SEMI GEM300 Standards Overview

Cimetrix created factory connectivity products to help equipment manufacturers comply with SEMI equipment communication standards.

SECS/GEM was the beginning, enabling IC makers to communicate and control wafer fabrication equipment. The introduction of 300mm wafers, with the attending demand for solutions that enabled far greater automation, created a whole new set of challenges. The GEM300 standards were developed by SEMI to solve these challenges. Cimetrix supports this industry initiative by developing and marketing software, services, and support for SECS/GEM, GEM300, EDA (Interface A), and PV2 (PVECI) standards. Cimetrix is an active SEMI member and we hold two co-chair positions in SEMI committees for continuous standards development and evolution, including the North American GEM300 Task Force. We are also involved with the SEMI PV Group, and we participate in various International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI) programs.

This web page provides an overview of the SEMI GEM300 standard.  

For more information, download the Cimetrix GEM300 Introduction white paper.

Why did SEMI extend the SECS/GEM standard to GEM300?

Prior to the development of 300mm wafers, IC manufacturers required equipment suppliers to support only the SECS-II/GEM SEMI standards — SECS-II messaging (E5), GEM (E30), and either the HSMS (E37) or RS-232 (E4) transport protocol standard — with basic features for controlling and monitoring the equipment. With the move to larger and heavier 300mm wafer sizes and plans to maximize production throughput through automation, semiconductor factories required automated material delivery to and from each unit of equipment, along with remote equipment configuration and control. In order to achieve this, additional communication standards were required to manage the material delivery, configure the equipment processing, and track the material.

Today, IC makers require production equipment to comply with the SEMI GEM300 standards, including at least SEMI standards.

  • E30 Generic Model for Communications and Control of Manufacturing Equipment (GEM)
  • E39 Object Services Standard: Concepts, Behavior, and Services
  • E40 Standard for Processing Management
  • E87 Specification for Carrier Management (CMS)
  • E90 Specification for Substrate Tracking
  • E94 Specification for Control Job Management

These standards allow the factory to control and monitor the equipment in a consistent way to implement automation.

Additional standards may also be required, such as:

  • E116 Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking (EPT)
  • E148 Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object
  • E157 Specification for Module Process Tracking (MPT)

In order to develop industry-wide standards all equipment suppliers and IC makers could agree to and use, the GEM300 standards were developed by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) organization, the trade association serving the global semiconductor equipment, materials, and flat panel display industries. SEMI represents approximately 2,400 members. For more information on SEMI, please visit their website,

Transport Protocol Standard – E37

The Transport Protocol Standards define how messages are transferred between the host and equipment. These standards do not define the data contained within a message. The meaning of messages must be determined through some message standard such as SEMI Equipment Communications Standard E5 (SECS-II).

The SEMI E37 High-Speed SECS Message Services (HSMS) standard defines a TCP/IP based Ethernet connection. HSMS-SS is the single session implementation of this standard for point-to-point communication between one host and one equipment. It is intended as an alternative to SEMI E4 (SECS-1) for applications where higher speed communication is needed and the facilitated hardware setup is convenient.

This is the transport protocol required in all 300mm fabs.

Message Format Standard – E5

The Message Format Standards add a layer of organization on top of the transport protocols by defining messages used in the equipment-to-host bi-directional conversation.

The SEMI E5 Equipment Communications Standard 2 Message Format (SECS-II) standard defines a library of messages available for use in other standards, and defines the structure of those messages. It also defines a list of data types that are allowed, including ASCII, binary, Boolean, floating point, and signed and unsigned integers.

Specific Functionality Standards

In the GEM300 standards, the specific functionality standards add meaning and interpretation to make use of the data presented by the messages. These standards describe how and when to use specific SECS-II messages.

SEMI Standard Description Function
Required for GEM300 Compliance
E30 Generic Model for Communications and Control of Manufacturing Equipment (GEM) Defines when a certain SECS-II message should be used, in what situations, and what the resulting activity should be
E39 Object Services Standard: Concepts, Behavior, and Services Provides general terminology, conventions, and notation for describing behavior and data in terms of objects and object attributes.
E40 Standard for Processing Management Defines the concepts of material processing, the behavior of the equipment in relation to material processing, and the messaging services that are needed to accomplish material processing
E87 Specification for Carrier Management (CMS) Standardizes the coordination, execution, and completion of automated and manual carrier transfers to and from the equipment and, if it exists, its internal buffer space
E90 Specification for Substrate Tracking Defines a standard means for tracking substrates (manufactured product) in manufacturing in the same manner as E87 does for Carriers
E94 Specification for Control Job Management Describes equipment-provided services that support a high level of factory automation
Additional GEM300 Standards that may be specified by the IC maker
E116 Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking (EPT) Enables the host computer to track basic equipment performance in an automated and consistent manner without operator or host input
E148 Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object Synchronize all the equipment clocks to provide a meaningful reference when reviewing collected data and events
E157 Specification for Module Process Tracking (MPT) Defines standard equipment capability to report process-related data to the factory control system


GEM300 Standards Compliance

Many factories require a machine to pass compliance testing as part of the basic machine acceptance. Most of the standards have a published compliance checklist, which outlines the functionality the IC manufacturers require. The degree of compliance is included and explained in the equipment's GEM & 300mm Interface Manual. Every GEM compliant unit of equipment must include a GEM interface manual.

In order to comply with these specifications for 300mm wafer manufacturing, you must provide the following:

  1. Hardware and software to implement the HSMS-SS standard as the Transport Protocol
  2. Software to implement the Message Format Standard, SECS-II
  3. Software to implement each of the required Specific Functional Standards including Software to integrate these standards into the machine
    • The SECS-II message parsing and formatting
    • State machine management
    • Standard interdependencies
  4. Software to integrate these SEMI standards into the machine

Cimetrix GEM300 Software Solution

Cimetrix offers a GEM300 software development kit called CIM300™. Our product documentation, training, working examples including a complete sample application (usable as a starting point), and world-class support make our products easy for engineers to use.

If the need arises, Cimetrix also offers Professional Services, including turnkey solutions, to assist in your development efforts. We have many customers who have been successful with our development kits by doing their own integration, using independent contract integrators, or by using the Cimetrix integration services.

To get started, we suggest that your engineering team review our CIM300 software package, including our sample applications. This will give you an understanding of our technology, and products.

For more information about Cimetrix products and services, SEMI, or how you can get involved in the standards, please schedule a meeting or contact our sales team.

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