Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

Infinitesima selects PDF Solutions’ Cimetrix® Solution to Accelerate Time-to-Market for Its Metron3D Detection System

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on May 12, 2022 11:30:00 AM

Cimetrix CIMControlFrameworkTM Software Enables First Delivery to a 300mm Factory

Press release from May 5, 2022

Click here for the PDF

May 5, 2022, Santa Clara, CA – PDF Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDFS), a leading provider of unified data and cloud analytics for the semiconductor ecosystem, today announced that Infinitesima, a European based equipment supplier for the semiconductor industry, has selected the Cimetrix CIMControlFramework software to meet its demanding needs for precision equipment control and the data connectivity requirements of its Metron3D metrology system incorporating its innovative Rapid Probe Microscope (RPM) technology.

As the global semiconductor and electronics industries race to transform manufacturing floors into “smart factories,” one critical aspect of this transformation is ensuring that the equipment in the factory is enabled with modern software architectures that fully support industry standards for data connectivity such as SEMI GEM, GEM 300 and EDA/Interface A. In order to mitigate the time-to-market risk associated with developing high-quality software in its overall equipment development cycle, Infinitesima turned to PDF Solutions to ensure its innovative RPM system would include the data connectivity and control capabilities that the market and Infinitesima’s customers require.

Before working with PDF Solutions, Infinitesima had sold RPM modules that were integrated into larger 3rd party machines. Driven by the growing need for 3D metrology, the company developed Metron3D, a standalone platform they could sell directly to semiconductor 300mm factories. This required adding full automation to transport wafers throughout the equipment, as well as a control system supporting GEM300 communication, something that was not required when the RPM was integrated into a larger equipment solution. Infinitesima had limited experience working directly with 300mm factories and the testing and integration a standalone, fully-automated piece of equipment would require.

By selecting Cimetrix CIMControlFramework software for its control and connectivity needs, Infinitesima was able to take advantage of three key benefits: a single software solution that could support the Metron3D and future standalone products, robust and production-proven equipment control framework with built-in GEM300 testing capabilities that greatly reduced the time for completing the software development, and lastly, a team of industry experts that can assist and augment the Infinitesima internal software development team.

“Integrating the Cimetrix CIMControlFramework software for factory connectivity was what we needed to accomplish. However, the Cimetrix professional services team also took care of the supervisory and equipment control responsibilities of the project by integrating our metrology module (RPM) to the Cimetrix solution. This allowed our team to focus on our core competency, investing our time working on what we know best,” said Colin O’Brien, Engineering Director at Infinitesima. “We were able to get our Metron3D product to market much faster because of the Cimetrix CIMControlFramework software and the professional services team.”

“We have extensive experience helping customers successfully deliver equipment to 300mm factories and this experience can be a vital asset in situations where a company may have limited or no familiarity with the 300mm factory requirements,” said Bob Reback, VP, and GM, Cimetrix products at PDF Solutions. “We seek to provide quality software products, backed by excellent service and support teams. By working closely with the Infinitesima team, the essential equipment control and connectivity needs of the Metron3D system were removed from the critical path of their time-to-market objectives.”

About Cimetrix CIMControlFramework

PDF Solutions’ Cimetrix CIMControlFramework software is an equipment automation framework based on Microsoft .NET technology and is designed to allow equipment manufacturers to meet the supervisory control, material handling, process control, user interface, and factory automation requirements of the factories. Equipment suppliers can leverage framework components or customize them when unique requirements are needed. For more information about Cimetrix CIMControlFramework visit www.pdf.com or contact us at cimetrix_sales@pdf.com.

About PDF Solutions

PDF Solutions (NASDAQ: PDFS) provides comprehensive cloud analytics platforms designed to empower organizations across the semiconductor ecosystem to improve the yield and quality of their products and operational efficiency for increased profitability. The Company’s products and services are used by Fortune 500 companies across the semiconductor ecosystem to impact business outcomes and achieve smart manufacturing goals by connecting and controlling equipment, collecting data generated during manufacturing and test operations, and performing advanced analytics and machine learning to enable profitable, high-volume manufacturing.

Founded in 1991, PDF Solutions is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with operations across North America, Europe, and Asia. The Company (directly or through one or more subsidiaries) is an active member of SEMI, INEMI, TPCA, IPC, the OPC Foundation, and DMDII. For the latest news and information about PDF Solutions, visit https://www.pdf.com/.

PDF Solutions, the PDF Solutions logo, Cimetrix, and Cimetrix CIMControlFramework are trademarks or registered trademarks of PDF Solutions, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks cited in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Topics: Industry Highlights, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Identifying Custom Test Cases in the SEMI E30 GEM Standard: Part 2

Posted by Jesse Lopez: Software Engineer on Apr 13, 2022 11:45:00 AM

This blog is the conclusion to the blog: Identifying Custom Test Cases in the SEMI E30 GEM Standard found here.

