In a world of automated equipment, having tools to automate the testing of an equipment’s implementation of the SEMI EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition) standards (also known as Interface A) is invaluable. Cimetrix is proud to announce an integrated solution that supports the broadest range of use cases in EDA/Interface A testing - the Cimetrix EDATester™. EDATester is a tool that will help organize, streamline, and automate the testing process while also providing other analytical capabilities.
Cimetrix knows that testing an equipment interface is not simply a one-time event; rather, tests should be performed in the OEM’s facilities throughout the development process and before final shipment, upon delivery to the customer’s factory, and even after the equipment has been placed into full production. Cimetrix EDATester is designed to do exactly that.
What do we really mean by “testing?” What are we testing? Since the scope is very broad, let's frame the answer in a few distinct categories.
Does the equipment’s EDA interface behave correctly based on the SEMI E120, E125, E132, and E134 standards and all the services defined therein? To answer this question, we make use of the ISMI EDA Evaluation Method. This document contains a set of functional evaluation procedures that “tests” the equipment’s implementation of the standards. These procedures check for things like ACL privileges and roles, establishing and terminating communications sessions, managing (or preventing the management of) Data Collection Plans (DCPs), and even looking for the proper notification of metadata revisions. If everything works as expected in these procedures, that equipment would be deemed “compliant.”
EDATester uses ISMI’s functional evaluation procedures as guidelines, and implements tests that are automated for all client-side actions. A process that might have taken multiple days to execute manually can be done in minutes, even when some interaction with the equipment itself is required; the fully automated tests that require no user interaction with the equipment can be run in seconds.
Everything might look great on the client side with the ability to define a DCP, activate it, and start receiving data; but how many DCPs will the equipment actually support? How fast can I sample the parameters I want to collect in my Trace Requests without overloading the equipment’s EDA interface? Even if I could do this manually, how would I begin to answer this question?
EDATester automates multiple iterations of performance testing using different variations of DCPs while analyzing the timestamps of the E134NewData messages to determine the integrity of the actual sampling rate. Having such tests helps you determine whether the equipment can handle a new DCP in response to a process engineering request, or if the equipment supports the full range of performance requirements agreed to in the purchasing specifications. To this end, you can specify testing configurations for things such as:
- Number of simultaneously active DCPs
- Trace Request Sampling Interval
- Number of parameters per Trace Request
- Group Size for message buffering
- Timing tolerance for expected vs. reported Data Collection Report (DCR) timestamps
The testing tool in practical use across the industry for measuring an equipment’s conformance to the SEMI E164 EDA Common Metadata standards is called the Metadata Conformance Analyzer (MCA). It uses a set of .xml files describing the metadata model as input, analyzes the model according to the requirements of E164, and provides feedback.
EDATester currently generates the .xml input model files required by the MCA, and may eventually incorporate the model conformance testing functions as well.
Having the correctly sized wrench when you need to apply the proper torque to a bolt is helpful and sometimes necessary—at least you can get the job done. But when you have hundreds of bolts to insert and tighten precisely, wouldn’t you rather have an adjustable ratchet? Or an air ratchet?
Whether it’s to test and characterize the EDA interface on a new equipment type, verify that a software update to a production piece of equipment has been installed correctly, or debug an interface performance issue that has somehow arisen in production, the Cimetrix EDATester is the right tool to have in your arsenal to quickly, effectively, and thoroughly “test” an equipment’s EDA interface capabilities. Don’t waste another day with manual processes that leave you guessing. Get in touch with us today to find out more about the EDATester product.