Industry News, Trends and Technology, and Standards Updates

iNEMI Announces New Board of Directors

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Apr 17, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Ranjan-chatterjeeCimetrix is proud to announce that Ranjan Chatterjee, Executive Vice President of Smart Factory Solutions at Cimetrix, has been newly elected to the iNEMI Board of Directors. 

iNEMI, The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative is a not-for-profit, highly efficient R&D consortium of approximately 90 leading electronics manufacturers, suppliers, associations, government agencies and universities.

iNEMI roadmaps the future technology requirements of the global electronics industry, identifies and prioritizes technology and infrastructure gaps, and helps eliminate those gaps through timely, high-impact deployment projects. These projects support their members' businesses by accelerating deployment of new technologies, developing industry infrastructure, stimulating standards development, and disseminating efficient business practices. They also sponsor proactive forums on key industry issues and publish position papers to focus industry direction.

In the official press release from iNEMI, they explain “The iNEMI Board plays an integral role in the governance of our organization,” said Marc Benowitz, CEO. “They provide oversight for our operations, including decisions regarding policy, strategy and direction of the consortium. These recently elected individuals bring a high caliber of leadership, as well as supply chain diversity, to our Board. We welcome the new and returning Directors and look forward to working with them.”

In addition to being elected to the Board of Directors, Mr. Chatterjee has also had the opportunity to Co-Chair the Smart Manufacturing Roadmap with Dan Gamota from Jabil.

Cimetrix is excited to play a role in the ongoing mission of iNEMI.

 

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

Cimetrix Welcomes Lewis Liu as Country Manager for Cimetrix China; 欢迎刘立聪先生加入矽美科并担任中国区总经理!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Apr 10, 2020 11:45:00 AM

Read now in Chinese or below in English

Lewis-Liu-Headshot矽美科很高兴地宣布和欢迎刘立聪先生加入矽美科并担任中国区总经理。刘先生将领导一支由中国软件技术专家组成的团队,负责本地区市场销售和客户服务,确保我们在中国半导体设备制造和智能制造工厂领域里领先的并不断增长的客户群的成功,为矽美科在中国市场长期成功发展制定战略方向。

刘先生拥有工商管理硕士学位和机电一体化工程学士学位。他在半导体和电子行业拥有超过20年的经验,其中包括中国本土公司和国际公司的经历。他担任过销售管理、客户管理和渠道管理等多方面的职责。他深刻理解半导体行业面临的诸多挑战,他将通过矽美科产品的价值和定位给我们的客户带来贡献,帮助客户发展业务。

矽美科中国,即矽美科 软件(上海)有限公司,成立于2019年,是一家在中国本土注册的企业,目的是更方便地为中国企业提供智能制造软件产品,并提供行业内最强的技术支持。

矽美科从五年前开始服务于中国市场和客户。最初,我们的中国市场策略侧重于与部分选择性的半导体300毫米设备制造商密切合作,通过为他们提供卓越的本地技术支持,确保他们成功使用矽美科产品。现在,这些最初阶段的客户已经向领先的中国半导体300毫米晶圆工厂批量提供设备,为矽美科赢得了高质量产品的声誉和证明。我们相信,现在是扩大本地团队,提高本地支持能力的正确的时机,可以让我们有能力更好地为规模庞大并不断增长的中国半导体界服务。刘先生将带领的核心技术团队是由经验丰富的软件工程师组成,他们是工厂自动化、设备控制和矽美科SEMI GEM、GEM300和设备数据采集(EDA)等方面产品的专家。我们过去一段时间一直在寻找一位高素质的国家总经理来补充我们的技术团队,也包括面试许多候选人。我们很高兴最终找到刘先生加入矽美科团队。”

Bob Reback,矽美科总裁兼首席执行官

矽美科在世界各地建立国际团队,为我们的客户提供在当地时区工作、讲本国语言和了解其独特文化的技术专家。在全球半导体和电子制造的主要地区,我们现在都有一位经验丰富的高级管理人员担任该地区的国家经理,能够帮助我们的客户获得最高质量的技术支持并取得成功。

欢迎刘立聪先生!