Unhappy Path Testing

Though this post will focus on the so-called “happy path” (i.e., no errors), it is also important to test unhappy paths.

Conditions that might show up in the “unhappy path” testing include:

  1. Card reader loses internet connection.
  2. Card reader loses power
  3. Vending machine loses communication with Card reader

Happy Path Test Case

The happy path is the program flow that is followed given the user (or in this case, the equipment) only enters valid data. I

n this simple test, we ignore the Error/Alarm cases (Transitions T2 and T4).

Transition Test Steps for Happy Path

  1. Initializing T1 =>
  2. Wait_Payment T3 =>
  3. Wait_Selection T5 =>
  4. Dispense_Item T7=>
  5. while (User wants more items && has sufficient funds)
    {
    Dispense_Item T6
    Wait_Selection T5
    }
  6. Transaction Complete T8

EquipmentTest plugin setup

Prerequisites:

  1. EquipmentTest 1.0.3 or later installed.
  2. Visual Studio 2019 or later (Targeting .NET Framework)
  3. .NET 4.8 SDK
  4. A unit of GEM-enabled equipment (or equivalent) to test against
  5. Follow the instructions in the EquipmentTest Developer Guide Section titled: “Creating a plug-in using Visual Studio”,

Test Flow

Sometimes I find it beneficial to assert the data as it occurs. For the sake of brevity, this test will gather all the data, and then verify it at the end of the test.

Documentation

Documentation is one if the items the user will see in the EquipmentTest User Interface. Each Test Step must be documented in the plug-in so the user understands what the test is doing.

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-5User Parameters

In GEM, each Collection Event, Variable, and Alarm will have an ID. These IDs are needed for host-side testing. Most modern equipment allows us to get these IDs through characterization messaging. For this example, we will allow the user of our test (plug-in) to enter the values manually.

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-6Custom Test Overview

The HSMS settings are retrieved from the set the user entered in the EquipmentTest user interface.

In Step 1, the Event Report for the Processing State Transitions and associated variables are created.

In Step 2, the test waits for an Auto Reset Event “timeOutWait”. If the result times out, the test fails. If the test receives Transition 8, the test continues.

Steps 1-2SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-7

Create Reports

The CreateReports API call sends an S2F33 message to create the report number specified by the user parameter ProcessState Report. The report will contain the status variables ProcessState and PreviousProcessState. Both have a value type of Ascii in this example.

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-8Test Steps 3-4

Step 3 inspects the data to make sure all the state transitions occurred in the expected order.

The first 4 states should always be T1, T3, T5, and T7 respectively. However, the next states will vary depending on how the user responds. This requires the test to dynamically assert the data.

In test step 4, we extract the variable values, and then use the same approach as step 3 to ensure the previous and current process states were reported correct.

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-7Conclusion

Though developing this test took a basic understanding of GEM and C#, running the test requires the user to understand neither. This means anyone with access to the equipment and an EquipmentTest run-time license can run successfully run this test.

Cimetrix EquipmentTest allows the developer to harness the extensibility of the .NET Framework. Furthermore, the well-written and proven GEM libraries flatten a significant portion of the learning curve associated with writing GEM tests.

For more information on Cimetrix EquipmentTest, to request a demo, or to speak with an expert, please click the button below.

Contact Us

Topics: Industry Highlights, SECS/GEM, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Identifying Custom Test Cases for the SEMI E30 GEM Standard: Part 1

Posted by Jesse Lopez: Software Engineer on Apr 6, 2022 11:45:00 AM

Testing the interface capabilities of GEM-enabled equipment not only during development but also while in production has measurable benefits. There are portions of the GEM standard that are not explicitly specified, allowing implementations to vary from equipment to equipment. As a result, equipment manufacturers should write equipment-specific tests that will continue to provide value throughout the equipment’s service life.

Processing State Model

One GEM item that will almost always vary is the equipment’s processing state model. I will use the Cimetrix GEM test utility EquipmentTest to show an example of creating a custom test for an equipment’s processing state. You can request an evaluation of EquipmentTest on our website.

The E30 standard provides an example Processing State Diagram and Transition table.

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-1Process State Requirements

Though implementations can vary without violating the standard, the processing state section includes the following requirements which must be followed for the interface to be compliant:

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-2SEMI E030-00-0520

Explanation:

The examples for the Processing States (INIT, IDLE, SETUP, etc.) are not absolutely required in a GEM implementation. However, the equipment manufacturer must identify the equipment’s states and document them similarly to the examples.

