Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

SMTA International is Going Virtual and Cimetrix will be There!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Sep 23, 2020 11:45:00 AM

SMTAI2020-Masthead2

We are once again gearing up for a virtual show next week! SMTA International is going to be held virtually 28-30 September, 2020. We are excited to be exhibiting at this show for the first time! SMTA International (or Surface Mount Technology Association International) was established in 1984 and is a non-profit international association of companies and individuals involved in all aspects of the electronics industry. The association brings together a professional network of process engineers, executives, project managers, designers and technologists who are shaping the future of the electronics assembly industry.

For the first virtual SMTAi Conference, anyone can register for a free expo pass that also includes the Live Electronics Expo, (Mon-Wed 9/28 – 9/30), the Student and Young Professionals Program (Tues PM 9/29), the Women’s Leadership Program (Wed PM 9/20) and much more.

Cimetrix will have a virtual booth that will me manned by product experts throughout the 3-day expo. We will have live demo times available by reservation (you can sign up now or during the show!). We will also have videos and documentation that features our products and services.

Cimetrix Sapience® will be showcased at SMTAi. Sapience is a smart factory platform to seamlessly connect varying factory equipment within a single event-driven framework. The Sapience platform provides rapid-deployment tools for factories to mine the treasure trove of data available from shop floor equipment, driving actionable insights for optimal decision-making.

We would love to “see” you at the virtual SMTAi Conference next week! Be sure to stop by our booth and talk to us! There will be private chat and voice/video conferencing available from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm CT during the expo and we’d love to meet up and talk about your needs!

Schedule a Demo

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

SEMICON Taiwan 2020 is happening next week!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Sep 15, 2020 6:00:00 PM

SEMICON Taiwan 2020 is coming soon and our Taiwan team will be there! You can read about it now in Traditional Chinese or below in English

semicon-taiwan-top-banner

SEMICON Taiwan將是SEMI的第一個全面的實體虛擬活動。這與Cimetrix的業務完全吻合,我們將在智能製造大廳的K3068號展位展出。

我們知道今年是史無前例的,許多人將無法前往台灣。但是,我們想邀請所有能夠參加展會的人前來參觀,看看Cimetrix的新功能! 您也可以在演出前隨時與我們安排會議)!

Cimetrix將在SEMICON Taiwan上展示我們的最新產品和尖端技術。這包括我們的設備控制平台演示,EDA產品以及GEM連接性和一致性測試產品。我們還將能夠提供有關SEMI標準和SEMI技術的一些最新更改的更新。

我們也很高興宣布今年的演講嘉賓:我們的新產品創新副總裁艾倫·韋伯(Alan Weber)和我們的台灣總經理李孟修(Michael Lee)將就“半導體智能製造:業務驅動器,技術的不斷發展的紐帶和標準”發表演講。於924日星期四上午11:30會見專家展位(J3146

祝大家安全健康地進行展覽。儘管我們的許多全球團隊都會錯過此次展會,但我們的台灣團隊和合作夥伴將隨時準備回答您的所有問題。我們希望看到你在那裡!

Meet with Us


semicon-taiwan-top-banner

SEMICON Taiwan will be SEMI’s first comprehensive physical-virtual event, and will take place during September 23-25 at TaiNEX 1 (Nangang Exhibition Center) in Taipei, Taiwan with the theme “Leading the Smart Future.” This is perfectly aligned with the business of Cimetrix, and we will exhibit in the Smart Manufacturing hall at booth K3068.

We know this year is unprecedented and many will not be able to travel to Taiwan. However, we would like to invite everyone who is able to attend the show to stop by and see what’s new with Cimetrix! (You can also schedule a meeting with us at any time before the show)!

Cimetrix will showcase our latest products and cutting-edge technologies during SEMICON Taiwan. This includes our equipment control platform demonstrations, EDA products and GEM connectivity and compliance testing products. We will also be able to give updates on some of the latest changes to the SEMI Standards and SEMI technologies.

We are also excited to announce our speaker this year: Alan Weber, our VP of New Product Innovations, and Michael Lee, our General Manager in Taiwan, will speak on the topic of “Semiconductor Smart Manufacturing: An Evolving Nexus of Business Drivers, Technologies, and Standards” at the SEMI Meet the Experts Booth (J3146) on Thursday, September 24 at 11:30 a.m.

