Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

SEMICON West 2018 Standards Committee Meeting Updates

Posted by Brian Rubow: Director of Solutions Engineering on Jul 18, 2018 12:30:00 PM

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During the SEMICON West exhibition in San Francisco this past week (July 9-10), the North American Information & Control Committee and its Task Forces met to continue SEMI standards development. Here is a brief summary of the proceedings.

The GEM 300 task force, in addition to reapproving E90, also approved minor title changes to the E39, E39.1, E40 and E40.1 standards. Each SEMI standard must be revised or reapproved to avoid becoming inactive. A few years ago, SEMI changed regulations that mandate that each standard declare its classification, such as a “guide” or “specification”. Since then the task force has been slowly correcting the titles. The E37.1 standard is in the middle of such classification, but has been riddled with reapproval complications due to minor concerns and some needed corrections in the standard. The ballot to make these corrections, 6349, failed for the second time at SEMICON West. The ballot will be slightly reworked and resubmitted for another round of voting. Another ballot, 6348 proposed to clean up the GEM E30 standard, to improve its readability and to bring the standard in conformance with current SEMI regulations and its current style guide. The forefront of the discussions was surrounding the confusing use of acronyms DVNAME, DVVAL, SVV and other such acronyms where the meaning and use of the acronyms was confusing to new readers. The 6348 ballot also failed, but hopefully the task force is progressing towards reaching an agreement. One major challenge is that ballot 6348 is a major revision ballot, where the entire specification is opened up for review and scrutiny, as opposed to line item ballots where only specific sections of a standard are modified.

Finally, and most exciting is ballot 6114B; a revision to the SECS-II E5 standard. The ballot proposed a set of new messages for transferring any large items between a host and equipment. Typically, one item in a message is limited to about 16.7 MB. The new messages are specifically targeting the transfer of equipment recipes, but the messages are written generic enough so that anything else can be transferred, too. The new messages support two styles of item transfer. Either the item can be transmitted in a single message, or broken into parts for transfer with the expectation to be concatenated by the recipient. Or the item can be transmitted in multiple messages, broken into parts with each part sent in a separate message and the same expectation to be concatenated by the recipient. An item is identified by its “type”, “id” and “version”. The messages are intended to resolve current issues with recipes where some equipment suppliers are using recipes that surpass 16.7 MB. And the messages open the door to be used by other SEMI standards and to be customized for specific applications. After passing this ballot, the task force intends to make the messages part of the GEM standard. Even though the ballot 6348 failed, the task force seems to have finally reached consensus on the message formats and continues to work out minor details.

The DDA Task Force continues to work on the next version of the Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) standards. In the latest cycle of voting, changes were proposed to E138 (ballot 6336), E134 (ballot 6335) and E132 (ballot 6337). Although one part of E134 passed, most of E134 failed and the other ballots failed. All of the failed ballots will be reworked and resubmitted for voting. Additionally, during the task force meeting additional proposed changes were reviewed and discussed. The task force continues to make plans to move from HTTP 1.1 and SOAP/XML to HTTP 2.0 and Protocol Buffers. Specifically, the plan is to recommend using gRPC. Testing done to date indicated an 18 times performance improvement and significant bandwidth reduction. The task force also discussed changes to simplify the equipment model metadata handling. Finally, Cimetrix proposed the implementation of a new method of data sampling designed for higher data collection frequencies. The current trace data collection messages, while very effective for speeds up to maybe 80 Hz, become inefficient when trying to collect data at even faster rates. The concept is called a “cached data sample” where the equipment collects the data at a specified frequency and then reports the data in an array syntax. When using HTTP 2.0 and Protocol Buffers, this will be an especially efficient format expected to allow much higher frequencies.

The client specifies the data collection frequency as well as the reporting frequency. For example, a client might specify a frequency of 10 kHz and a reporting frequency of 1 s, where 10,000 data samples would be reported each second. Such proposal if accepted, combined with the faster Protocol Buffer, will open the door for a number of new data collection applications.

A lot of people are wondering when EDA freeze III will be done. Probably not until late next year. How soon this happens mostly depends on how efficiently task force members provide feedback on the ballot drafts.

Subscribe to our blog in the upper right corner of this page to be sure not to miss that or any of my future updates on the North American Information & Control Committee.

