Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

The Giga Factory Minute Series Introduction: What to Watch for in 2019

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Jan 17, 2019 11:05:00 AM

Gigafab-Minute-1We introduced the Giga Factory Minute concept last year to highlight the impact that standards have in orchestrating the entire manufacturing process, from releasing unpatterned wafers into the line (1:00 on the figure) to the shipment of good die to the downstream assembly/test facilities (12:00). This year, we’ll use this same diagram to identify important industry trends, technologies, events, or other items of interest to our subscribers. Since there are 12 “hours” on the diagram, watch for a posting every month related to the topic in that segment.

January 2019

Since this is January, we’ll focus on the more general topic of electronics manufacturing product materials, of which “wafer starts” is the specific material type that begins the 4-month journey through the wafer fab.

In the early days of the automated factory industry, there were only a few material form factors to deal with… even when you go all the way back to the raw silicon and forward to the finished electronic product. (You can see most of these on the “Sand to Systems” infographic here.)
However, now that semiconductors have found their way into virtually every major industry on the planet, from computers to entertainment to transportation to agriculture to wearables and even to “ingestibles,” the automated material handling challenges across this product diversity have exploded. And it’s only going to get worse. Red_smart_factory

You may not be responsible for handling exotic material types anytime soon, but understanding the role that equipment connectivity standards can have at the earliest steps in a Smart Manufacturing process is useful nevertheless. Give us a call if you’d like to know more about how these technologies can benefit your operations. 

Schedule a Meeting

 

Topics: Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Semiconductor Industry, Giga Factory Minute

SEMICON Korea 2019 is Coming up Next Week!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jan 15, 2019 10:27:00 AM

2019SEMICONKorea_468X60

Read now in Korean or below in English.

씨메트릭스는 이번 2019 년 SEMICON Korea전시회에서 귀사와 만날 수 있기를 바랍니다! 올해 우리는 부스 # C818에서 우리의 파트너인 링크제니시스와 공동으로 전시합니다. 전시회는 1 월 23 일부터 25 일까지 서울 코엑스에서 개최됩니다. 씨메트릭스는 장비 자동화와 통신 소프트웨어 관련 최고 기업으로서 한국뿐 아니라 글로벌 시장에서 동반자로 같이 일할 수 있는 여러분들을 만나고자 합니다.SEMICON Korea는 1987 년에 시작되어 대한민국의 반도체 산업가 그 성장을 같이 해왔습니다. 이번 전시회에서도 반도체 소재 및 장비의 모든 최신 기술을 선보일 예정입니다. 특별 프로그램 중에는 인공 지능 정상 회의 (AI Summit), AI 관련 새로이 창출된 기회를 진단해 볼 수 있는 자리와 반도체 업계 입장에서 인공 지능과 자동차의 부상에 따르는 시장을 이해하는 데 도움이되는 세미나, 차세대 혁신가들을 끌어 들이기위한 Workforce Development Seminar등이 있습니다. Smart Manufacturing 포럼은 우리 업계에 일어나고 있는 큰 변화와 커다란 기회에 대하여 모두가 함께 일하면서 무엇이 효과적이며 다음에 필요한 것이 무엇인지를 논할 예정이여서 많은 분들에게 인기가 있을 것으로 예상합니다.

씨메트릭스 제품이 여러분의 현안뿐 아니라 미래의 전략이나 Smart Manufacturing이라는 목표에 어떻게 도움이 될 수 있는지 자세히 알고 싶으시다면 전시회 기간 중 C818 부스를 방문하여 주시기 바랍니다. 웹 사이트를 통하여 언제든지 회의를 요청하실 수도 있습니다. 전시자에서 곧 봽기를 기대합니다! 

Meet with Us


Cimetrix is heading to the 2019 SEMICON Korea show next week, and we hope to see many of you there! This year we are co-exhibiting with our partner Linkgenesis at booth #C818. The show will be at COEX in Seoul from January 23 – 25. We look forward to meeting with clients, prospects and colleagues to discuss new opportunities.

SEMICON Korea launched in 1987 and has been bolstered by the growing semiconductor industry in Korea. This exhibition will showcase all the latest technology in semiconductor materials and equipment. Some of the special programs include an AI Summit, examining new opportunities with AI implications, a Market Seminar to aid in understanding the rise of AI and automotive in the  industry, and a Workforce Development Seminar, aimed at drawing the next generation of innovators to the industry. A Smart Manufacturing forum is going to be popular as there are big changes and big opportunities for our industry as we work together to share what’s working and what is needed next.

