AES Semigas


16 October 2023

Aehr almost doubles revenue year-on-year

For its fiscal first-quarter 2024 (to end-August 2023), semiconductor production test and reliability qualification equipment supplier Aehr Test Systems of Fremont, CA, USA has reported revenue of $20.6m, up 93% on $10.7m a year ago.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $5.2m ($0.18 per diluted share), up from $1.3m ($0.05 per diluted share) a year ago.

“We finished the first quarter with solid revenue and non-GAAP net income, the strongest first quarter in our history, which has historically been our seasonally softest quarter,” notes president & CEO Gayn Erickson.
Cash provided by operations was $3.9m. During the quarter, total cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments rose from $47.9m to $51m.

“We had record shipments of our FOX WaferPak full-wafer Contactors in both revenue and units and are very pleased with the continued stream of new designs we are seeing. Our new design volume has tripled over the last nine months as we are seeing more electric vehicles coming online with their own specific device design for inverters and onboard chargers,” says Erickson.

“We have now received customer acceptance of both configurations of our new fully automated FOX WaferPak Aligner, which allows hands-free operation of WaferPak handling and alignment and is available either as a standalone unit or in full integration with the FOX-XP system. We recognized revenue for two standalone WaferPak Aligners in the first quarter and received customer acceptance and sign off on two fully integrated WaferPak Aligners with the integrated FOX-XPs in September. These acceptances and the associated revenue recognition are a great way to start our second quarter and pave the path for revenue recognition immediately upon future shipments of these products,” continues Erickson.

“Additionally, we announced last month our sixth customer for silicon carbide wafer level burn-in. This new customer is a US-based multi-billion-dollar semiconductor supplier that serves several markets, including automotive, computing, consumer, energy, industrial, and medical markets. After conducting a detailed financial evaluation of Aehr and Aehr’s FOX family of products, including multiple onsite visits to Aehr’s application lab, this new customer purchased an initial FOX-NP system, WaferPak Aligner, and multiple WaferPaks for engineering, qualification, and small-lot production of their silicon carbide power devices. This system is configured with our new Bipolar Voltage Channel Module (BVCM) and Very High Voltage Channel Module (VHVCM) options that enable new advanced test and burn-in capabilities for silicon carbide power semiconductors. This customer has indicated that, as their production capacity increases, they intend to quickly move to our FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in systems for high-volume production.

“Including this newest customer, our last two announced customers have selected our systems primarily for applications other than electric vehicles including industrial, solar and commuter electric trains. This further extends our application space beyond the opportunity we see in silicon carbide for traction inverters and onboard and offboard chargers for electric vehicles. These applications expand our market opportunity to include what William Blair forecasts will be an additional 2.8 million 6”-equivalent wafers needed per year by 2030 for applications beyond the 4.5 million 6”-equivalent wafers per year it forecasts will be needed just for electric vehicles.”

“We continue to see increased interest from prospective new customers for our solutions for silicon carbide wafer level burn-in,” says Erickson. “In the last few weeks, we have attended two international conferences in Europe and met with more than a dozen companies that are not currently using our solutions, in addition to meeting with all six of our current silicon carbide customers. These face-to-face meetings included multiple meetings with one of the market leaders in silicon carbide with whom we have been doing a significant automotive qualification of wafer-level burn-in for well over two years. This benchmark and qualification process has made even more progress in the last few months with a very large number of wafers being run at our facility and multiple meetings and reviews of the data. We continue to feel confident that this customer will move forward with us using the FOX-XP multi-wafer solution for their high-volume needs, including initial purchase orders and system shipments within this fiscal year. In the next few weeks, we also plan to meet with a significant number of potential new customers as well as end users in Asia, as we are seeing increasing activities and opportunities heating up there.”

“We are also in extensive engagements with multiple gallium nitride suppliers, including companies that also supply silicon carbide devices,” continues Erickson. “The gallium nitride market is another potential growth driver for our wafer-level solutions, particularly for automotive and photovoltaic applications where burn-in appears to be critical for meeting the initial quality and reliability needs of those markets. This fiscal year, while we do expect to recognize some revenue for systems, WaferPaks and Aligners for gallium nitride applications, we continue to expect a significant majority of our revenue to come from silicon carbide.”

“In addition to these power semiconductor applications, we continue to be excited about the current application of silicon photonics devices for fiber-optic transceivers used in data centers and data and telecommunication networks, as well as the major market opportunity we see with the upcoming application of silicon photonics integrated circuits for use in optical chip-to-chip communication,” says Erickson. “As we’ve previously announced, we received a first order from a current major silicon photonics customer for a new configuration of our FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in system for use in very high-power silicon devices, and we expect to receive orders for additional production systems as they increase production of these devices. While we believe that it will likely be several years before we will potentially see significant revenue generated from this optical chip-to-chip communications market, we are working with some of the leaders in silicon photonics to ensure that we have the products and solutions available to meet their needs for this potentially significant market application.”

“In conclusion, we are encouraged by the continued positive momentum we are seeing for silicon carbide in electric vehicles and are also excited about the expanding growth opportunities we are seeing in several additional markets with current and prospective customers.”

Order bookings for fiscal first-quarter 2024 were $18.4m. Order backlog was $22.3m. Effective backlog, which includes all orders received since the end of fiscal Q1, is $24m.

“We are off to a very good start to our fiscal year,” says Erickson. For the fiscal year to end-May 2024, Aehr is reiterating its previously provided guidance for total revenue of at least $100m (up 50% year-on-year) and GAAP net income of at least $28m (up by more than 90% year-on-year).

See related items:

Aehr added to Russell 3000 Index

Aehr appoints Chris Siu as chief financial officer & executive VP of finance

Aehr reports record quarterly order bookings

Tags: Semiconductor test instrument



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