Cimetrix is pleased to announce and welcome Lewis Liu as its Country Manager for Cimetrix China. Mr. Liu will be responsible for ensuring the success of our growing customer base of leading semiconductor equipment manufacturers and smart manufacturing factories in China, providing strategic direction for Cimetrix China to have long-term success in the China market, overseeing local sales and account management, and leading an expert team of China-based software engineers.

Mr. Liu earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics and a Master of Business Administration. He has over 20 years of experience in the semiconductor and electronics industries with both China local and international companies. He has held a variety of positions in sales management, account management and channel management. He deeply understands the many challenges of the semiconductor industry and will be an asset to our customers by demonstrating the value propositions of Cimetrix products for their businesses.

Cimetrix China (Cimetrix Software Shanghai Co., Ltd.) was formed last year as a local China company with the goal to empower China companies with smart manufacturing software, be easy to do business with and provide the strongest technical support in the industry.

“Cimetrix has been serving customers in China for the past five years. Initially, our China strategy focused on working closely with a few select manufacturers of semiconductor 300mm equipment to ensure their success using Cimetrix products by providing them with exceptional local technical support. Now that these initial customers are shipping equipment in high volume to leading China semiconductor 300mm wafer fabs and have earned Cimetrix a reputation for very high-quality products, we believe it is time to grow our local capabilities to better serve the large and growing China semiconductor community. Mr. Liu will lead our core technical staff of very experienced software engineers who are experts in factory automation, equipment control and the full portfolio of Cimetrix products for SEMI GEM, GEM300 and Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA) capabilities. We conducted an extensive search for a high-quality Country Manager to complement our technical team, which included interviewing many candidates. We were very pleased to find Mr. Liu and are excited to have him join the Cimetrix team.”

Bob Reback, President and CEO, Cimetrix

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 Country Manager and is able to help our customers be successful and receive the highest levels of technical support.

Welcome Lewis Liu!

Topics: Industry Highlights, Customer Support, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, Meet Our Team

SEMICON Korea 2020 is Cancelled

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jan 29, 2020 8:00:00 PM

semicon-korea-top

오늘 1월 31일 SEMI 협회는 코로나바이러스가 확산됨에 따라서, 2/5일부터 개최 예정이였던 SEMICON Korea 2020을 전면 취소할 수 밖에 없음을 알려 왔습니다. 궁금한 점이 있으시면 연락주시기를 바라며, 건강에 더욱 유념하시기를 부탁드립니다.

The SEMI Association has announced that, due to recent health concerns, they feel they have no choice but to cancel SEMICON Korea 2020. Please let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to reach out to us at any time.


Read now in Korean or below in English.

세미콘 코리아 202025일부터 7일까지 코엑스에서 개최될 예정입니다. 씨메트릭스는 한국 파트너사인 링크제니시스와 부스 #C818에서 여러분들을 맞을 준비를 하고 있습니다. “Design the Future”라는 주제로 반도체 제조, AI등 첨단 주제를 30여개의 프로그램이 진행될 예정이면, 저희 씨메트릭스와 링크제니시스는 다음과 같은 내용을 준비하였습니다.

  • 빅데이터/AI/머신러닝에서의EDA/Interface A의 역할 (고객사와의 공동 연구 제안 중)
  • 최근 한국과 중국에서 씨메트릭스가 주최한 EDA 세미나에서 많은 관심을 받은 Freeze III에 관한 안내 큰 주목을 받고 있는 이유는 데이터 처리 속도의 괄목한 만한 향상에 대한 기대감
  • EDA 개발시 혹은 검수시 오는 효율적이고 철저한 테스트의 어려움과 복잡함을 자동화를 통하여 해결
  • 많은 장비회사가 미래 성장을 위해서 준비하고 있는 소프트웨어의 고도화를 위한 로드맵 제시

부디 방문해 주시기를 바라며 미팅을 원하실 경우 아래의 버튼을 통하여 신청해 주시기 바랍니다.