If you would like to learn more about how Cimetrix products can help with your Smart Equipment and Smart Factory goals, please stop by booth #C818 during the show. You can also request a meeting any time on our website. We look forward to seeing you there!

Meet with Us

 

Topics: Events, Semiconductor Industry, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Doing Business with Cimetrix

President's letter to Cimetrix shareholders, customers, partners and employees

Cimetrix-Bob Reback copy.jpgThank you for the trust and confidence you continue to place in Cimetrix. 2018 was an exciting year as we made great progress executing our strategy for long-term profitable growth. Cimetrix posted another year of strong growth as total 2018 revenues increased over 20% year-over-year. Since going private in 2015, Cimetrix has grown at a 20% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). In addition, Cimetrix posted its 9th consecutive year of profitability, which allowed us to further strengthen our cash position and balance sheet. Having no debt and a strong balance sheet gives us the ability to execute our longer-term growth initiatives and withstand short-term market disruptions.

Cimetrix is focused on enabling Smart Manufacturing in the semiconductor and electronics industries. We provide software to make the world’s most sophisticated and expensive semiconductor and electronics manufacturing equipment, as well as factories smarter. The Cimetrix strategy for long-term profitable growth includes:

  1. Build great products 
  2. Provide excellent technical support
  3. Serve global markets
  4. Create innovative new platforms 

Some of the 2018 highlights in each of these areas were:

Build Great Products

Cimetrix products are deployed in every semiconductor 300mm manufacturing facility in the world, as well as many leading electronics manufacturing factories. Both equipment makers and factory users have come to rely on the quality and reliability of Cimetrix software to run flawlessly in continuous 24/7 production environments.

During 2018, Cimetrix made continual improvements to all of its products that support the SEMI Standards (GEM, GEM300 and EDA) for equipment connectivity. The Cimetrix connectivity product family supporting these standards includes CIMConnect, CIM300, CIMPortal Plus, HostConnect, HostDeveloper and EDAConnect. With Cimetrix connectivity products operating in hundreds of thousands of installations in factories worldwide, our goal is to keep these products free of all defects. This allows us to respond quickly to new issues or opportunities during the year, which in turn allows our customers to confidently build quality applications. In addition, Cimetrix added support for new factory requirements and implemented several new features that make it easier for our customers to diagnose problems and debug new applications. Finally, we made changes to improve performance and reduce memory usage, which allows our customers to better handle ever-increasing amounts of data.

Cimetrix also developed a major new version of its award-winning CIMConnect product, which is used by equipment makers to meet their factory automation connectivity requirements. Over 100 equipment suppliers worldwide rely on CIMConnect for GEM connectivity. The new version of CIMConnect has been updated to better serve customers using the latest Microsoft .NET environments, supports multiple GEM connections as well as the use of other connectivity protocols.

Cimetrix also made significant investments in its CIMControlFramework product, which is a software platform for equipment makers who want a full software control solution with built-in factory connectivity. Cimetrix refreshed and enhanced many of the user interface screens to improve both look-and-feel and overall usability. In addition, we enhanced the device interface components to simplify the process of interfacing to third-party hardware and I/O, and increased our library of ready-to-use interfaces to support more hardware. During 2018, CIMControlFramework was our best-selling product for new customers.

Provide Excellent Technical Support

We improved our capabilities to better serve our customers by transitioning our Client Training and Support team into a new Solutions Engineering group. This reflects a change in emphasis from the traditional “product training and support” function to a more proactive solutions engineering approach that features a collaborative process for architecting solutions that best solve our customers’ problems. Additionally, the Solutions Engineering group continues to expand in response to growing global customer demand. We were very pleased to add highly experienced local engineers and partners in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Southeast Asia during 2018 who are working hard every day to ensure our many new customers are successful.

Serve Global Markets

Cimetrix further established itself as the worldwide market leader for standards-based equipment control and connectivity software for the semiconductor and electronics industries. The best evidence of our market leadership position is the number of customers that chose Cimetrix as their platform of choice for their equipment or factory. In 2018, Cimetrix achieved 49 “design wins” from customers worldwide, including 37 design wins from new customers. This represents a 60% increase in design wins from the prior year and set another new record for the Company. Particularly gratifying, the design wins include several customers that converted from products previously purchased from competitors, which means they walked away from prior investments to switch to Cimetrix.