We wish everyone a safe and healthy exhibition. While many of our worldwide team will miss being at the show, our Taiwan team and our partners will be available and ready to answer all your questions. We hope to see you there!

Meet with Us

 

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

Meet the CCF Services Team - Khoi Ha

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 2, 2020 10:45:00 AM

Headshot-Khoi-Ha-CimetrixMeet Khoi Ha, CCF Services Software Engineer at Cimetrix. Read on to learn a little bit more about Khoi.

How long have you worked at Cimetrix?

I've been at Cimetrix for almost 10 years now (November 2020)!

When did you graduate and what degree did you get?

I graduated from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in Montreal Canada in 1990. My degree was in Electrical Engineering.

What drew you to Cimetrix originally?

One of my previous semiconductor companies which I worked for used the Cimetrix CIM300 product so I knew about Cimetrix before I came here. But I was spotted and hired by a previous Director of Engineering.

What is your role at Cimetrix currently?

I am a Software Engineer in the CCF Services Team. 

What do you think it means to a client to have a great CCF services team?

As an engineer for the Services team, we go through the customer requirements and then we must understand and come up with strategies to tackle them. We break the requirements into work items and implement or resolve them one by one. We go through many scenarios of tests for the implemented features. We then consult back with the customers once the features have been implemented correctly and as intended. We make sure that the customer is satisfied with every implementation, and we make sure to deliver on time. In our spare time, we either enhance our documentation or create product trainings.

What do you like best about the work you do right now?

I enjoy helping our customers to be successful by assisting them in building their systems effeciently and on time. 

During my years at Cimetrix, I have been part of different departments (Services, Engineering and Support).  I was involved with CIMConnect, CIM300 and especially in CCF product development.  This extensive product knowledge has helped me tackle challenges when I'm called on to integrate our software with customers equipment.  

What do you like best about working at Cimetrix?

Cimetrix is like a family company. I always feel that people are here to help each other build great products and offer our clients valuable solutions. Every time I've had a challenge getting something done, I was able to rely on other product experts and engineers to help me with the issue and resolve it in a timely way.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Hawaii or Bora Bora (Well I've never actually been to Bora Bora, but I'm crossing my fingers that one day the company might send me there!)

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am learning to play my guitar, and I always like to play around with my gadgets.

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

Meet the CCF Services Team - Harry Aldrich

Posted by Cimetrix on Aug 26, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Headshot-Harry-AldrichMeet Harry Aldrich, CCF Services Software Engineer at Cimetrix. Read on to learn a little bit more about Harry.

How long have you worked at Cimetrix?

I've been at Cimetrix for just over a year now and I work from Camden, Maine.

When did you graduate and what degree did you get?

I graduated with a BA in Physics from Gordon College in Massachusetts.

What drew you to Cimetrix originally?

I have actually been a happy customer of Cimetrix for close to 15 years, and I enjoyed working with the products and team. I'm excited to now be a part of this company.

What is your role at Cimetrix currently?

I am a Software Engineer on the CCF Services Team.

What do you think it means to a client to have a great CCF services team?

Cimetrix makes great products that are foundational to the successful implementation of equipment for today's factories. Having robust products to rely on is great, and having a company that stands behind those products is even better. 

I have benefited greatly from the experts at Cimetrix in Services and Solutions who have "been there and done that", both from their knowledge of the standards to their expertise in the products that implement them.

What do you like best about the work you do at Cimetrix?

I value the opportunity to work with a number of different customers on a variety of equipment that present new and interesting challenges.

What is something you’ve learned while working at Cimetrix?

I have learned the importance of continuing to learn all the time.

What is one of the hardest challenges you’ve been faced with at Cimetrix and how did you overcome the challenge?

Learning a new platform (CCF) as part of a new team (CCF Services) with new responsibilities are among the challenges I've faced. I think teamwork and coaching have been the most significant things in dealing with these challenges. 

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Tirol, Austria

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am an avid golfer and a big sports fan.

