Cascade Microtech

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Cascade Microtech
IndustrySemiconductor test equipment
HeadquartersBeaverton, Oregon, USA
45°27′13″N 122°47′28″W / 45.45372°N 122.791043°W / 45.45372; -122.791043Coordinates: 45°27′13″N 122°47′28″W / 45.45372°N 122.791043°W / 45.45372; -122.791043
Revenue$113 million (2012)[1]
$6.1 million (2012)[1]
Number of employees
401 (2010)[2]

Cascade Microtech is a semiconductor test equipment manufacturer based in Beaverton in the Portland metropolitan area of the United States. Founded in 1983, the Oregon-based company employs nearly 400 people. Formerly publicly traded company as CSCD on the NASDAQ, the company is now a subsidiary of FormFactor.


In the early 1980s Eric W. Strid and K. Reed Gleason, employees at Tektronix (Tek), attempted to get their bosses to make a microwave wafer probe for testing microchips.[3] Management declined, but did license the technology to the two, leading to the formation of Cascade Microtech in 1982 on a part-time basis.[3][4] Dale E. Carlton joined the company as well, and in 1983 they produced their first product.[3] The founders had also worked for Tek spin-off of TriQuint Semiconductor.[5] The company turned profitable in 1984, and all left Tektronix by 1985.[3] In May 1986, the young company leased a 1,200-square-foot (110 m2) office in the Beaverton Tech Center.[6]

Former company headquarters in Hillsboro

By 1989, the company had grown to 55 employees and were based in Beaverton, Oregon, near the Tek headquarters.[3] The owners went without compensation the first three years the company was in business as they self-financed the venture before receiving $2.7 million in venture capital from Hewlett Packard in 1990.[5] Cascade began working towards an initial public stock offering (IPO) as early as 1997.[7] At that time, they expected to file for the IPO in 1998 and would use the money in part to help expand production.[7] As of March 1997, the company employed 185 people and their biggest customers were Fujitsu, National Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments.[7]

In 1999, the company received another $16 million in funding, which at that time the company had annual sales of $52 million.[5] The company raised additional $10 million in capital in 2000 by selling equity to Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.[8] By 2001 the company employed 330 people and was still preparing for an initial public offering on its stock.[5] The company then filed to go public in 2000, but dropped the plans in 2002.[9]

By 2001 Cascade had signed on to move into a new headquarters in Hillsboro's AmberGlen Business Center[10] where they occupied 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) by 2004.[11] The company was originally located at the offices of TriQuint, their former employer.[5] Cascade opened offices in Singapore in 2003, followed by offices in Taiwan and China in 2006.[12]

After years of delay, Cascade Microtech filed for an IPO with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission in March 2004, hoping to raise $85 million.[13][14] The company employed 243 and had revenues of $50.6 million when they filed for the IPO, and major customers included Intel and Infineon.[13] Besides offering new shares, shares held by existing owners such as Agilent Technologies were also offered, for a total of 5.3 million shares being offered to the public.[15] On December 15, 2004, the company started trading on the NASDAQ market, with an initial price of $14 per share under the ticker symbol CSCD.[16] The offering raised $72 million, of which $43 million went to Cascade with the reminder to existing shareholders.[16][17]

A probe station manufactured by Cascade

Cascade purchased socket maker Gryphics, Inc. in 2007 for $13.7 million and nearly 850,000 in Cascade Microtech stock.[18][19]

Chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Eric Strid stepped down as CEO, but remained as the company chairman and became the chief technical officer in January 2008.[4] Geoff Wild took over as CEO at that time,[4] but resigned in December 2009.[20][21] Interim CEO Paul Carlson led the company until former Merix Corp. CEO Michael Burger was hired in June 2010 and took office in July.[21][22]

