Earlier this quarter (October 2022) the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Council conducted one of its regular meetings with factory stakeholders to determine what sort of SEMI-sponsored activities could accelerate this important industry initiative. One focus area of the discussion was getting more and better data out of the sub-fab, since the performance and integration of these components is becoming more important for many of the leading manufacturers. The related, familiar topic of achieving better visibility into equipment and process behavior was also raised.
In that context, as it often does, the role of industry standards came up as a key enabling technology. The following question was posed: “Are the current standards sufficient to support the broad range of smart manufacturing use cases that factories envision, or does more need to be done? Specifically, since the Information and Control Committee is working on the Freeze 3 version of the EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition, also known as Interface A) suite of standards, are there problems that need to be addressed to improve the adoption of usage of these standards?”
This question triggered a lively (but non-convergent!) conversation among the participants in the meeting, many of whom have years (no, decades) of experience working in the standards community. Before long, it became clear that the group had no clear answer to these questions, and that more information from the actual user community was needed. Someone suggested that the Council pose the questions to a broader audience in survey form, and this proposal was enthusiastically accepted. Several of us volunteered to generate a draft survey for SEMI’s review and refinement, which got the activity off to a running start.
Given this opportunity to connect directly with the ultimate beneficiaries of SEMI Standards, there was a temptation to broaden the survey’s scope to cover other topics of interest in the smart manufacturing domain. Cognizant of the fact that the longer surveys have a lower chance of being returned with useful data, however, the group largely resisted this temptation, including the most important questions in an easy-to-answer format, leaving room for optional additional information in the responses for those so inclined.
The final survey was issued by SEMI around October 21,2022 with a requested response date of November 15 (which has been extended to gather more feedback). Rather than repeat the entire content here, I include the following excerpts from the introduction and the table of contents:
The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess the status of the industry’s experience with and impressions of the SEMI EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition) standards suite to guide current and future initiatives that improve its capabilities, communicate implementation best practices, and foster broader adoption to realize the vision of SEMI’s Smart Manufacturing Community.
Respondents to this questionnaire should include companies that have already deployed the EDA standards in volume production as well as those that have yet to do so. Respondents in the latter category can simply skip the questions about current usage/issues.
The target audience was originally thought to be stakeholders in 300mm wafer fabs, but with the growing interest in enhanced data collection and automation for backend (packaging, assembly, and test) factories AND growth in the 200mm wafer fab segment (including new models of 200mm manufacturing equipment), it has been broadened to include these domains as well.
Most questions are posed in multiple choice format, but additional detail is always welcome in the Comments fields where appropriate.
SEMI will compile the responses and share the result with the industry while preserving the anonymity of individual responses.
- Manufacturing Stakeholders
- Manufacturing KPIs (Operational Performance)
- Manufacturing Application Support
- Automation Requirements and Equipment Acceptance
- Current (or intended) Usage
- Issues and Expectations
- Other Data Collection Needs
Appendix – Stakeholders and Acronyms
Moreover, at this writing, the link to the on-line survey is still active here:
à SEMI Equipment Data Acquisition / Interface A Standards Survey – Questionnaire on Usage, Requirements, Expectations, and Issues.
Finally, if you are interested in the details of the survey, and especially if you would like to provide your inputs directly to SEMI, you should contact Mark da Silva, Chair, SEMI Smart Manufacturing, Global Executive Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as always, to discuss your company’s specific Smart Manufacturing journey and to understand how we at Cimetrix by PDF Solutions can help, click on the contact button below. We look forward to hearing from you!