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

Building a Panel Tool for a Customer using CCF

Posted by Rich Kingsford; Project Manager, CCF Services on Aug 20, 2020 11:38:00 AM

Hi folks! We in the CCF (CIMControlFramework) Services Team love training/consulting on CCF implementations and building custom software for our customers. We’re especially thrilled when we can help our customers ship new equipment and subsequently hear that the equipment successfully ran thousands millions of cycles without issues.

Recently, we enjoyed helping one of our customers build a tool that processes non-wafer substrates. The tool control system included some typical components such as Rorze Hardware Drivers, Light Tower drivers, and a Load Port E84 IO Control, but had some more unique capabilities as well. In this posting we will explore some of the challenges posed and advantages realized from these special capabilities. Before we dive in, please allow me to give a shout out to John Last, our Senior Software Engineer who designed and built most of these capabilities.

Building-panel-tool-1

Process Module Operation Screen

Rather than simply logging data points, our customer wanted a visual representation of temperature over time (minutes). We displayed the categorized variables and their values in tables as well, but the graph updating in real time made it much easier for the operator to visualize the patterns and identify risk events and their sources. The graphing feature needed to be active whether or not the process module operation screen was being displayed. Moreover, It had to handle 3 different step types (Ramp, Dwell and Cool).

Calculating the Y-Axis range for this display presented an additional interesting challenge. The minimum and maximum values were determined by searching all recipe steps and selecting the lowest and highest value setpoints, then subtracting a fixed number from the lowest to get the Y-Axis minimum value and adding a fixed number to the highest value to get the Y-Axis maximum value. The figure below shows how the expected process data should look compared to the observed process data. This allows the operator to see what the equipment is expected to do compared with its actual behavior.

Building-panel-tool-2

Partial FOUP grouping to create a single batch

Our customer required the capability to group multiple partial FOUPs into a single batch. This is especially useful in scenarios where partially filled FOUPs would be used—say, in R&D environments. In other words, we needed to support scenarios where the number of FOUPs needed for processing a batch exceeded the number of load ports. This required us to create Control Jobs with a MtrlOutSpec containing a valid SourceMap with an empty DestinationMap. We relied on SEMI E94’s concept of “Late Announcement of Output FOUP” to specify the input FOUP but not the output FOUP. This allows the scheduler to say, “We know the substrate will go to a different slot, but we won’t tell you which slot until later.”

E90 substrate reading in the Panel solution

As with most tools, each of the substrates has an ID, and this ID must be read and reported to the host. In this case, our host had to verify that the expected ID matched the actual ID. On a successful match, the equipment would then continue the job. If it failed, however, the host would be notified and decide whether to proceed or change something. Capabilities like these maximize throughput and mitigate risks to equipment safety side and production scrap.

Different Panel Types

This machine was required to deal with panels having multiple thicknesses and possible warpage. Therefore we needed to provide a method for an operator, the recipe, and the host to specify the panel type to be processed. None of the variations of panel types were known ahead of time, so we needed methods that handled additional panel types without having to make code changes after the equipment was deployed in production.

The tool also required different substrate mapping parameters for each panel type. Because panel type was specified in the process program referenced in the Process Job, the panel type was not known when the FOUP arrived at the load port. To handle this situation, we customized a standard factory automation SECS II message to communicate the panel type from the host to the tool on arrival of the FOUP.

Conclusion

This equipment was built on an extremely aggressive timeline by a very small team. I was particularly impressed by the team’s ability to grasp the end customer’s requests and creatively explore alternative ways to solve the never-before-seen challenges. In summary: no drama; a few delays; even fewer verbal altercations; just a little frustration; only a little scope creep; and most important, a satisfied factory customer. We all cheered when our customer shipped the tool in 2020.

To find out more about CIMControlFramework and our CCF Services team, or to contact us for a demo, click the button below.

Contact Us

Topics: Industry Highlights, Equipment Control-Software Products, Doing Business with Cimetrix

Cimetrix welcomes Thomas Simon as Director of Sales of Cimetrix Europe!

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 30, 2020 8:00:00 AM

MicrosoftTeams-image (21)Cimetrix is pleased to announce and welcome Thomas Simon as its Director of Sales of Cimetrix Europe and Managing Director of Cimetrix GmbH. Thomas is based in Munich, Germany and will lead our growth in Europe. Thomas Simon will be responsible for ensuring the success of our growing customer base of leading semiconductor equipment manufacturers and smart manufacturing factories in Europe, providing strategic direction for Cimetrix Europe to have long-term success in the European market, overseeing local sales and account management and leading an expert team of Europe-based software engineers.