Meet with Us


SEMICON Korea 2020 is almost here and Cimetrix is headed to the show! We will be co-exhibiting with our partner Linkgenesis at booth #C818. The show will be at COEX in Seoul on February 5-7. We look forward to the show and hope to see you there!

This year’s SEMICON Korea theme is: Design the Future and will feature more than 30 technology programs offering leading insights into semiconductor manufacturing, AI and more. Cimetrix recently held a seminar, in partnership with SEMI, around the topic EDA/Interface A, and this seems to be a major talking point both for SEMICON Korea, and around the world at this time.

If you want to find out more about EDA/Interface A, and how it can help with your Smart Factory goals, be sure to stop by our booth #C818. Some of the things you might learn are:

  • How EDA/Interface A leads the Big Data/AI/Machine Learning initiatives in the semiconductor world.
  • Hear recent news on the Freeze III that ensures a huge performance gain with existing EDA.
  • EDA acceptance testing can be difficult due to its complexity. Find out an easy way of testing the EDA interface .
  • Good equipment needs good software inside. Find out how to prepare competitive software with a good software roadmap.

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

IPC Apex 2020 is here and Cimetrix will be there!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jan 28, 2020 1:15:00 PM

IPC Apex 2020

IPC APEX 2020 is almost here, and we are excited to be exhibiting for the fourth year in a row! This year, you can find us at booth #1521 and we hope to see you during the show!

IPC APEX is the largest event for electronics manufacturing in North America. You’ll find exhibitors and attendees from around the world come not only for the exhibition, but also to participate in standards development, a technical conference and professional development.

We are happy to announce that Ranjan Chatterjee, the Cimetrix VP & GM of the Smart Factory Business Unit will be speaking, along with Dan Gamota from Jabil, on Wednesday between 10:30 – 12 Noon.

One unified platform to run your entire factory

We will also be featuring demos of our Cimetrix Sapience® Integration Platform. Sapience is an extensible platform to seamlessly connect varying factory equipment within a single event-driven framework. Sapience 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.
You can find out more about Sapience by visiting our website.
 
Cimetrix will once again be participating in the Passport to Prizes, so be sure to stop by our booth so you are eligible for some fun prizes!

The IPC APEX Show runs Tuesday, February 4 – Thursday, February 6 at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

If you would like to learn more about how Cimetrix software products can help with your Smart Factory goals, please stop by our booth #1521 during the show. You can also request a meeting any time on the events page of our website by clicking the Schedule a Meeting button below. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

Schedule a Meeting

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

GEM: Meeting Future Needs by Building on the Stability of the Past

Posted by David Francis: Director of Product Management on Jan 8, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Mechanic-working-on-a-diesel-filter-close-up-629x419-CopyAs a young boy, I liked to work on the family car with my dad. He taught me how to change the oil, check the spark plugs, replace the shock absorbers, adjust the timing and lots of other tasks that were common on older cars. I remember the first time he let me use the socket wrench. I thought it was the greatest tool ever invented. I could loosen bolts, then moving a small switch into a different position, the same wrench could now tighten bolts. It is a very versatile tool, one I still make sure to have handy to this day. 

I appreciate having well-designed tools available that can be used in a variety of situations. In my career, these tools have sometimes been software tools. I have spent a lot of my career working with equipment connectivity standards and seeing the benefits of having process equipment connected to a factory control system. Whether it is for full equipment control, or just to monitor and gather data from the equipment, having a robust connection to equipment is valuable.  

When I first started connecting equipment to factory control systems, the GEM standard had not been finalized. There was a lot of variability in the SECS message implementations available from the different equipment vendors. I was almost always able to get the equipment connected to the factory system, but generally each connection was custom to that equipment vendor and equipment type. This meant that each connection took far too much time to complete and made supporting different equipment very difficult. 