While the primary source of Cimetrix revenue comes from equipment makers, Cimetrix receives a growing percentage of its revenue from factories. In addition, since Cimetrix software is instrumental in helping factories connect to smart equipment, Cimetrix is very active working with leading semiconductor and electronics manufacturers and their associated industry standards organizations on Smart Manufacturing initiatives. During 2018, Cimetrix team members chaired committees, gave presentations and engaged in events with industry thought leaders on Smart Manufacturing initiatives in Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. 

Create Innovative New Platforms

As Cimetrix has grown over the past several years, we significantly increased our investments in R&D, which we are using to create innovative and exciting new cloud, mobile and AI-enabled platforms to fuel our strategy for long-term profitable growth by assisting our customers in their digital transformation. Our new platforms will enable our customers and partners to take advantage of the phenomenal rise in data volumes, computational power, and connectivity as well as the emergence of analytics and business-intelligence capabilities.

Going Forward

2018 was a record year for Cimetrix in both revenues and winning new customers. We now have the exciting challenge of providing our exceptional customer service to the many new customers who have entrusted Cimetrix with their business and to ensure they are successful. Fortunately, we have also expanded our Cimetrix team with some highly experienced, passionate and dedicated new employees. 

We remain very bullish on the longer-term outlook for Smart Manufacturing and Cimetrix. However, with all of the uncertainty in the world, we undoubtedly face risks of potential headwinds in the market that could impact short-term results. We will continue to work hard to respond to any challenges that may arise while we execute our strategy for long-term profitable growth.

From all of us at Cimetrix, we thank our customers, partners and shareholders for the faith and confidence they have placed in our products and our team. We will continue to strive for excellence in satisfying our worldwide base of customers and delighting them with innovative new products.

Sincerely,

Bob Reback
President and Chief Executive Office

Topics: Cimetrix Company Culture, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Investor News, Global Services

Overview of the GEM Standard: Video Series Part Three of Five

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jan 3, 2019 11:22:00 AM

Join Brian Rubow for the third video in our five-part video series which covers another of the core features of GEM.

New call-to-action

One of the core features for monitoring equipment is the GEM Collection Event Notification. Every equipment will publish a set of collection events. These report in real-time when things are happening at the equipment level that a factory may want to monitor. The equipment will document a set of events that are aviable at the factory level, and the host can choose which ones they want to subscribe to.

View the entire series today!

Topics: SECS/GEM, SECS/GEM Features & Benefits Series, SEMI Standards

A Look Back At Our Year As 2018 Comes To A Close

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Dec 19, 2018 11:47:00 AM

number-2018-wooden-cube-blockIt's getting close to the end of 2018 and we thought it was a good time to look back over our year and think about the many things Cimetrix has done. We are really proud of our team, which spans the globe, their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year. 

Tradeshows and Events

Our team attended, presented and exhibited at more than 25 events this year. These events covered the U.S., Europe, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and more. SEMICON West was a flagship event for us, as we took a large team to support two distinct booth areas. These included SEMI’s inaugural Smart Manufacturing Pavilion, where both Alan Weber and Ranjan Chatterjee spoke. You can review this event in the following three blog posts:

SEMICON West Pre-show
Alan Weber's Smart Manufacturing Pavilion speech
Brian Rubow's SEMICON West SEMI Standards meetings wrap-up


SECS/GEM Series

One of our longest series was also one of our most popular ever! It covers the major features and benefits of the GEM standard. Each post was written by one of our engineers who is an expert in the topic. You can review the entire series or select a particular topic you are most interested in learning more about.

SECS/GEM Series


International Offices

Cimetrix has been extremely active this year, and one of the most exciting areas was the opening and/or expansion of several offices in Asia. In February we announced the opening of Shanghai, China office. This blog post is one of several bi-lingual posts we published during 2018 and was one of our most viewed. Learn more about our efforts in China now!

Cimetrix International, Inc., China; 矽美科国际有限公司,中国


Cimetrix Team Members

We have run a Meet Our Team series for over a year, and this is consistently one of our most viewed blog series. Everyone loves getting to know the faces behind the company, and we likewise enjoy introducing our team to the world. You can see all of our Meet Our Team posts at the link below and be sure to stay tuned, because our team is growing, and we will continue to introduce them in this series!