Topics: SEMI Standards, Semiconductor Industry, EDA/Interface A, Events, SEMICON

SEMICON West 2018 Pre-Show Blog

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 5, 2018 12:29:00 PM

SEMICON West 2018 Beyond SmartSEMICON West 2018 is fast approaching and the Cimetrix team is gearing up for a great show.  The show runs from July 10th – 12th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and we’re looking forward to meeting with all our present and future clients.

This year SEMICON West is unveiling the new Smart Manufacturing Pavilion to showcase the entire manufacturing process from silicon to systems, including Front End, Back End and PCB Assembly. Cimetrix is excited to announce that we are a sponsor and will be participating in the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion showcase, both as part of the Front End segment as well as in the PCB Assembly area.

The Smart Manufacturing Pavilion includes a “Meet the Experts Theater” featuring presentations from two of our own Cimetrix thought leaders.  Alan Weber will present “Making Smart Manufacturing Work: The Stakeholder-driven Requirements Development Process” on Wednesday, July 11th at 11:00 am. This process has already been used successfully to support the significant growth of SEMI EDA standards usage in Asia, but is equally relevant for a wide range of related Smart Manufacturing technologies.

Later on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 pm, Ranjan Chatterjee and Dan Gamota of Jabil will present “Convergence of Technologies and Standards Across the Semiconductor, SMT and OSAT Segments.” 

Cimetrix will be exhibiting at booth #1122 in the South Hall, just a short walk from the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion. Stop by our booth or find us at the Pavilion to talk to our experts about your specific needs. We will have onsite product demonstrations as well as information about our company available.  You can also schedule in advance a time to meet with us at the show by filling out a quick form with your meeting request.  

Schedule a Meeting

See you at SEMICON!

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, EDA/Interface A, Events, SEMICON, Smart Manufacturing

That's a wrap - SEMICON China 2018

Posted by Cimetrix on Mar 22, 2018 10:30:00 AM

semichina1.jpgSEMICON China was held from March 14-16, 2018 in Shanghai at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Simultaneously co-located at this huge complex were Productronica China and Laser World of Photonics China. All three shows were very busy this year, and it is clear the electronics manufacturing industry in China is booming.

Cimetrix attendees included Dave Faulkner (VP Sales and Marketing), Ranjan Chatterjee (VP Smart Factory Business Unit), Michael Lee (Country Manager Taiwan), Yufeng Huang (Senior Software Engineer), Alan Weber (VP New Product Innovations), and Kimberly Daich (Marketing Manager); Hwal Song (Country Manager Korea) was also able to attend for one day. The Cimetrix booth was busy throughout the show, and provided a comfortable and convenient setting for the many scheduled and walk-in meetings that took place.

Cimetrix partners Facet and Flagship also attended the show, and participated in several customer/prospect discussions. In conjunction with our partner Facet, Cimetrix software products are now used in more than 25 production factories within the China market segment. Moreover, the relationships we have established throughout the semiconductor and electronics markets are strengthening our global presence and enable Cimetrix to provide local support to current and potential clients. The most recent example is our Shanghai office, opened in 2017.

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In addition to the exhibitions, SEMICON China sponsored many forums for expert speakers throughout the show. One of these included the New Technology Release Forum where our own Alan Weber was selected as a speaker. His topic “Integrated Equipment Data Collection and Management for Smart Manufacturing” was well received by those in attendance. Smart Manufacturing has been a topic of keen interest at all SEMICONs over the past 18 months, and China was no exception; a separate forum dedicated to Smart Manufacturing drew a standing-room-only crowd to hear a broad range of speakers across the technology spectrum.

We are currently expanding our Shanghai office in response to the exciting growth opportunities we see for our industry in China, and look forward to many years of collaborative work in this region.

Topics: Events, SEMICON, Smart Manufacturing

Cimetrix has a Strong Presence in Europe: Wrap-up of SEMICON Europa and Productronica 2017

Prod_wrap_5.pngCan you think of a better place to spend time with customers and partners than Munich, Germany during Productronica and SEMICON Europa trade fairs? SEMICON Europa has had dwindling attendance in the past few years, even in a hot semiconductor market, so SEMI decided to combine with the robust Productronica for 2017.  It was a great decision.  This trade fair had 8 full and busy halls as a result; with high spirits from all attendees.  Four of the Productronica halls were dedicated to the SMT industry (Surface Mount Technology) which is part of what we call Electronics Assembly.  This industry is wrestling with moving to Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0.  What better way to learn than to have SEMICON Europa next door?  SEMICON Europa occupied 1.5 halls filled with many of our current customers. 