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-3SEMI E030-00-0520

Explanation:

  • There must be a collection event for each state transition in the processing state model.
  • The following status variables must be provided:
    • ProcessState
    • PreviousProcessState
  • Whenever any state transition occurs, the ProcessState and PreviousProcessState status variable values must be updated

Pseudo example Vending Machine

Vending-machine-credit-card

Though it is unlikely a GEM interface would ever be implemented on a vending machine, it is a universally known system, often used as a state machine teaching example in academia. Therefore, we will likewise use our imaginary GEM-compliant Vending Machine as an example.

Assumptions to Maintain Simplicity

  • The vending machine uses contact-less payment that authorizes $5.00 at the beginning of the transaction.
  • The vending machine has no knowledge of the items it contains except their location and prices.
  • All items are always in stock.

Make a Diagram

When your GEM documentation is final, the Process State diagram should be in Harel notation. For the purposes of brainstorming, I have used a simple UML diagram.

When building a diagram, first identify all the possible GEM states, transition/collection events, variables, alarms, and errors.

States Variables Alarms/Errors
Initializing Previous and Current Process State Dispensing_Error
Wait_Payment Location Selected Insufficient_funds
Wait_Selection Currency Available Card_Read_Error
Dispense_Item Currency Billed  
Transaction_Complete    

 

SEMI-E30-Gem-blog-pic-4

Transition Table

Note the above diagram has each state transition marked in red e.g. T1.

Each state transition must be documented in the Transition Table. The Transition Table will be crucial for developing an effective test.

# Current State Trigger New State Action Comments
T1 Initializing Vending Machine initialized Wait_Payment None Update Events and variables
T2 Wait_Payment Authorization failed Wait_Payment None Update Events and variables
T3 Wait_Payment Authorization Succeeded Wait_Selection None Update Events and variables
T4 Wait_Selection Balance Insufficient Transaction Complete None Update Events and variables
T5 Wait_Selection Items Selected and dispensed Dispense_Item None Update Events and variables
T6 Dispense_Item User wants more items Wait_Selection None Update Events and variables
T7 Dispense_Item User does not want more items Transaction Complete None Update Events and variables
T8 Transaction Complete Equipment prepares for next Transaction Initializing None Update Events and variables

 

Part 2 - The Conclusion will be published next week. In the meantime, if you have questions, would like to request a demo, or would like to speak with one of our experts, please click the button below.

Contact Us

Topics: Industry Highlights, SECS/GEM, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Productivity Infrastructure for Smart Manufacturing

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Feb 16, 2022 11:00:00 AM

With semiconductor factories worldwide running a full capacity in most market segments, it is no wonder that productivity is now an important careabout across the industry. Factory managers carefully monitor their Key Performance Indices (KPIs) for any indications of lost productivity so they can react quickly to identify and address the root causes of these excursions. At the same time, they question whether their productivity metrics are presenting an accurate picture of factory performance, since these tracking systems may have been in place for many years and not updated to leverage the full suite of available productivity standards and the associated data collection infrastructure.

If you are one of the people harboring such questions, this blog posting and the information conveyed in the underlying presentation are for you. In them, we highlight the key principles of productivity management in a complex manufacturing environment, describe the spectrum of SEMI standards that have been defined and refined over many years to support this process, identify the various data sources, collection methods, and system components necessary to implement them, and provide several concrete examples of how these pieces fit together.

Productivity Principles

Manufacturing productivity management can be tricky because there are inherent tradeoffs in some of the metrics (see intuitive illustration). Consequently, they must be considered as a set rather than individually…

  • Quality
  • Capacity
  • Throughput
  • Cycle time
  • WIP levels
  • On-time delivery
  • Equipment utilization

One of the most obvious examples is the conflict between equipment utilization and cycle time, especially in a wafer fab setting with reentrant, cyclical processes that use the same equipment multiple times. To minimize cycle time, you would want to ensure that product material never had to wait for equipment to become available. However, that will leave non-bottleneck equipment idle some of the time. On the other hand, if you maximize equipment utilization, WIP (Work in Process) levels will rise, degrading the cycle time for material queued for the next equipment type in its process flow. And so on.

SEMI Standards for Productivity Improvement

SEMI has a long history of defining standard metrics for the measurement and monitoring of equipment and factory productivity, but few, if any, companies take full advantage of these standards. Likely reasons for this include lack of awareness of what standards are available, limited understanding of what it takes to implement them, insufficient connectivity to the data sources required for a robust implementation, limited financial and personnel resources to build such a system, and no continuity of the subject matter expertise needed to oversee a comprehensive productivity management strategy. Daunting challenges, to be sure, but worthwhile to overcome in the current capacity-constrained environment.