Meet Our Team blog series


And finally, we can't have a year-end wrap-up without our most popular blog of the year...

Gigafab Minute

In October of this year, Alan Weber, our Cimetrix V.P. of New Product Innovations introduced the world to the Gigafab Minute infographic. This blog was picked up and re-posted by SEMI and passed around by some of the most influential leaders in the semiconductor industry. If you haven't seen it yet, we'd encourage you to take a few minutes to read it and leave us your comments!

The Gigafab Minute and SEMI Standards: A Modern Miracle

Take a chance to peruse our posts and remember, you can always stay up-to-date by subscribing to our blog! 

Subscribe Today

Topics: Doing Business with Cimetrix, SECS/GEM, Events, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Cimetrix Company Culture

Open and Vibrant Communication

Posted by Brice Laris MPC, CPLP; Human Resources Manager on Dec 11, 2018 11:06:00 AM

teamwork-puzzle-organized-pieces-together-frameA small engineering company hired a brand-new engineer from a competitor. He was introduced by management as being “dynamic and creative” and they would see “where he would fit” in the company. The engineer walked around, asked questions, and began to learn about the different projects under consideration and what he might be interested in. During his first month with the company, two of his peers quit. When asked about their reasons for leaving in the exit interview, both felt like that management had hired the new engineer to take their place. In the absence of solid communication from management, two good employees made incorrect assumptions and moved on. It was never management’s intention to replace anyone and the feedback surprised them. Additionally, they were surprised by the fact that the employees didn’t feel comfortable about coming to management and asking about the role of the new engineer. This situation provided a valuable lesson about the importance of open and vibrant communication.At Cimetrix, one of our core values is “Team: Encourage Open and Vibrant Communications.” Open communication is the hallmark of many companies’ core values, but vibrant is an important distinction. When we talk about open communication we usually mean honest, direct feedback—a key component in any business’ success. Vibrant communication means that honest, direct feedback is not only expected, it is also enthusiastically encouraged and provided. We want employees to never be shy about sharing their feelings about how Cimetrix can do better. 

With over 500 years of collective experience amongst our employees, there are very few problems that someone has not encountered before. Sometimes that experience allows a problem to be quickly solved. Other times it might just provide advice about what not to do, because that solution did not work. Both types are valuable, and both are encouraged of all Cimetrix employees. When we say all, we really do mean all. A problem in Human Resources may have been encountered by a software engineer at a previous company. A solutions engineer may be dealing with a challenge similar to one faced by marketing not long ago. Only looking inward for answers to problems, challenges or questions is like driving a car with only one of your five senses. Sure, sight is a big help in driving the car, but so is listening for crossing trains, feeling the pattern of the road when the traffic lines aren’t visible and smelling for fumes that might indicate a problem with the car itself.

Open and vibrant communication has a ripple effect, much like throwing a stone in a pool of water. When employees effectively and efficiently solve problems, our company’s reputation is enhanced, and we build better products. Those better products ripple out to enable our customers to produce better solutions for their customers. Those solutions continue to ripple out through the supply chain all the way to the end users, when they purchase a semiconductor-based product such as a smartphone, television or laptop. 

Team-communication-frame

However, open and vibrant communication does not just happen, it must be constantly modeled and encouraged on a daily basis by management. There must also be a culture that allows people to speak up without fear of reprisal, retaliation or derision. Nothing will shut down communication faster than someone saying, “That was a stupid idea,” or “How could you know anything about this; you’re not an engineer/accountant/marketer/developer/manager/etc.” If this type of behavior occurs it must be called out, professionally, to reinforce the principle that there are no “bad ideas.” 

I encourage you to reflect on your business and ask yourself if open and vibrant communication is a part of your culture, and if it isn’t, what changes do you need to make. While a company with poor communication between and to employees can be successful in the short term, it becomes more difficult to continue to succeed in the long term.

Learn more about Cimetrix, our mission and our culture. 

Meet Cimetrix

Topics: Cimetrix Company Culture, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Cimetrix is gearing up for the 2018 SEMICON Japan show next week!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Dec 4, 2018 4:19:00 PM

SCJapanシンメトリックスは、来週開催されるセミコンジャパン2018に向け、準備を進めています。今年も皆様にお会いできることを、楽しみにしております。Read now in Japanese or below in English.