Thomas earned a Master of Science in Electronics and Semiconductor Technology and has 29 years of experience in the semiconductor, semiconductor backend, and electronics industries. He started his career as a field service engineer and then field service management working for companies such as Robert Bosch, SPTS (KLA), Centrotherm, UNAXIS (Evatec) and Suss MicroTec. Since 2011, Thomas has worked for Ulvac as Director of Sales and Business Development.

“Cimetrix has been serving European customers in the semiconductor and electronics markets for over 20 years. We have worked hard to gain a reputation for high quality products that are backed by responsive and exceptional technical support. Today, this provides us with a solid foundation of many longtime customers willing to serve as enthusiastic references. We also see strong and growing demand for Industrie 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing solutions. Accordingly, Cimetrix made the strategic decision to hire an experienced professional to lead Cimetrix’s business in Europe. We are very fortunate to have found Thomas Simon, as his vast experience in the semiconductor and electronics industries is a great fit with Cimetrix. We look forward to growing the Cimetrix team in Europe to provide even higher levels of support to our European customers.” 

-Bob Reback, President and CEO

Cimetrix has been building international teams throughout the world to provide our clients with technical experts who work in their local time zones, speak their native languages, and understand their unique cultures. In all of the major regions for semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, we now have an experienced executive who serves as that region’s Managing Director and is able to help our customers be successful and receive the highest levels of technical support.

To contact Thomas, please click the button below. Welcome Thomas!

Contact

 

Topics: Industry Highlights, Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Meet Our Team

Cimetrix 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting is Postponed

Posted by Bob Reback: Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer on Jul 29, 2020 10:23:25 AM

To our Cimetrix shareholders,

One of the highlights of the year is the annual Cimetrix shareholder meeting, which is typically held in August at the Company’s headquarters office in Salt Lake City. We always enjoy the gathering of shareholders and reporting on the Company’s progress. The 2020 annual meeting has been on the calendar for Friday, August 14, and our hope was things would be back to normal by that time. Unfortunately, there has been a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Utah, and we believe it would not be prudent to host the annual shareholder meeting at this time. Our number one concern is the safety of our shareholders and employees. Consequently, the Cimetrix 2020 annual meeting is officially postponed until further notice.

While the Company’s business has been impacted by COVID-19, we have transitioned to enable all employees to work from home. Demand within the semiconductor and electronics industries remains strong for our products, and we believe we are on track to meet our overall 2020 plans. Cimetrix has retained all of its valuable employees and is in the process of recruiting additional team members.

Once we set a new date for the annual shareholder meeting, we will report it on our website and send out another notice to shareholders. We thank our shareholders for their concerns and support.

Sincerely,

Bob Reback
President and Chief Executive Officer

For future updates and investor information, please visit our Investor Relations Page.

Topics: Industry Highlights, Doing Business with Cimetrix

SEMICON China 2020 Pressed Forward Successfully

Posted by Lewis Liu on Jul 15, 2020 11:45:00 AM

Read the Post-show report of the SEMICON China 2019 show today. Read it now in Chinese or below in English.

semicon-china-2020-image  一年一度为期3天的半导体盛会SEMICON China 2020于6月27-29在上海新国际博览中心顺利举行并落下帷幕。展会汇集了业内八百余展商,一起交流探讨,共享半导体行业技术和市场动向。此次盛会是后疫情期电子半导体行业的首展。由于疫情,暴雨和端午佳节诸多因素影响, 参加人数比往年有所减少,但是在如此艰难的情况下,半导体人还能克服困难,聚集在此举办盛会,已经算是非常成功!2020年恰巧是SEMI国际半导体产业协会的50岁生日,这也给此次聚会赋予了特殊的意义!
作为SEMI国际半导体产业协会最紧密并且历史最悠久的合作方之一,矽美科一如既往的参加了此次展会。在中国区技术负责人刘波和黄玉峰的主持下,我们展示了矽美科行业领先的符合SECS/GEM, GEM300, EDA/Interface A等SEMI标准的互联软件产品。 我们不仅见到了一批老朋友,也相识了 一批新朋友,大家一起交流市场和技术信息,畅谈合作共赢机会!