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Cimetrix decided to place our booth in one of the four SMT halls because we have a lot to offer the SMT industry in their migration to Smart Manufacturing.  We had many visitors and discussions on how Cimetrix can help.  There are a variety of ways used in SMT to gather equipment data including older “one way” standards, GEM, and several proposed new standards and our 25+ year heritage in semiconductor equipment automation ideally positions Cimetrix to help customers think through these options.  We also brought extra staff to the show so we could spend time in the SEMICON Europa halls having scheduled meetings with our major European equipment suppliers and factories.  Several new opportunities were brought to our attention and updates/planning for 2018 were discussed. 

By far, the dominant theme at the show was Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing.  There were many excellent presentations in the Tech Arenas; and almost every booth had posters on the move to Smart Manufacturing.  Of note were presentations by Dr. Jan Rothe from GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Jorg Richstein from Jabil discussing their automation plans for SMART Manufacturing; and Dr. Martin Schellenberger from Fraunhofer with a comprehensive set of steps to help companies understand Smart Manufacturing and the steps to get there. 

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As a company that focuses on helping manufacturers achieve their automation goals, it is hard not to come away from Munich excited about the next 5 years in electronics manufacturing. 

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Topics: Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, SEMICON

SEMICON Taiwan wrap-up

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Sep 21, 2017 10:45:00 AM

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As predicted, Cimetrix had a very busy and fruitful week (September 11-15) in Taiwan. In addition to hosting numerous customers, prospects, and friends at our booth, Cimetrix made multiple technical presentations focused on Smart Manufacturing, both at the show and at the eMDC Conference in Hsinchu. Two of these were jointly presented with Mark Reath of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Use the links at the bottom of this post if you’d like a copy of this material.

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In addition to our participation in these technical events, Cimetrix demonstrated the new Cimetrix EDATester™ product to a number of factory customers who now need a validated method for verifying incoming equipment compliance to the SEMI Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) suite of standards. The timing for this product is ideal, based on the increased rate of adoption for these standards we have seen in Taiwan. 

Given the industry’s current momentum and near-term outlook, the mood in Taiwan is overwhelmingly positive, and the trade show almost had a celebratory quality to it. Fittingly, the Leadership Gala Dinner held Wednesday night was a feast for all the senses, from the food to the entertainment to the array of dignitaries who attended. 

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For the second year in a row, President Tsai attended and expressed her gratitude for the industry’s role in advancing the quality of life across the nation and her administration’s unwavering support for its continued prosperity. Dr. Nicky Lu, one of Taiwan’s well-known business and technology icons, was honored with the industry’s most prestigious Leadership Award, and shared his personal perspective on some of the exciting semiconductor-enabled products now in the works. 

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Dr. Lu went into even more depth about semiconductor technology evolution in his keynote address for the eMDC Conference (Joint Symposium of e-Manufacturing & Design Collaboration Symposium 2017 and ISSM 2017) on Friday, outlining a powerful vision that he’s labelled as “HIDAS: Heterogeneous Integrated Design/Architecture/System for Silicon-Centric Nano-System in Si4.0” – if you want to know more, you’ll want to contact him directly!

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All in all, is was a great week to be in Taiwan, especially since Typhoon Talim decided to take a turn to the north without dampening the spirit of SEMICON. Please contact us with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at future industry events.

Device Scaling vs. Process Control Scaling: Advanced Sensorization Closes the Gap

Smarter Manufacturing through Equipment Data-Driven Application Design

Smart Manufacturing Requirements for Equipment Capability and Control

Topics: Events, SEMICON, Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing

SEMICON Taiwan and eMDC: Join Cimetrix in Smart Manufacturing Events

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Aug 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM

The week of September 11 will be a big one for Cimetrix in Taiwan. In addition to exhibiting at SEMICON Taiwan for the third year in a row (Booth # 2926) with our local partner, Flagship International, Cimetrix is privileged to be making joint technical presentations with GLOBALFOUNDRIES in two distinct events.

semitaiwan_banner.jpgFirst of all, Alan Weber (Cimetrix) and Mark Reath (Senior Member of Technical Staff, GLOBALFOUNDRIES) will share the stage at the Smart Manufacturing Forum at the Nangang Exhibition Center during the show on Wednesday afternoon (September 13, 12:40–1700, Room 402ab). Their presentation is titled “Smarter Manufacturing through Equipment Data-Driven Application Design” and highlights the importance of robust, standards-based data collection capabilities on both the equipment and factory sides in realizing the industry’s Smart Manufacturing objectives.


