Visit the CIMControlFramework Resources page for more information.
View the presentation on Data-Driven Tool Control Architectures
with Cimetrix & Axcelis Technologies
"Our customers [were] demanding high-speed, dependable information from tool suppliers in order to improve yield, productivity and reliability. Axcelis and Cimetrix developed software for our Integra RS tool using CIMControlFramework to deliver optimum data collection, storage, management and analysis. Process and equipment engineers now have more information accessible to them for accurate monitoring and troubleshooting, saving them time and improving performance of the toolset."
-- Bill Bintz, senior vice present of marketing, Axcelis Technologies, Inc
CIMControlFramework consists of interoperating components with concrete interfaces. New components can be easily added and take advantage of existing services (e.g. status messaging logging). Components can also be distributed over a network of computers or concentrated on a single computer as dictated by performance and cost requirements. In some cases, it might be necessary to replace an individual component in order to address a unique set of requirements. The modular architecture of CIMControlFramework permits component replacement without impacting the reliability of the rest of the framework.
Consider a next generation tool that will leverage an existing process control solution. The process control application can be integrated with CIMControlFramework by simply implementing a set of well-defined interfaces. The scheduler interface coordinates job execution with the process controller (e.g. substrate delivery, recipe execution). The data collection interface module combined with CIMPortal makes process controller data available to all interested clients. The recipe management interface exchanges process recipe content and/or meta-data. The alarm management interface allows the process controller to notify the supervisory controller, and factory, of exceptions.
Fabs demand more and higher quality data for process improvements and overall equipment efficiency (OEE). The data-driven architecture, at the core of this equipment automation framework, utilizes the power of Cimetrix's CIMPortal product as a high speed data router, to provide a high bandwidth backbone for diagnostics and process data that is fed to multiple applications within the tool and to external factory interfaces. Data generated at any point on the tool can be quickly and easily accessed by any other module or external application. Additional functionality enables equipment suppliers as well as device manufacturers to make data-driven decisions to optimize productivity through predictive maintenance, data quality, fault detection, recipe and parameter management and APC/SPC.
Monolithic software applications cannot provide the level of modularity, flexibility and extensibility of a truly configurable framework. This equipment automation framework is composed of services, with well defined interfaces, that can be reused in new ways to solve new problems and replaced or configured without impacting the reliability of the other components. The interfaces between CIMControlFramework modules are transport layer and programming language neutral. This allows existing OEM software (e.g. process control applications) to communicate with CIMControlFramework regardless of the underlying programming technology.
Created with the latest Microsoft™ development technologies, the flexible framework can be applied to a wide variety of equipment types and provides unique configuration capabilities to address specific equipment control requirements. Visual Studio and the .NET framework dramatically increase efficiencies throughout the software lifecycle. CIMControlFramework leverages these tools to decrease OEM development costs.
Unlike other solutions, CIMControlFramework is supported and maintained as a product. OEMs can benefit from the improvements, upgrades, and enhancements of a continuously improving tool control product.
CIMControlFramework provides a complete and configurable supervisory control solution.
- User Interface (E95) - The user interface server supports multiple local or remote clients.
A complete set of standard user interface 'screens' is included (e.g. job management, configuration, recipe management, process data viewer, etc.).
- Control Jobs (E94) and Process Jobs (E40) - Job management functionality is built-in. Historical job data is recorded and can be reviewed.
- Recipe Management - Recipes are organized into production and engineering namespaces. Recipe changes are traceable.
- Alarm Management - Alarm descriptions and recovery choices are customizable at run-time. Alarm recovery/acknowledgement is recorded with optional annotation.
- User Management - Any component can generate new user access rights and enforce access control. Access rights can be assigned to groups or individual users.
- Scheduler - Jobs are converted into work-items which are sequenced based on configurable business rules.
- Data Analysis - Run-time and archival data is analyzed. On-tool data visualization is supported.
- Carrier Management (E87) - All aspects of carrier delivery and verification are implemented.
- Substrate Tracking (E90) - The equipment automation framework manages tracking of each substrate from arrival to departure.
- Local Operation - The CIMControlFramework supervisory controller supports local and remote operation modes.
- 200mm Operation Mode - This tool control solution emulates the 200mm SECS/GEM interface and converts process-related remote commands into Control Jobs and Process Jobs to preserve consistent operation.
CIMControlFramework includes support for common substrate handling platforms and can be extended to support new or custom platforms.
Alternatively, an existing platform control application can be integrated.
- Flexible Platform Control
- Cluster Tools
- Single-Wafer Tools (e.g. metrology)
- Batch Tools
- 200mm/ 300mm/ Bridge
- Custom Substrates
- Platform Modules
- Transfer Modules
- Device Control
- Vacuum System Control
- Distributed I/O
CIMControlFramework can be integrated with existing process control solutions. Alternatively, new process control applications can be created based on the process control framework included with the product.
- Flexible Process Module Configuration
- Process Module
- Substrate Handoff
- Recipe Execution
- Status & Data Reporting
- Device Control
- Gas/Liquid Supply Control
- Temp Control
- Pressure Control
- Simulation - CIMControlFramework can realistically simulate equipment behavior to enable testing when equipment is not available.
- Configuration Management - Any module can extend the data model and access current configuration information. Configuration changes are annotated and recorded for traceability.
- Logging - Any module can publish status information to a shared service which records the information.