This posting targets the first two of these challenges, and with the connectivity solutions in our product portfolio, we at the Cimetrix Connectivity Group of PDF Solutions can help address the third.

The SEMI standards that address Overall Equipment Effectiveness/Efficiency (OEE) include:

  • E10, E58 – Equipment Reliability, Availability, Maintainability (RAM, ARAMS)
  • E79, E116 – Measurement of Equipment Productivity, Equipment Performance Tracking

The principal objective of these standards is to account for every minute of an equipment’s life in the factory, dividing that time up into non-overlapping states to highlight and maximize the time spent in “productive” states while minimizing and identifying the root causes of the time spent in “non-productive” states. These standards have evolved over time from the initial definition of the six E10 equipment states (see figure below) to the definition of many useful sub-states, specification of formulas for calculating various measures of efficiency and “loss” categories based on these states, adaptation of these formulas to complex, multi-module equipment types, description of methods for automating the collection of event data that chronicle the transitions from state to state, and so on.

Productivity_infrastructure_image1It’s a lot of information to absorb, but each step along an implementation path can yield a return on that investment through the improvement of OEE-related KPIs.

A more recent but less familiar SEMI productivity standard has the same “account for every minute” objective but looks at the life cycle of the product material (lots, substrates, devices) in the factory rather than the equipment. These standards emerged from the Sematech “Wait Time Waste” initiative—now called Product Time Measurement—and consist of the following:

  • E168 – Specification of Product Time Measurement (terminology, concepts, time elements, etc.)
  • E168.1, .2, .3 – PTM for 300mm production equipment, Material Control Systems (MCS), and transport equipment (AMHS)

These standards divide product material time into two major states—“active” and “wait”—and then define explicit “time elements” (and associated GEM/GEM 300 begin/end triggering events) within those categories that describe what was happening to the material (processing, movement, outgassing, etc.) during its “active” time, and what/who it was waiting for (FOUP unload, robot arm, gate valve opening, recipe start, etc.) during its “wait” time. The figure below shows a sequence of wait and active time elements for a lot between the completion events of two contiguous process steps.

Productivity_infrastructure_image2Conservative estimates from factory operations managers familiar with the behavior of complex multi-chamber equipment suggest that there is 5-7% of untapped capacity in this kind of equipment that a product material-focused standard like E168 could expose and capture.

Infrastructure Implementation Technologies

After determining which of these standards you want to implement and to what extent, the remaining tasks deal with identifying the specific data sources/elements in the factory that must be connected to your data collection infrastructure and creating the pathways for this data to flow. Fortunately, over 95% of the information needed is referenced in at least one of the following SEMI standards suites:

GEM/GEM300

  • E30, E40, E94 – Machine States, Process Job Management, Control Job Management
  • E87, E90 – Carrier Management, Substrate Tracking
  • E157 – Module Process Tracking, Recipe Execution Tracking

Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA / Interface A)

  • E120, E125, E164 – Equipment Metadata Model
  • E132 – Authentication and Authorization
  • E134 – Data Collection Management

Moreover, there is plenty of commercial software available that implements these standards, so there is absolutely no reason to tackle this in-house. Nevertheless, the remaining challenge in this process is validating that the suppliers have faithfully implemented the standards in their equipment and that the semantics of the events called for in the productivity standards are consistent across the factory. For example, 300mm process equipment that provide a SEMI E164-compliant (EDA Common Metadata) EDA implementation will include the complete set of GEM 300 events with identical sets of state/event/parameter names. Other equipment interface implementations may have slight variations that require a custom mapping layer in the event handling.

The figure below shows the E90 (Substrate Tracking) state machines used in some of the E168 time element definitions, and the corresponding E164-compliant metadata model content used to define the EDA Data Collection Plans (DCPs) that provide this information in real-time.

Productivity_infrastructure_image3On the “factory side of the wire,” it makes sense to incorporate modern commercial system technology as well, especially since a new productivity infrastructure could be implemented as a separate, complementary system rather than trying to squeeze it into an existing factory system architecture. A high-level diagram of a cloud-native instance of such a system is shown below. Note that it features a broad range of data source types (equipment, subsystems, sensors) using multiple connectivity standards (GEM, EDA, OPC UA, MQTT) at its lowest layer, all abstracted by a layer of RESTful APIs that in turn support a multi-supplier application ecosystem.

CMTX_PS_Sapience_Diagram_v5

Want to know more?

This material has recently been accepted for presentation at the 20th European Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing Conference (apc|m) in Toulon, France (4-6 April 2022) – we hope to see (or hear) you there. Between now and then, you can access a preview copy here, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Contact Us

Topics: Industry Highlights, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix

SEMICON Korea is back in 2022 and our Cimetrix team will be there!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Feb 2, 2022 6:45:00 PM

SK22 Banner_1262x558

Read now in Korean or below in English.

