit is a winning spirit. We see this difficult environment as a chance to capture a dominant share in testers, handlers, accessories, and service. Already the leading provider of memory testers, Advantest aims to expand its leadership in the SoC sector and the other markets we compete in.
The concept of QCD (Quality, Cost, Delivery) is central to the Advantest manufacturing tradition. We recognize the importance of the quality of every process and business procedure from R&D and procurement through to manufacturing, sales, and delivery. Meanwhile, “Cost” is our watchword as we respond to the great changes taking place in the market. We expect innovative technology to cause huge structural changes in demand this year, creating new markets for Advantest’s highly cost-effective solutions. Lastly, we continue to focus on delivery. We have achieved shorter delivery times and production times thanks to our implementation of the just-in-time production system, and continue to strive to deliver our new products ahead of schedule. We believe in maintaining an R&D effort that looks three years into the future. In 2009, our marketing and engineering personnel will continue to work together with our customers to predict the future of test and devise industry-leading solutions.
"Last but not least, we enter 2009 with a strong emphasis on reinforcing our new businesses. Advantest researchers and engineers are working on new concepts with the potential to transform their target markets. Our product development and new business development efforts give us additional reasons to be optimistic, even in this challenging climate.
"On that note, our new slogan is:
’Quest for the Essence 2009: Laying the Cornerstones of the Future.’"
Note: All information supplied in this release is correct at the time of publication, but may be subject to change without warning.
Advantest Corporation is the world’s leading automatic test equipment supplier to the semiconductor industry, and also produces electronic and optoelectronic instruments and systems. A global company, Advantest has long offered total ATE solutions, and serves the industry in every component of semiconductor test: tester, handler, mechanical and electrical interfaces, and software. Its logic, memory, mixed-signal and RF testers and device handlers are integrated into the most advanced semiconductor production lines in the world. Founded in Tokyo in 1954, Advantest established its first subsidiary in 1982, in the USA, and now has subsidiaries worldwide. Among them, Advantest America, Inc. is based in Santa Clara, CA., and Advantest (Europe) GmBH is based in Munich, Germany. More information is available at www.advantest.co.jp.
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