Published August 19, 2003
Volume 11, Number 8

Test Spectrum West Makes Sure Chips Are Up To Par
Company Creates Software and Hardware for Semiconductor Testing

Circuit Board
Allan Calamoneri, left, and Douglas Ullman stand with a Test Spectrum West-designed
circuit board which will be used to test new semiconductors.

By George Walsh
Network Editor

Quality control is an important part of any manufacturing business. Consistent quality leads to consumer confidence. When it comes to microprocessors (the silicon chips that act as the brains of electronic devices such as personal computers), we trust that they will not only handle the business data in our computers, but control key components of our automobiles and other products we use daily.

Test Spectrum West, located at 5976 W. Las Positas Blvd. Suite 116 in Hacienda, is a service-based company that provides semiconductor test engineering. The work that is done at Test Spectrum West is different than software test engineering, where a computer application is put through its paces. Test Spectrum West is only interested in the silicon chips on which other people’s applications run. “We test the actual integrated circuits,” says Allan Calamoneri, Test Spectrum West’s chief operating officer. “Before semiconductors are put into a product, they have to be tested. We write the software and design the hardware that allows those chips to be tested in volume.” Test Spectrum West’s clients include automatic test equipment companies, offshore subcontract manufacturers, and the individual companies that design integrated circuits. One of the company’s goals is to allow its customers to use cutting edge solutions from capable engineers without incurring the costs associated with staffing a department and recruiting these hard-to-find professionals.

Test Spectrum West is affiliated with Test Spectrum Incorporated, a Texas-based company that was founded in 1999 in Austin, Texas. Test Spectrum West was incorporated September 1, 2002 by the original six people who started Test Spectrum Inc., along with a seventh partner, COO Allan Calamoneri. “Test Spectrum has been profitable from the get-go and they’ve built up a lot of good will and an excellent reputation,” Calamoneri says. “Having them as a sister company allows us to have immediate name recognition, which can be a challenge for a startup.”

Test Spectrum West occupies about 2,000 square feet in its Hacienda office in which Calamoneri intends to eventually have 10 to 12 people working on site. Calamoneri explains that choosing to open an office in Pleasanton was a calculated decision. “We hire top-notch test engineers. Because there is now a world-wide shortage of these professionals, we had to find a way to attract them to come work for a small self-funded startup when they could be working for Intel or another big high tech company,” he says. “What we provide them with is a salary competitive to what they would make in Silicon Valley and a revenue-based bonus plan. The biggest bonus to working here, however, is the fact that we’re in Pleasanton, which allows them to live where they work, be in a decent school district, and be able to afford to buy a house. No one down in Silicon Valley can say that.”

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