저희 씨메트릭스는 Forward As One이라는 테마로 코엑스에서 2월 9일부터 11일까지 개최되는 세미콘 코리아 2022행사에서 여러분을 반갑게 맞을 준비를 하고 있습니다. 부스는 C홀에서 D홀로 넘어온 통로 앞에 위치한 DS37입니다.

잠시 들리셔서 귀사에서 활용할 수 있는 최신 기술도 파악하시고 업계동향도 듣고 가시기를 바랍니다.
씨메트릭스는 이번 세미콘 코리아에서 다음의 주제를 가지고 여러분을 기다리도록 하겠습니다.

  • AI, 빅데이터, 인더스트리 4.0기술을 활용한 분석 및 솔루션 개발
  • 후공정 차세대 장비소프트웨어를 위한 플랫폼
  • 전공정 장비소프트웨어의 고도화
  • SEMI 표준 (SECS/GEM, GEM300, EDA/Interface A)
  • 납기 단축을 위한 테스터 & 문서화

특히, 국내뿐 아니라 해외 진출을 목표로 하는 고객들에게 최고의 파트너로서 최선을 다할 것을 약속드립니다.

아무쪼록 이번 행사에서 저희 부스를 방문해주시기를 부탁드리며, 아래 링크에 접속하시면 사전 미팅예약을 할 수도 있습니다.

Meet with Us


After being canceled in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, SEMICON Korea is now back, with a hybrid event where the exhibition is live and in-person! Our Korea team will be exhibiting at the COEX in Seoul from February 9-11 at booth DS37. We look forward to the show and hope to see many of you there!

The theme for this year’s show is Forward as One and the exhibition will showcase the latest semiconductor materials, equipment, and related technologies. This is a great opportunity to meet with current clients, potential clients and see both the present and future of the global semiconductor industry.

If you want to find out more about EDA/Interface A, Equipment connectivity, and control or learn about our Smart Factory Platform, be sure to stop by our booth at DS37 to speak with our standards and product experts. We look forward to meeting backend OEMs as well as frontend OEMs as both are looking for the next-generation technology but in different ways.

We hope to see you at our booth, or you can request a meeting any time by clicking the button below.
Meet with Us

 

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

Backend Automation Highlighted in Smart Manufacturing Pavilion at SEMICON West

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Jan 5, 2022 11:15:00 AM

SEMICON West 2021 wrapped up last month and despite being a hybrid event with limited attendance, there was nevertheless a lot of excellent technical information available through the various SEMI-organized programs. One such program was the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion which featured a series of “Meet the Experts” presentations on Tuesday afternoon, December 7.

Our own Alan Weber (VP of New Product Innovations) was privileged to be included, and his talk was titled “Accelerating Advanced Backend Automation through Smart Application of Frontend GEM 300 Standards.” The presentation was co-authored by Michael Kollex, Swee Shian Yap, and Olaf Herzog of Infineon Technologies, who also developed and contributed much of the technology that was discussed. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

Background

Automating assembly, packaging and test facilities has always faced challenges not seen by their upstream wafer fab counterparts. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Multiple material transformations (and associated carrier types)
  • Linear flow shop manufacturing operations (vs. cyclical)
  • High product variety and velocity
  • Significant manual intervention
  • Complex unit product traceability requirements
  • Low (relative to wafer fab) equipment cost and automation budget
  • Equipment supplier un-familiarity with SEMI Standards
  • Handling multiple data source types/protocols

In mid-2019, a new SEMI Standards task force—the Advanced Backend Factory Integration Task Force (ABFI TF)—was created to address these challenges.

An important operating principle of this task force is to ensure that any new standards identified for the assembly and packaging segments are not only technically consistent with the existing body of connectivity and control standards but also directly leverage as much of the current SEMI automation standards as possible. This is especially important for the capabilities covered by the GEM 300 (Generic Equipment Model) standards since GEM is already well adopted by many of the equipment suppliers to the backend assembly, packaging, and test market.

However, this still leaves a gap that must be filled by the automation requirements for each factory customer, which is precisely what the work described in this presentation accomplishes in a way that serves the entire industry.

Solution Approach

The approach to this problem features several key innovations.

The first key innovation is the definition of a detailed “Target Equipment Integration Sequence” applicable to all equipment types that supports full automation of assembly and packaging operations while eliminating the ambiguity that raises implementation costs for equipment suppliers and factory engineers alike. The scope of this sequence for a given unit of equipment covers its entire operation, from loading material carriers and verifying their content; mounting, usage tracking, and unmounting of consumables and durables that are directly associated with the products being manufactured (a key traceability requirement); creating the process/control jobs appropriate for that material and retrieving the associated process recipes; tracking execution of those jobs and accumulating the data items required for single device traceability; storing that data in the substrate map data structures; and passing that information back to the factory systems.