SEMICON-China-pic1


展会期间,我们也预定了SEMICON CHINA 2021的展位。我们将和SEMI及所有半导体人一起长期坚持不懈的耕耘在这个伟大的行业,希望能为中国乃至全球电子半导体行业做出力所能及的贡献!我们明年再会!

要了解更多关于Cimetrix产品和服务的信息,您可以随时安排会议。

Schedule a Meeting


semicon-china-2020-imageThe annual three-day SEMICON China 2020 event, originally scheduled for March, was successfully held at the Shanghai New International Expo Center June 27-29, 2020. Despite the lack of international travelers, the exhibition brought together more than 800 exhibitors who exchanged, discussed, and shared semiconductor industry technology and market trends. This event was the first exhibition of the electronic and semiconductor industries in the COVID-19 period. Due not only to the pandemic but also other factors such as bad weather and the Dragon Boat Festival, there were fewer participants than in previous years. However, given these circumstances, our industry in China overcame the difficulties and gathered in Shanghai to celebrate the 50th birthday of the SEMI organization—this gave the show an extra special meaning!

SEMICON-China-pic1As a longstanding member and collaborative partner of SEMI, Cimetrix has now participated in this exhibition for several years. With the support of Clare Liu and Yufeng Huang, the company’s principal technologists in China, Cimetrix showed its industry-leading connectivity software products that meet GEM, GEM300, EDA/Interface A and other SEMI standards. We not only spent time with old friends, clients and colleagues, but also met many new people that represent an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Finally, during the exhibition, we booked the booth space for SEMICON CHINA 2021. We are excited to support and participate in the Chinese semiconductor manufacturing industry, to anticipate where the industry is headed, and to work together in meeting the future challenges head on.

To learn more about Cimetrix products and services, you can schedule a meeting any time.

Schedule a Meeting

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

Semiconductor Backend Processes: Additional SEMI Standards Related to GEM

Posted by Brian Rubow: Director of Solutions Engineering on Jul 9, 2020 11:30:00 AM

Background

In a few previous blogs I shared how the relatively new SEMI Advanced Backend Factory Integration (ABFI) task force in North America has already decided to promote the adoption of the GEM standard and selective adoption of the GEM300 equipment communication standards. In this blog I will summarize the task force’s plans to consider adoption of additional SEMI information and control standards that are complementary to GEM and GEM300.

Additional SEMI Standards for the Backend Consideration

Many of the standards listed below were developed a few years after GEM300 but are now considered to be part of the modern GEM300 set.

SEMI Designation

Standard Name

E84

Specification for Enhanced Carrier Handoff Parallel I/O Interface

E116

Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking

E116.1

Specification for SECS-II Protocol for Equipment Performance Tracking (EPT)

E142

Specification for Substrate Mapping

E142.1

Specification for XML Schema for Substrate Mapping

E142.2

Specification for SECS-II Protocol for Substrate Mapping

E148

Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object

E157

Specification for Module Process Tracking

E172

Specification for SECS Equipment Data Dictionary (SEDD)

E173

Specification for XML SECS-II Message Notation (SMN)

 

E84 Carrier Handoff

E84 Carrier Handoff is the only standard in this list that not a GEM standard because it deals with a separate parallel I/O interface. This interface is completely independent of GEM, although it is coordinated with E87 Carrier Management when both are supported. However, since E84 Carrier Handoff is often included in the GEM300 discussions and requirements, it is worth discussing here because it is a standard that the Backend industry should selectively adopt.

GEM-Backend-2-1

The E84 standard defines the handshake signals for use in a parallel I/O (PIO) interface to automate carrier delivery and carrier removal. The automated material handling system (AMHS) might use either an automated guided vehicle (AGV) or overhead transport (OHT) system, yet either way, the material is delivered in a carrier. E84 is widely used and accepted in every semiconductor wafer fab (front end) and an obvious choice for backend manufacturing when delivering carriers.