今年弊社は、スマート・マニュファクチュアリング・エリアにブース(♯3493)を設置しており、弊社のスマート・マニュファクチュアリングのソリューション提案をご紹介しています。

また半導体産業エリアでは例年通り、長年弊社の代理店をお引き受け頂いておりますローツェ株式会社様(♯5507)、株式会社明電舎様(♯4626)と共同出展させていただいております。

今年もお客様、ソリューションをお探しの方々、また様々なパートナー様とお会いし、将来へ向けてのご協力のお話しをさせていただけることを、楽しみにしております。

SEMICON Japanが2018年に選んだテーマは、「今始まる成長と繁栄」(Dreams that Fuel Growth and Prosperity Start Here)です。日本は世界の半導体製造装置の3分の1、世界の半導体製造業界で使用されている材料の半分以上を供給しています。

SEMICON Japanは、日本と世界のエレクトロニクス製造サプライチェーン企業との関係をとりもつ素晴らしいイベントです。

SEMICON Japanには、スマート産業と半導体サプライチェーンを結ぶSMART Applications Zoneや、この関連産業界の新しい事業を紹介するイノベーションビレッジなど、いくつかの革新的な分野があります。また、世界的なネットワークを構築し、展示会を大いに盛り上げるパビリオンがいくつもあります。 

セミコン期間中に、ブースにお立ち寄り頂ければ、Cimetrix製品がスマートマニュファクチャリングにどのようにお役に立てるか、ご相談させて頂けると思います。またWEBミーティング等でもいつでもご相談頂けますので、お気軽にお申し付け下さい。会場でお会いできることを、楽しみにしております。

Meet with Us


SCJapanCimetrix is gearing up for the 2018 SEMICON Japan show next week, and we hope to see many of you there! This year we will have a booth in the Smart Manufacturing Area (#3493) and we will also be co-exhibiting with Rorze (#5507) and Meiden (#4626) who have been our long-time distributors.  We look forward to meeting with clients, prospects and colleagues to discuss new opportunities.

The theme that SEMICON Japan has chosen for 2018 is “Dreams that Fuel Growth and Prosperity Start Here”. Japan supplies one third of the semiconductor manufacturing equipment and more than half of all the materials used by the global semiconductor manufacturing industry. As a result, SEMICON Japan is a great event to make connections with both the Japanese and global electronics manufacturing supply chain companies.

SEMICON Japan will feature several innovative areas including the SMART Applications Zone, which will connect SMART industries with the semiconductor supply chain, and an Innovation Village which is a place to showcase startups in this industry. There will also be several pavilions that generate a global networking energy and foster excitement for the show. 

If you would like to learn more about how Cimetrix products can help with your Smart Manufacturing goals, please stop by during the show. You can also request a meeting any time on our website. We look forward to seeing you there!

Meet with Us

Topics: Events, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Overview of the GEM Standard: Video Series Part Two of Five

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Nov 28, 2018 11:15:00 AM

The second video in our Overview of the GEM Standard video series goes into a little more detail on the GEM standard functionality. 

Overview of Gem part 2 of 5

The GEM standard is broken down into two sets of functionality. One is the fundamental requirements.  These are the things that everyone that uses GEM should implement. It gives some of the basic funtionality you want in every equipment and every device that has a GEM interface. Then there are a number of additional capabilities, meaning you can be GEM compliant without using them, but they are available when needed. 

The GEM standard is extremely efficient, with messages that are always transmitted in a binary format, which is much smaller than ASCII based protocols. Among the benefits of this is that the network bandwidth is not wasted. 

To find out even more, be sure to see the second part of our series today! 

Topics: SECS/GEM, SEMI Standards

Why choose a commercial product for the EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition) interface solution for your equipment? 为什么要为您的设备选择商用EDA解决方案?

Posted by Clare Liu (刘波); Solutions Engineer on Nov 20, 2018 11:10:00 AM
Lessons-Learned-small

Clare Liu, a Cimetrix Solutions Engineer, goes over the pros and cons of choosing a commercial product for EDA/Interface A vs. building a solution from scratch. Read it now in Chinese, or below in English. 