Once the GEM standards were finalized and adopted, there was now a versatile way to provide consistency and reusability across equipment types and across equipment vendors. Connecting to different types of equipment was principally a configuration task instead of a custom coding task.  

In addition, industry standard compliance test tools were developed to ensure compliance with the GEM standards and harden the implementations for reliable production use. This increased reliability helped drive the adoption and implementation of GEM in the global semiconductor front-end manufacturing industry. As a result, GEM has become a well-established reliable communication standard that is widely used and accepted.  

As other segments of the semiconductor and related electronics manufacturing markets have looked to connect equipment to their factory control systems, many have evaluated GEM and other communication standards to provide this functionality. In some cases, GEM was considered too old, too complex, or not a good fit. But, like the versatile socket wrench, many industry segments have seen the value of the stability and proven nature of GEM. They found that the socket wrench (GEM) was the right toolthey just needed a different sized socket (industry-specific guidance) to fit their needs. Let’s look at a few examples.  

SEMI PV2 

large solar farm in England producing electricityIn 2007, when the photovoltaic industry wanted to increase manufacturing efficiencies and reduce costs, they looked to implement industry-wide standards. They formed the Photovoltaic Equipment Interface Specification Task Force to define the interface between the factory control system and the equipment. 

The task force created two working sub-teams to evaluate existing solutions and the requirements of the industry. Several existing solutions such as SECS/GEM, EDA, OPC-UA, and XML were evaluated based on functionality, reliability, extendibility, and the ability to be integrated into different environments. The conclusion of both teams was to build on the SEMI GEM (E30) standard.  

The socket wrench (GEM) was the right tool, and a new socket (SEMI PV2) provided the required fit for their equipment and industry. 

HB-LED 

In 2010, when the high-brightness light-emitting diode (HB-LED) industry started their search for connectivity standards. They needed something that would allow low-cost, common hardware and software interfaces, and other means to enable HB-LED factories to effectively utilize multiple equipment types from multiple vendors in a highly automated manufacturing environment. 

This search found that the best course was to leverage the functionality, reliability, and extendibility of GEM. The SEMI HB4: Specification of Communication Interfaces for High-Brightness LED Manufacturing Equipment (HB-LED ECI) defines the behavior of HB-LED equipment and is based on the SEMI E30 (GEM) standard.  

Again, the socket wrench (GEM) was the right tool. What they needed was a socket (HB4) that would meet the needs of their industry. 

PCBECI 

In February 2019, the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA) initiated an activity seeking to boost network connectivity of PCB equipment and help PCB makers implement smart manufacturing practices in the industry.  

The result of this effort was the publication in August of 2019 of the SEMI A3: Specification for Printed Circuit Board Equipment Communication Interfaces (PCBECI). This is a robust and comprehensive shop-floor communication standard that specifies the detailed, bidirectional communications needed to improve productivity and reduce the costs to develop equipment interfaces for PCB manufacturing. The SEMI A3 (PCBECI) standard is based on the SEMI E30 (GEM) standard. 

Yet again, the socket wrench (GEM) was the right tool and all that was needed was a socket for their specific needs (PCBECI).  

It is understandable to think of GEM as an old and complex standard. It has been around for years and can be difficult to understand. However, it has continued to be reviewed and updated as manufacturing needs have changed. As different market segments have looked for equipment communication standards to meet their specific needs, several have found that the functionality, reliability, extendibility and the ability to be integrated into different environments provided by GEM was the right tool. All that was needed were some companion specifications related to GEM to provide a better fit for their requirements. 

Topics: Industry Highlights, SECS/GEM, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

A Look Back at Our 2019 Year at Cimetrix!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Jan 3, 2020 11:45:00 AM

2019-becoming-2020-580x290As hard as it is to believe, 2019 is over and 2020 has just begun! This is a great time to take a look back over the milestones and accomplishments of the Cimetrix team during 2019 and review some of the highlights! We are really proud of our team and we love to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year.