In January 2010, Cascade purchased SUSS MicroTec AG's chip-testing division for $9.8 million.[23] That division had been Cascade's largest rival.[23] The company's revenue for the third quarter in 2010 was $25.3 million, a record for the company.[24] However, Cascade still had a net loss of $400,000.[24] Cascade posted revenues of $113 for fiscal year 2012 and had its first profit that year since 2007.[1] In October 2013, the company bought ATT Advanced Temperature Test Systems in a cash and stock deal valued at $27.7 million.[1] The company announced it was sold to FormFactor in February 2016 for $352 million, with the deal closing in June 2016.[25][26]


Cascade Microtech manufactures testing equipment for the semiconductor industry.[5] These probes test the chips before the chips are cut from the wafers (silicon or gallium arsenide), ensuring the chips do what they are designed to accomplish.[3][8] Production is performed at the company's facilities in Beaverton, Dresden, and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Rogoway, Mike (October 2, 2013). "Cascade Microtech pays $27.7 million for German company". The Oregonian. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b "2010 Annual Report". SEC Filings and Financial Reports. Cascade Microtech, Inc. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Colby, Richard (June 12, 1989). "Cascade Microtech Passes Test". The Oregonian. p. D10.
  4. ^ a b c DiMesio, Robbie (December 6, 2007). "Cascade Microtech names new CEO". The Oregonian.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Goldfield, Robert (May 6, 2001). "VC investment not the only way to raise funds". Portland Business Journal.
  6. ^ "Real Estate Notes". The Oregonian. May 18, 1986. p. 74.
  7. ^ a b c Marks, Anita (March 23, 1997). "Booming Cascade Microtech may probe IPO market in '98". Portland Business Journal.
  8. ^ a b Francis, Mike (February 11, 2000). "Beaverton Firm Makes Equity Deal". The Oregonian. p. B2.
  9. ^ Earnshaw, Aliza (October 31, 2004). "Cascade joins growing list of tech IPOs". Portland Business Journal.
  10. ^ Stout, Heidi J. (September 9, 2001). "Dirt piles tell a success story in Sunset Corridor". Portland Business Journal.
  11. ^ Stout, Heidi J. (March 28, 2004). "Real estate recovery takes root on west side". Portland Business Journal.
  12. ^ Earnshaw, Aliza (July 5, 2006). "Cascade Microtech expanding in Asia". Portland Business Journal.
  13. ^ a b "Cascade Microtech files for IPO". Portland Business Journal. March 4, 2004.
  14. ^ Francis, Mike (March 11, 2004). "Cascade Microtech prepares again for initial public offering". The Oregonian. p. West Zoner 1.
  15. ^ Reeves, Scott (November 5, 2004). "IPO Outlook: Semi-Enthusiastic For Semiconductors". Forbes.
  16. ^ a b Sickinger, Ted (December 16, 2004). "Cascade Microtech public after 4-year wait". The Oregonian. p. D1.
  17. ^ "Cascade Microtech IPO seeks to raise $74M". Portland Business Journal. December 15, 2004.
  18. ^ "Cascade Microtech Acquires Socket Product Manufacturer Gryphics, Inc". Articles. Semiconductor Online. April 4, 2007.
  19. ^ Earnshaw, Aliza (July 24, 2007). "Cascade Microtech reports lower profits on higher sales". Portland Business Journal.
  20. ^ LaPedus, Mark (December 2, 2009). "Cascade Microtech's CEO resigns". EE Times.
  21. ^ a b Rogoway, Mike (December 2, 2009). "Cascade Microtech's CEO quits". The Oregonian.
  22. ^ Rogoway, Mike (June 17, 2010). "Merix's ex-CEO is Cascade Microtech's new chief". The Oregonian.
  23. ^ a b Siemers, Erik (June 27, 2010). "Cascade seeks end to small-time status". Portland Business Journal.
  24. ^ a b Stevens, Suzanne (November 2, 2010). "Cascade Microtech posts record revenue". Portland Business Journal.
  25. ^ Rogoway, Mike (February 4, 2016). "Oregon's selling spree resumes: Cascade Microtech acquired for $352 million". The Oregonian/OregonLive. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  26. ^ Spencer, Malia (June 24, 2016). "Cascade Microtech acquisition completed - Portland Business Journal". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 1 July 2016.