The specific expression of this integration sequence is a ladder diagram of the system communication partners, which include an operator/robot, the equipment, an Equipment Automation Framework (data collection server), and the Factory Information and Control System(s). This is shown in the figure below.

Backend-pic1The second key innovation is basing the messages that constitute this sequence on existing, mature SEMI GEM 300 standards, thereby reducing (and eventually eliminating) the need for custom implementation software. Amazingly, except for the need to support “nested carriers,” realizing the integration sequence requires almost no modifications to the existing GEM 300 standards.

The third key innovation is realizing this integration sequence in a sample application suite to bring the specification to life and provide a reference implementation to accelerate the development process. This includes 1) an equipment simulator that faithfully implements all the capabilities called for in the integration sequence, 2) a sample factory host application that serves as the principal communications partner for the equipment during the implementation of the integration sequence by a specific equipment supplier, and finally 3) a set of automated tester “plug-in” modules for validating that the equipment-side implementation has in fact met the requirements. Together these software modules greatly reduce the time it takes to understand, implement, and test these important new specifications. This software suite is depicted in the figure below.

Backend-Pic2The fourth innovation is more procedural than technical: by openly sharing this design with the industry standards community, we believe it will be enhanced and further generalized by other assembly and packaging thought leaders, increasing the level and sophistication of overall automation capability while lowering integration and operation costs across the industry.

What’s Next?

Next steps include promoting this design to potential stakeholders through webinars and regional training events, gathering and incorporating feedback into the key artifacts, and validating its applicability in multiple manufacturing sites.

Where Can I Get the Presentation?

A fully narrated version of the presentation is available here; we hope you find it useful, and please contact us with any questions. We wish you the very best on your company’s backend automation – let us know how we can help!

Ask an Expert

Topics: Industry Highlights, Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Our Cimetrix Japan Team is headed to SEMICON Japan in Tokyo

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Dec 1, 2021 5:00:00 PM

SEMICON Japan 2021 is back and our team in Japan will be there! You can read about it now in Japanese or below in English.

SCJapan Hybrid Logo_horizontal_4c-2

セミコンジャパン2021が東京ビッグサイトで12月15日から17日の3日間開催されます。 「共に前進しよう」のスローガンの下、弊社Cimetrixも出展致します。

Cimetrix独自のブースを以て出展する2回目のセミコンジャパンとなります。今年はブース番号#1608にて皆さまのご来場をお待ちしております。また共同出展を行って頂ける、ローツェ株式会社様(#5411)、株式会社明電舎様(#4941)にても、Cimetrixのご案内を差し上げております。

半導体産業における製造技術、装置、材料をはじめ、車やIoT機器などのSMARTアプリケーションまでをカバーするエレクトロニクス製造サプライチェーン唯一の国際展示会。東京ビッグサイトでのリアル展示会に加えて、リアルとオンラインセミナーも提供し、今年は「SEMICON Japan 2021 Hybrid」として開催されます。

Cimetrixは私共が誇る世界標準としてご利用いただいておりますGEM通信、装置制御ソリューション、またEDAなどのソフトウェア製品をご紹介させて頂きます。

また生産現場でご利用いただけるハイパフォーマンスデータ収集のプラットフォームであるサピエンスもご紹介しております。 CimetrixのSapienceはクラウドネイティブのデータ解析やマシーンラーニング等にご活用いただける装置データ収集のパイプラインプラットフォームシステムです。

では皆さまのご来場を楽しみにしております。

Meet with Us


SCJapan Hybrid Logo_horizontal_4c-2
SEMICON Japan 2021, with the theme “Move Forward Together” will be held at Tokyo Big Sight from 15 December – 17 December, and Cimetrix Incorporated will be there!

We will exhibit for the second year at booth #1608 and welcome you to come and join us. You can also find information about Cimetrix at our partner Rorze Corporation (booth #5411).

SEMICON Japan will be a hybrid show this year that offers both an in-person exhibition as well as programs and seminars online. It is a must-attend event that connects technologies in the digital transformation era, bringing together the entire semiconductor manufacturing supply chain as well as the “SMART” applications powered by semiconductor technology such as IoT.

Cimetrix will be showing all our world-class GEM equipment connectivity and control software solutions, as well as our EDA/Interface A products. These factory automation software products all leverage open-architecture designs and industry standards.

Cimetrix Sapience will also be available for a demo at our booth. Sapience is a scalable, distributed platform for managing high-performance data pipelines. This cloud-native platform is ideal for streaming analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence applications requiring massive amounts of data directly from the production equipment.