Tradeshows and Events

Our team attended, presented and exhibited at more than 27 events this year. These events covered the U.S., Europe, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and more. We were able to participate in some new shows and events this year including exhibiting at SEMICON Southeast Asia (Kuala-Lampur), co-exhibiting at iTap in Singapore, and hosting two of our own seminars in Thailand. We also exhibited in our own booth for the first time at SEMICON Japan.

SEMICON Southeast Asia was particularly interesting. By working closely with SEMI, Cimetrix had a new booth in the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Pavilion and an impressive demonstration in the SEMI Smart Manufacturing Journey including a demonstration of our smart factory platform Cimetrix Sapience®. You can read more about these events, at the links below and you can re-visit our entire events section on our blog at any time.

SEMICON Southeast Asia pre-show
SEMICON Southeast Asia post-show
SEMICON Japan pre-show
Cimetrix Events


Industry Standards

Discussion about industry standards has heated up in 2019, and we have continued publishing articles of interest about the GEM (SECS/GEM) standard, EDA/Interface A and others on our blog. Whether it's the semiconductor front-end or back-end industries, the SMT or PCBA industries, standards are top-of-mind right now. You can read some of our most popular articles below. 

Why Implement a SECS/GEM Driver
Multiple GEM Connections on Manufacturing Equipment
EDA Best Practices Series


Cimetrix EquipmentTest™

Cimetrix launched our first product available via e-commerce. This multi-protocol tester allows you to quickly validate your equipment's ability to connect to a factory control system. This product is available in both basic and pro versions, and you can find out more at the links below.

Cimetrix EquipmentTest
Leveraging Cimetrix EquipmentTest to Develop a Reliable SMT-ELS Interface
Do You Need Help with GEM Testing


Cimetrix Book Club

One of our most popular sections on our blog during 2019 was our Cimetrix book club. Our first entry was in June and we began with a review of the book "Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams" by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. You can read any of the book club reviews at the link below.

Cimetrix Book Club


Cimetrix Team Members

We have run a Meet Our Team series for over two years now, and this is consistently one of our most viewed blog series. Everyone loves getting to know the faces behind the company, and we likewise enjoy introducing our team to the world. You can see all of our Meet Our Team posts at the link below and be sure to stay tuned, because our team is growing, and we will continue to introduce them in this series!

Meet Our Team blog series

Take a chance to peruse our posts and remember, you can always stay up-to-date by subscribing to our blog! 

Subscribe Today

Topics: Industry Highlights, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Cimetrix Company Culture, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Why implement a SECS GEM driver?

Posted by Brian Rubow: Director of Solutions Engineering on Dec 12, 2019 2:15:00 PM

A SECS GEM driver can be looked at from a factory or equipment supplier perspective. I will discuss both of them in that order.

Factory Perspective

A little background:

semiconductor-factory-1

From a factory perspective, a SECS GEM driver is the host software that talks to an equipment’s GEM interface. It allows the factory to take advantage of the features implemented in each equipment’s GEM interface. However, what the factory can do with an equipment’s GEM interface is also limited by what the equipment supplier has included in that interface. The GEM standard is very flexible and scalable, which accounts for the widespread and growing adoption of GEM technology—it can be adapted to any manufacturing equipment and market segment.

It is possible to implement features in a GEM interface. But this also means that just having a GEM interface on the equipment does not ensure that it has been correctly designed to meet the factory’s expectations. An equipment supplier’s poor implementation of GEM can frustrate a factory’s plans for Smart Manufacturing by not providing features that the factory expects that could have been implemented. The tendency of most equipment suppliers is to implement the absolute minimum functionality in a GEM interface to save money. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the factory during equipment acceptance to evaluate the GEM interface to make sure that it is robust and has the full set of required features. The factory must have a clear vision of its needs both initially and later as its Smart Manufacturing goals are realized. It is not unusual for a factory to request an upgrade to an equipment’s GEM interface with more features, but these modifications usually come at a cost.