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On Friday of that week, this same duo will present “Device Scaling vs. Process Control Scaling: Advanced Sensorization Closes the Gap” at the Ambassador Hotel in Hsinchu on September 15, at 08:30–16:40 (click on the “Program” link). This presentation discusses how GLOBALFOUNDRIES is addressing the need for precise fault detection and process control in the sub-10nm domain  through integration of high-speed, process-specific sensors using its EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition standard) infrastructure to deal seamlessly with complex data types (e.g., spectral data) and the context information necessary to use this information effectively.  The conference agenda features speakers and topics across a broad spectrum of the industry’s value chain, so the conference promises to be an exciting and well-attended event.

In addition to these technical events, Cimetrix will be demonstrating its new EDATester™ product at the booth along with its complete family of connectivity and equipment control products.

We invite our customers and colleagues to join us at all of these venues and hope to see you in Taiwan soon.

Topics: Partners, Events, Global Services, SEMICON

SEMICON West 2017 Wrap-Up

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 19, 2017 11:30:00 AM
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SEMICON West 2017 has come and gone! The trade show and technical conference was held this year at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and turned out to be a very busy show for the Cimetrix team. While the show was only two halls strong, we had many meetings with current clients, met with new potential clients and even made a few new friends along the way.

A major highlight of the event for all of Cimetrix took place Tuesday evening at the SEMI Standards Awards reception where our own Brian Rubow, Director of Client Training and Support at Cimetrix, took home the prestigious SEMI Leadership Award. Brian, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry, has been a long-time leader and key contributor to the SEMI Standards programs throughout his career.  We were very proud of his work and so glad he was able to receive recognition from the SEMI organization. 

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The sales team was hard at work during the entire show and it wasn’t often the Cimetrix booth was empty! Meeting with many new companies made the show very exciting. Our team was especially pleased to meet for several hours with the CEO of our newest client from China! The relationships we establish and cultivate while at these tradeshows make them an invaluable part of our sales, marketing and support efforts. 

The Cimetrix team members that attended were Bob Reback (President and CEO), Dave Faulkner (EVP Sales and Marketing), Ranjan Chatterjee (V.P. Emerging Business & Technology Office), Stu Benger (Director of Sales, North America), Brian Rubow (Director of Client Training and Support), David Francis (Director of Product Management), Alan Weber (V.P. New Product Innovations) and Kimberly Daich (Marketing Manager). Several team members were able to attend for just a day including some of our newest engineers. It was a great chance for them to get to know the show, meet some clients and see some of the machines our software powers in action.

The Moscone Center is undergoing major renovations in preparation for SEMICON West 2018; and we were able to secure a premium spot for next year’s show. SEMICON West is always a great show and we were pleased to be able to attend this year, and as always we’re already looking forward to SEMICON West 2018!

Topics: SEMI Standards, Semiconductor Industry, Events, SEMICON

SEMICON China 2017 - China is becoming a major Center for Electonics Manufacturing

Semicon_china_skyline.jpgSEMICON China was held from March 14-16 in Shanghai at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

This is a monstrously large complex of 17 exhibit halls of which 5 were filled with semiconductor and flat panel exhibitors. Another set of shows for PCB and solar filled up the remaining halls. China is clearly becoming the center for electronics manufacturing.

Cimetrix enjoyed sharing a booth with our partner Flagship International for the second year in a row.

The Cimetrix employees that attended were: Bob Reback (President and CEO), Dave Faulkner (EVP Sales and Marketing), Ranjan Chatterjee (V.P., Emerging Business & Technology Office), and Kimberly Daich (Marketing Manager).Semicon_China_booth_2.jpg

Our first China based equipment supplier using CIMControlFramework is finishing up their first production tools making full use of the CCF benefits.

Meetings with this customer’s president confirmed excellent progress in setting up this equipment supplier for future growth with a solid software platform.

This relationship we are establishing will provide confidence to other semiconductor equipment suppliers keeping a close eye on our progress. Cimetrix had a chance to visit with all equipment suppliers during the show identifying several new projects as we start our penetration in China. Cimetrix also stopped by Electronica, a trade-show that is co-located with SEMICON China in Shanghai.