E116 Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking

E116 Equipment Performance Tracking was discussed in an earlier blog since there are plans to update this specification to better support backend operations. E116 is applicable to any manufacturing equipment in any industry because it is largely based on SEMI E10 principles which define generic terms for measuring any equipment’s reliability, availability and maintainability. As a bonus, each major component in the equipment can also be modelled to track its productivity.

E142 Specification for Substrate Mapping

E142 Substrate Mapping and its subordinate standards (E142.1 XML Schema for Substrate Mapping and E142.2 SECS-II Protocol for Substrate Mapping) define generic substrate maps and how to transfer them to and from an equipment through a GEM interface. Substrate maps are two dimensional arrays of data that correspond to a physical substrate—which may be a wafer, strip or tray. The map defines the dimensions of the substrate, significant locations on the substrate, and can include data about the locations (such as a numbering scheme for unambiguously identifying specific locations). For example, E142 can be used to tag “known good” devices on a substrate.

Some equipment types require a substrate map before processing can proceed. Some equipment can generate substrate maps. And some equipment both require a substrate map before processing and generate an updated substrate map after processing is completed. In E142, the substrate map is expressed in an XML file that conforms with the E142 XML schema. A lot of backend equipment need substrate maps for normal operation, so E142 is an obvious choice. Note that E142 is currently undergoing some interesting improvements via the ABFI task force to store additional data needed to address enhanced traceability requirements.

Substrate mapping is an excellent demonstration of horizontal communication implemented using GEM. Horizontal communication is when data is shared directly from one equipment to another equipment. Traditionally, horizontal communication in GEM is implemented indirectly; one equipment passes data to the host and then the host passes that data on to the equipment that needs it. In this sense, the GEM host acts as a type of broker between units of equipment.

There are significant advantages in using this indirect style of horizontal communication. For example, Equipment A might inspect a substrate, generate a substrate map and send it to the host. Equipment B might later request the substrate map from the host.

GEM-backend-2-2The benefit of using a GEM host between the equipment to realize this use case is that both Equipment A and Equipment B are only required to implement GEM—which they should be doing anyway. The equipment are not required to support additional protocols and/or custom message sequences, or to be tested against specific equipment interfaces. If each equipment follows the GEM standard, they can all be integrated into the factory system and share data through the GEM host.

E148 Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object

A lot of data collected in the factory is only useful when properly timestamped. Moreover, timestamps can only be compared among data from multiple sources when those timestamps are synchronized. This is where SEMI E148 enters the picture.

The E148 Time Synchronization specification requires equipment to support the industry standard Network Time Protocol (NTP) and share information about its implementation. And NTP software synchronizes computer clocks.

Because the backend industry segment is trending towards more and more data collection, it is critical to have proper timestamping for that data, and therefore time synchronization for its sources. A full E148 implementation may not be required, but certainly the equipment should support NTP as described in E148. If an equipment control systems is composed of multiple computers, E148 states that they should all be synchronized with a single computer designated as the master, which is a good idea if the other computers are generating data with timestamps.

E157 Specification for Module Process Tracking

E157 Module Process Tracking does not apply to all backend equipment. To use E157 Module Process Tracking, there must be at least one process module (aka a process chamber) which processes one substrate or a batch of material at a time. If multiple substrates are processed at a time but each having different start and stop times, then this specification cannot be applied.

E157 Module Process Tracking defines a very simple processing state model which is implemented independently for each process chamber.

GEM-backend-2-3The state model reports when the process chamber is either idle (Not Executing) or processing a recipe (Executing). And when processing a recipe, each time an individual step in the recipe starts, completes, or fails, this is reported. It is up to the implementer to decide what constitutes a recipe step. In my experience, most equipment that could adopt E157 have already implemented something very similar using a set of GEM events. However, rather than implementing something custom, it is better for end users and equipment manufacturers alike if the implementations are standardized.

E157 is a prime example of an exceptionally simple and well-written standard built on top of GEM technology that is easy to implement and provides a lot of end user value. Hopefully the ABFI task force can develop something based on E157 principles that is well suited for backend equipment that cannot accommodate the full scope of the current standard.