We encourage you to stop by booth #1608 and speak with an expert for your Smart Equipment and Smart Factory software needs. You can also book a meeting with us in advance by clicking the button below. We hope to see you soon!

Meet with Us

 

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

A Delayed SEMICON West 2021 is Going Live and Cimetrix Will be There!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Dec 1, 2021 10:45:00 AM

SEMICON-west-2021-banner

After missing the live and in-person event last year due to the pandemic, SEMICON West is once again opening its doors to connect the entire electronics supply chain, and Cimetrix Incorporated will be exhibiting. Our booth is #345 and we hope you'll stop by and see us!

SEMICON West will be held December 5-7 in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, USA – the theme for this hybrid event is "Explore, Network, Interact." After almost two years of restricted travel and virtual events, SEMICON West is a great place to reconnect with contacts, customers, and partners to drive your business forward. We couldn’t be more excited about finally meeting in person for the first time since 2019!

Cimetrix expert Alan Weber will participate in the "Optimizing Your Manufacturing—Connecting the Smart Way" track in the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion on Tuesday, December 7 at 2:45 PST. His presentation is titled “Accelerating Advanced Backend Automation Through Smart Application of Frontend 300mm Standards" and we invite you to join us at the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion to learn about this important topic firsthand.

Stop by our booth any time to visit with our team of experts and discuss our standards, connectivity, and control solutions. We will also feature our Smart Manufacturing cloud-native connectivity and application platform Cimetrix Sapience®. You can visit with us in our booth any time during the show or make an appointment ahead of time by clicking the link below.
Contact Us

 

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

Cimetrix is Going to Productronica Next Week!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Nov 10, 2021 11:15:00 AM

roductronica-blog-banner-2021

Next week, the world will once again gather at the industry’s leading trade fair for electronics development and production. The 2021 productronica and SEMICON Europa shows are open for in-person attendance and Cimetrix Incorporated will definitely be there. We hope to see many of you there as well!

The 2021 productronica show is co-located once again with SEMICON Europa in Munich, Germany from November 16-19 at the Messe München expo center. With safety protocols in place, Messe München is opening its doors to welcome the decision-makers and thought leaders from the industry to participate in showing new and innovative products and solutions spanning the entire value chain.

The Cimetrix booth will be in Productronica halls, where we will demonstrate our Smart Factory platform Cimetrix Sapience, to show how we can help with your smart manufacturing connectivity and application needs. Sapience, a cloud-native platform, features a distributed, scalable architecture for managing high-performance data pipelines from electronics equipment. As such, it is ideal for streaming analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence applications requiring data directly from the production equipment.

We are also highlighting an open position for a Munich-based Field Applications Engineer at the productronica career center and here on cimetrix.com.


We invite you to drop by our booth at productronica #437 in Hall A3, or you can make an appointment ahead of time by clicking the button below. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Contact Us

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

Standards Activity Report SEMI NA Spring 2021

Posted by Brian Rubow: Director of Solutions Engineering on May 12, 2021 11:45:00 AM

Stcked_Standards_logoFor the first time since the Fall of 2019, the SEMI North America Information & Control Committee (I&CC) was finally able to meet and conduct business online. Throughout all of 2020, the I&CC was not able to meet because SEMI regulations did not at that time allow voting in online meetings. Instead, only the task forces have been meeting. As a result, any passing ballots, unless super clean, had to wait for adjudication in the North America I&CC.

This year, prior to the I&CC meeting on April 1 and 2, all of the associated task forces also met as usual, including the GEM 300, Diagnostic Data Acquisition (DDA), and Advanced Backend Factory Integration (ABFI) task forces. Moreover, the I&CC was able to conduct all the unresolved business that had accumulated over the last year. During the committee meeting, the I&CC successfully used the SEMI Virtual Meeting (SVM) software which runs in an internet browser, allows each committee member to log in, and allows for official voting to take place during the meeting. The North America I&CC will meet again during the summer.

GEM 300 Task Force

In the GEM 300 task force, the primary activity was to officially redefine its charter and scope to match what it has already been doing for the last 20 years. Each SEMI task force defines a “Task Force Organization Force” document (aka TFOF) to establish its charter and scope. Somehow, the GEM 300 task force charter and scope were severely out of date.

In addition to this update, some changes to the E5 standard finally passed voting, pending some final approval. The E5 changes include several new messages and establish definitions for commonly used data collection terminology. The new messages complement the existing set of messages by allowing the host to query information about the current data collection setup. Currently, it is common for a host program to reset and redefine all data collection after first connecting to an equipment because there has been no way to query this information. With these new messages, the host will be able to query the setup and confirm that no data collection has changed while disconnected. Finally, it will be easier to test GEM interfaces with these new messages.