本文的焦点是当许多半导体设备制造商面对他们那些最先进的客户提出的自动化需求时,如何在购买支持EDA(Interface-A)标准的软件产品,或者自主开发之间做出决策。

鉴于我本人在今年初加入Cimtrix之前,曾经在一家半导体装备公司里担任EDA标准实现项目的主要开发人员,我想解释说明一下选择商业解决方案的利与弊。

1. 经验

在半导体制造设备上实现EDA要求软件开发人员具有半导体行业标准(SEMI)和半导体设备的经验。这对大多数设备供应商来说是非常困难的。即使他们已经拥有良好的软件开发人员,经验丰富的工厂自动化工程师和一个完整的硬件设计团队,他们还是需要有效的共同协作,找出如何设计一个结构良好的设备模型(SEMIE120 CEM 通用设备模型规范)并将设备所有的变量、时间和报警映射到设备模型的各个节点上(SEMI E125 EqSD设备自我描述规范)。 一个商业的EDA解决方案能够同时为OEM提供这些知识,并且可以基于该设备,提供EDA开发过程的指导方针。

2. 验收

checkmark简单地实现EDA接口功能和正确有效地实现的结果是不一样的。我从中得到的教训之一是,我们花了几乎整整一年的时间来实现EDA Freeze I的各种功能,并为测试的需要开发了客户端软件。然而,当我们将我们的EDA解决方案发布给客户工厂时,他们使用权威的第三方测试软件产品对所有设备的EDA解决方案进行了验证。我们的实现最初没有通过验收,因为我们对EDA标准的理解与客户的理解有些差异。为此我们花了很长时间来逐一解决验收中遇到的问题。商业的EDA解决方案通常已经在许多工厂得到了验证,因此更加标准化。

gantt-chart-cimetrix3. 时机

一个商业的EDA解决方案可以帮助OEM在短时间内开发出合格的EDA接口。自主开发EDA会给本已紧张的交付进度增加时间压力,如果需求来自一个新客户,第一个支持EDA标准的设备供应商通常会更有优势。在业务方面,EDA功能很有可能是获得订单的关键。在技术方面,第一个EDA的使用会成为整个Fab的范例,可以被用来制定其他设备在生产环境中必须满足的操作要求。

4.服务

使用商业EDA解决方案通常包括来自软件供应商的良好的技术支持,这些技术支持可能包含在最初的许可证费用中,或者是单独的技术支持合同。这意味着OEM公司不需要维持一个专门的软件团队来维护和解决遇到的软件问题。相反,他们可以依靠更专业的支持团队,而不用担心任何内部开发人员离开公司所带来的影响。

5. 知识更新

由于很多改进得到认同,还有很多新的技术在关键产品中的使用变得可行,半导体行业的EDA标准每年都在发生变化,在写这篇文章的时候,一个新的EDA标准冻结版本Freeze III正在投票中。商业EDA解决方案通常会紧紧追随标准的发展,同时会不断根据其他工厂用户的请求增加新的功能。这使得OEM能够快速、可靠地响应客户的最新需求。

1.成本

OEM必须为商业软件的许可证,以及可能的、每年的技术支持支付费用。

2.知识产权(IP)

一些OEM公司为了对EDA功能的源代码有完全的控制权和所有权,他们选择自主开发并拥有这些软件,其原因是大多数商业软件包通常不会为基本许可证的使用者提供源代码。

3.修复错误的时间

如果在商业软件包中发现错误,设备工程师甚至工厂客户可能需要帮助软件供应商找到根本原因。他们还必须等待供应商修复并发布新版本的软件。这对于使用者来说非常不方便。

如果您的公司正面临这样的决定,请联系我们——我们很乐意分享我们的专业知识和市场知识,并协助您做出明智的决定。

Schedule a Meeting

您可能还对以下信息感兴趣:

View Presentation: Raising the Bar
View Video: Importance of Process Module Tracking
View Video: E164 EDA Common Metadata
View Video: Equipment Modeling - E120/E125
Learn about CIMPortal 


Lessons-Learned-smallThe focus of this blog posting is the decision that many semiconductor manufacturing equipment suppliers face when deciding how to address the automation requirements of their most advanced customers, namely, whether or not to buy a commercial software package that supports the SEMI Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA / Interface A) Standards, or to develop this capability in-house.

I am especially qualified to explain the pros and cons of choosing a commercial solution, having worked as the EDA standards implementation lead developer in an equipment supplier before joining the Cimetrix team earlier this year.