Cimetrix plans to open an office in Shanghai during 2017 and equipment suppliers at the show expressed strong support for this move. More information about the Cimetrix plans in China will be coming soon.  

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Topics: Semiconductor Industry, SEMICON

Semicon Europa 2016 is in the books!

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 10, 2016 11:30:00 AM

SEMICON Europa was held in Grenoble France this year from October 25-27, 2016.  Grenoble is a hot point for semiconductor technology in France with fabs and technology centers located close by.  Typically, this trade fair moves between Dresden and Grenoble each year with attendance of about 6000. 

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The Cimetrix team consisted of Dave Faulkner, EVP Sales & Marketing; Bruce Febvret, Business Development,  Europe; and Kimberly Daich, our new Marketing Manager.  Cimetrix brought our new double wide booth with new branding and was located next to our integration partner Agileo Automation.  

IMG_3302.jpgWe highlighted our CIMPortal Plus software demonstrating the benefits of the SEMI E164 standard.  Attendance seemed light this year which allowed the Cimetrix team ample time to meet with various equipment supplier customers who had exhibits at the show. Of particular interest to our customers was our advice on when and how to add Interface A to their control systems, and what impact Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing will bring.  The evening networking event was very well done; congrats to the SEMI team.IMG_3326.jpg

SEMI made an importance announcement that starting next year, SEMICON Europa will no longer move back and forth between Grenoble and Dresden; and will move to Munich in mid-November.  This allows one large show featuring SEMICON and Productronica.  SEMICON Europa will focus on semiconductor related activities and Productronica will focus on electronics assembly technologies.  This decision works very well for Cimetrix as we share customers in both industries. See you next year in Munich!

 

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, Events, SEMICON

Another Exciting Visit to SEMICON Taiwan

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 27, 2016 10:30:00 AM

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Exhibiting at SEMICON Taiwan for the second time in as many years, Cimetrix significantly expanded its presence at the show with a booth in the Smart Manufacturing Pavilion. Like last year, we shared an exhibit with one of our Taiwan partner companies, Flagship International.

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Since the semiconductor industry is one of the most important economic engines in Taiwan, this year’s Gala Dinner at the Grand Hyatt featured an excellent and supportive speech by the country’s new President, Dr. Ing-Wen Tsai. Taiwan’s tech industries have had a solid year thus far, leading other regions of the world and capturing additional market share.

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In recent years, SEMI has increased its emphasis on focused “educational” forums at its SEMICON shows, and set a new high-water mark at SEMICON Taiwan with 20 of these events ranging from Design to Materials to Packaging to Overseas Investmen. Cimetrix was privileged to be named as one of the speakers at the Smart Manufacturing Forum, which included presentations by a variety of thought leaders from UMC, Rockwell Automation, ASE, and others. Alan Weber represented Cimetrix with a presentation entitled “Realizing Smart Manufacturing in Semiconductor Industry with SEMI Standards,” making the case that the industry’s factories already embody many of the characteristics of a Smart Manufacturing environment by virtue of the latest generations of SEMI Standards that support the required connectivity and control capabilities.

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As a specific example, the UMC “Big Data to Manufacturing Excellence” presentation by Mr. James Lin described the “Wait Time Waste” analysis application, which is directly enabled by the SEMI E168 (Product Time Measurement) standard and the underlying detailed equipment event data called for in the E164 (EDA Common Metadata) standard.

To support the level of ongoing activity at the show and elsewhere in Taiwan, the Cimetrix contingent also included Derek Lindsey and Kerry Iwamoto, shown here during one of quieter moments in the booth.

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Another highlight of the week for Cimetrix was participation in the eMDC (e-Manufacturing & Design Collaboration Symposium), now in its 10th year in Taiwan. Alan Weber made a presentation entitled “The Role of Models in Semiconductor Smart Manufacturing” that echoed a number of the messages shared at the Smart Manufacturing Forum but with heavier emphasis on the manufacturing applications that are enabled.

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The basic idea is that most of the information required to support generic process monitoring and calculation of productivity KPIs is now mandated by the latest generation of equipment model standards, and this promises to drastically reduce the factory cost of developing and integrating these applications.
 
On a final note, in discussing the use of the SEMI EDA standards for critical production applications with a number of the leading chip makers during the week, it seems that we are now very close to an industry tipping point for the adoption of this technology. This has been a long time in coming, and opens up a realm of exciting new possibilities for consumers of detailed equipment and process data!

 

Topics: SEMICON