The task force already approved tasks to consider some major work to the GEM standard. The task force is also considering changes to the E116 standard, but there is some resistance to these changes. Here is a summary table of the GEM-related standards activity from across the globe.

Region

Ballot

Standard(s)

Status

Topic

South Korea

5832

New

Cycle 5, 2020

Generic Counter

South Korea

6695

E87

Adjudication

Ready to unload prediction changes.

North America

6572

E30

Development

Add Stream 21, more stream 2, Cleanup Process Program Management.

North America

6552

E5

Adjudicated Spring 2021

Data collection setup, terminology. Ratification ballot proposed.

2 line-items pending since Summer 2020

North America

6598

E37, E37.1

Cycle 7, 2020

Standardize TCP/IP port numbers

North America

6597

E173

Adjudicated Spring 2021

Minor updates, clarification

Pending since Spring 2020.

North America

6647

E116

SNARF Revision

Recommendations from the ABFI task force

North America

6683

E148

Development

Line item revision

 

DDA Task Force

In the Diagnostic Data Acquisition (DDA) task force (responsible for the EDA standards, aka Interface A), freeze 3 development is moving forward. All of the ballots still failed as expected. The number of remaining technical issues nevertheless has dwindled to just a handful. E132, E125, and especially E164 need the most work.

Following is a summary of the previously completed work.

Standard (Ballot)

Ballot Status

Lead

E132 (6337)

Published - 04/29/2019

Brian Rubow (Cimetrix)

E138 (6336)

Published - 03/15/2019

Brian Rubow (Cimetrix)

E134 (6335)

Published – 03/29/2019

Inhyeok Paek (Link Genesis)

E120 (6434)

Published – 05/30/2019

Inna Skvortsova (SEMI)

E145 (6436)

Published – 05/31/2019

Inna Skvortsova (SEMI)

E178 (6300)

Published – 01/10/2020

Mitch Sakamoto (ZAMA)

E179 (6344A)

Published – 03/27/2020

Albert Fuchigami (PEER)


And here is a summary of the work in progress.

Standard (Ballot)

Ballot Status

Lead

E125 (6718)

Development

Brian Rubow (Cimetrix)

Hyungsu Kim (Doople)

E132 (6719)

Development

Mitch Sakamoto (ZAMA)
Albert Fuchigami (PEER)

E134 (6720)

Development

Brian Rubow (Cimetrix)

E164

 

Alan Weber (Cimetrix)

E125.2 (6345)

Development

Albert Fuchigami (PEER)

E132.2 (6346E)

Development

Albert Fuchigami (PEER)

E134.2 (6347)

Development

Albert Fuchigami (PEER)

E125 (6527C)

To Abolish

Replaced by 6718

E132 (6571C)

To Abolish

Replaced by 6719

E134 (6553C)

To Abolish

Replaced by 6720

 

All of the failed ballots will be reworked and resubmitted for voting. For many of these ballots, it will be the sixth time to go through the SEMI ballot procedure. Consensus is very nearly achieved, and the defects in the ballots have been identified and corrected. Additionally, there are plans to modify SEMI E179, the standard that defines how gRPC will be utilized. While testing EDA freeze 3, Cimetrix has identified two simple ways to modify the E179 protocol buffer files in order to reduce overhead. These and a few other changes will be proposed in a new ballot.

One of the last changes to the freeze 3 standards will be the introduction of passwords. In the current freeze 1 and freeze 2 versions, there are no passwords. Any client that knows a valid, unused Access Control List entry (ACL, the equivalent of a user name) can connect; therefore, there really isn’t any authentication unless using the SSL protocol with certificates. Passwords will enhance EDA security and facilitate EDA interface setup by allowing client applications to use the same ACL entry while defining a unique password to block other clients from using the same entry. The final E132 ballot will finalize the password feature.

The task force leaders are asking the voting members to raise any final issues before these ballots are submitted to SEMI to the next voting cycle so that we can approve these standards, give implementers a chance to experiment with EDA freeze 3, raise any serious issues that impede the implementation, and then propose the final changes which incorporate that feedback. Until a version of these standards is formally approved, it will be difficult to get concrete and widespread feedback on the new technology, which is a necessary precursor to its adoption and use.

ABFI Task Force

The Advanced Factory Integration task force passed more changes in E142 without controversy. The task force plans to create E142.4, another GEM implementation of E142, designed for larger wafer maps to allow for increased traceability possibilities. Additionally, the task force continues to make plans to develop an adoption matrix as a new standard to describe when GEM and GEM 300 standards should be adopted in backend equipment based on equipment features.

Topics: Industry Highlights, SECS/GEM, Semiconductor Industry, EDA/Interface A, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, GEM300, Standards