  • Pros

1. Experience

Implementing EDA on a single unit of semiconductor manufacturing equipment requires that the software developers have experience with both SEMI Standards and the equipment. This is very difficult for most equipment suppliers. Even if they have good software developers, experienced factory automation engineers and a complete hardware design team, they must still work together efficiently to figure out how to design a well-structured equipment model (SEMI E120 CEM) and map all the equipment variables, events and alarm to the CEM nodes (SEMI E125 Equipment Self-Description).  A commercial EDA package provides all this knowledge for the OEM and guidelines explaining the EDA development process for their systems.

2. Qualifications

checkmarkSimply being able to implement the EDA interface functions is not the same as implementing them in a robust fashion. One of my lessons learned is that we spent almost an entire year to implement the EDA Freeze I version of the standards and the client software required to test these functions. However, when we released the EDA interface to the factory customer, they qualified the EDA solution for all equipment modules with an authoritative third-party compliance testing software product. Our implementation failed at first because our understanding of the SEMI Standards specifications was different from the customer’s understanding. So we struggled for a long time to fix all the problems.  A commercial EDA package will necessarily have been proven in many sites and is therefore far more standardized.

3. Timing

gantt-chart-cimetrix

A commercial EDA product can help the OEM develop a qualified EDA interface in a short time. Developing EDA in house adds time pressure to already tight delivery schedules, and if the requirements are coming from a new customer, the first equipment supplier supporting EDA standards may have an advantage. On the business side, EDA might be the key feature to get the order. On the technical side, the first usage may determine the approach used across the entire fab, thereby dictating operational requirements that the other equipment must meet in the production environment.

4. Service

Using a commercial EDA package normally includes good technical support from the software supplier; this may be covered in the initial license fee or as a separate support contract. This means the OEM company does not have to dedicate a large software team for maintenance and troubleshooting of software issues. Instead, they can rely on a professional support team, and not worry about what happens if any of the in-house developers leave the company.

5. Knowledge update

The SEMI EDA standards are changing every year as improvements are identified and new technologies become viable for mission-critical production usage. At this writing, a new Freeze III version is being balloted. A commercial EDA package will closely follow the standards as they evolve and provide new features according to the requests from other factory users. This enables OEMs to respond quickly and reliably to the latest feature requests from their customers.

  • Cons

1. Cost

OEM must pay for the commercial package licenses and possibly for the annual support.

2. Intellectual Property (IP)

Some OEM companies want to have full control of the EDA interface source code, so they choose to develop and own the software by themselves. Most commercial packages don’t provide source code with a basic license.

3. Bug fixing lead time

If bugs are found in the commercial package, the equipment engineers and perhaps even the factory customers may need to help the software supplier find the root cause. And they must also wait for the supplier to fix and release a new version of the software. This can be quite inconvenient.

If this is a decision your company is facing, get in touch with us – we’re happy to share our expertise and market knowledge and help you make a well-informed decision.

Schedule a Meeting

You also might be interested in the following information:

View Presentation: Raising the Bar
View Video: Importance of Process Module Tracking
View Video: E164 EDA Common Metadata
View Video: Equipment Modeling - E120/E125
Learn about CIMPortal 

Topics: EDA/Interface A, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Customer Support

Meet the Quality Engineering Team: Morgan Kap

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 14, 2018 11:17:00 AM

ACG-2018_Morgan_KapMeet Morgan Kap, one of our QE Software Engineers. Read on to learn a little bit more about Morgan.

How long have you been working at Cimetrix? I have been working at Cimetrix for about 9 months.

Where did you go to school and what did you get your degree in?

I attended Brigham Young University and studied Information Systems.

What brought you to Cimetrix originally?

I came to Cimetrix after finishing school and was excited about joining a company that is an industry leader and has a great company culture.

What do you like most about your job?

My favorite part so far has been being able to contribute to product releases and finding features that can be improved before a release.

What do you think it means to provide great Quality Engineering?

I think that great Quality Engineering is working together as a team to ensure that every release that leaves our doors are of the best quality. Also continue to grow professionally as a team so that we can always be improving the work we are doing.

What’s the biggest accomplishment you’ve had at Cimetrix?

I am still new to the team so being able to make a contribution and help with release testing has been a really exciting experience.

How do you deal with challenges that come up at work?

I rely on the expertise around me. If I am struggling with something everyone is so willing to help me understand how our products work.

What's something you’ve learned while working at Cimetrix?

I have learned so much! I have learned about how all our products function and the value they bring to the industry we operate in.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

I love going to Bear Lake and spending time boating.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend time teaching horseback riding lessons and reading.

Topics: Cimetrix Company Culture, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Meet Our Team