E172 Specification for SECS Equipment Data Dictionary (SEDD)

Go back in time (not that far, actually), and “GEM documentation” meant a stack of printed documentation on paper that was expected to be delivered with the equipment. Today “GEM documentation” means an MS Word document, PDF file, Excel spreadsheet, or some other electronic representation of the same information. Nearly any digital format is acceptable.

Nevertheless, E172 SECS Equipment Data Dictionary is the future of GEM documentation. The GEM documentation is provided in a standardized electronic XML format called an SEDD file. E172 defines a standard XML schema. The initial version of this schema included only basic information about a GEM interface. This was expanded in a later version to include several more details. Soon, I hope to report that the E30 GEM standard has been modified to officially include SEDD files as one form of documentation. Additionally, this should include enhancing the GEM standard to allow an SEDD file to be transferred directly through the GEM interface. This will significantly improve GEM’s plug-and-play capability by enabling factory host software to consume an SEDD file and automatically configure the GEM host software to support an equipment’s specific implementation of GEM and GEM messages.

As the backend industry segment is increasingly implementing GEM in its factories, I expect SEDD files to be required from all backend equipment manufacturers.

E173 Specification for XML SECS-II Message Notation (SMN)

In order to diagnose problems in a GEM interface, it is essential to have logging for the GEM messages transferred between the host and equipment. Typically, both the GEM host and equipment’s GEM interface will provide logging functionality. In the past, a notation called SML (SECS Message Language) was used for logging GEM messages. Unfortunately, SML was never standardized or even sufficiently well defined. As result, there are many different variations of SML throughout the world. While SML notation itself is relatively easy to generate with software, the breadth of implementation variations makes it difficult to automatically parse and use.

Fortunately, the SEMI North America GEM300 task force created E173 XML SECS-II Message Notation (SMN) to solve this problem. SMN defines an XML schema that anyone can use to document and log GEM SECS-II messages. The schema is feature rich allowing for both minimum and elaborate XML decoration. As an example of its usefulness and flexibility, the E172 SEDD schema references the SMN schema file. Because SMN is based on XML, it is both very easy for software to generate and consume. There are numerous software tools and libraries available in virtually every software programming language for working with XML. Using SMN with GEM allows GEM to continue to send and receive messages in an efficient binary format, yet still enjoy the benefits of using a decorated, human-readable text notation for diagnosing issues.

I expect the ABFI task force to recommend that the backend industry segment adopt SMN in all equipment GEM interfaces.

Conclusion

As backend factories adopt GEM, we expect that they will also want to use the latest technologies with it, including SMN, SEDD, Module Process Tracking and Equipment Performance Tracking. Watch for more details and updates from the SEMI Advanced Backend Factory Integration task force as its work progresses—and feel free to join this initiative if you want to help steer and accelerate this activity!

To download the GEM300 White Paper, click the button below.

GEM300

 

Topics: Industry Highlights, SECS/GEM, Doing Business with Cimetrix, GEM300

Meet the Solutions Engineering Team: Anderson Kim

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 1, 2020 11:45:00 AM

Anderson-Kim-headshot-1Meet Anderson, a member of our Solutions Engineering team. Anderson lives and works in South Korea, and is an integral part of our Korea office. Read on to learn a little bit more about Anderson.

How long have you worked at Cimetrix?

I have worked at Cimetrix for for just under a year.

Where did you go to school and what is your degree?

I attended the Korean University of Technology and Education and recieved a Bachelor of Science while I was there. 

What is your role at Cimetrix?

I am a Cimetrix Solutions Engineer located in South Korea.

What drew you to Cimetrix originally?

I wanted to be able to use my skills to support customers, but also to find ways to work on and improve on products. At Cimetrix, I am able to do both of these things on a regular basis.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I enjoy working with and supporting the development of new customers by using my experience and skills in software engineering.

What do you think it means to provide great customer support?

I think we have to make sure our customers are satisfied with their experience with Cimetrix. I like to make sure the customers can grow with us and they know we support them.

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

I always like to try to work on problems myself, but I like knowing I have many collegues I can ask for help when needed.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? Why?

I like "There is no spoon" from The Matrix movie. That thinking has changed me!

What are your top 3 favorite movies?

1. The Matrix
2. The Dark Night Rises
3. Source Code

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere that has a beach, and I also enjoy camping in my free time


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