Although a factory’s SECS GEM driver must be adaptable to different suppliers’ GEM implementations, it only needs to support the specific features that the factory uses. For example, if the factory is only concerned about alarm and event report notification, then it does not need to support the messages for recipe management, remote control or trace data collection. As such, the investment in a SECS GEM driver is proportional to the number of GRM features that are utilized. However, the SECS GEM driver should also support variations in alarm and collection event implementations, because each equipment type will support a unique set of alarms and a unique set of collection events with unique data variable for event reports. Moreover, from equipment type to equipment type, the same collection ID might have different meanings. The SECS GEM driver therefore needs an ability to adapt by having a method to characterize the GEM implementation (such as a list of available collection events) and the ability to map a general capability to the actual implementation (such as “material arrived” = collection event ID 5).

So why would a factory want to use SECS GEM technology?

factory-alan-1In order to reach the goals of Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing, factories must be able to monitor and control manufacturing equipment remotely. Therefore the equipment must have a software interface to provide this functionality and the factory must be able to access and use this interface.

Factories could let the equipment suppliers choose their own implementation technologies for this kind of capability, but as a result, different suppliers might take a different approach for every equipment type. This would be tremendously expensive and resource intensive. It is far better to standardize on one or two technologies, and ideally, one that is proven to work and known to have all of the necessary features. This allows the factory to achieve its goals with minimum investment, focusing instead on using the equipment interface in creative ways to improve manufacturing.

SECS GEM is the most proven technology already widely used across the globe and supported by the most sophisticated and automated industry in the world; semiconductor manufacturing. It is also widely adopted several other industries, making it a safe choice. The range of production applications supported by SECS GEM data collection include productivity monitoring, statistical and feedback/feedforward process control, recipe selection and execution tracking, fault detection and classification, predictive maintenance, reliability tracking, and many more. By contrast, alternatives to SECS GEM have so far been demonstrated to be incomplete or immature solutions. 

What specifically can you do with the SECS GEM technology?

  1. Collection Events: Be notified when things happen at the equipment, such as when processing or inspection begins and completes, or when a particular step in a recipe is reached.
  2. Collection Event Reports: Collect data with collection events. The host chooses what data it wants to receive. For example, track the ID of material arriving and departing from the equipment, or components placed on a board.
  3. Alarms: Be notified when bad or dangerous things are detected, receive a text description of the alarm condition, and when the issue is cleared.
  4. Trace Data Collection: Tell the equipment to report status information (software and/or hardware data) at a specific interval. For example, track digital and/or analog sensors during processing at 10 Hz frequency.
  5. Recipes: Upload, download, delete and select recipes as desired, whether in ASCII or binary formats. Make sure that the right recipe is run at the right time to eliminate misprocessing and minimize scrap. Track when someone changes a recipe.
  6. Remote Commands: Control the equipment, such as when to start, stop, pause, resume and abort. Custom commands, such as calibrate, skip or anything else can be supported.
  7. Equipment Constants: Configure and track the equipment configuration settings remotely.
  8. Terminal Services: Interact with the equipment operator remotely or provide instructions for the operator.
  9. Extensions: There are numerous extensions to GEM that can be supported but are not yet form requirements. For example, implement wafer or strip maps from E142 to provide and report details about material in XML format.

Equipment Supplier Perspective

AdobeStock_12291008-1

From an equipment supplier’s perspective, a SECS GEM driver is the software used to implement GEM technology on the equipment. In other words, the software to create a GEM interface. The equipment-side software requirements are inherently more complex that the host SECS GEM driver. This is because the equipment-side features are precisely defined by the GEM standard and should be implemented to the fullest extent possible. By contrast, the host can really do whatever it wants, so a limited implementation may be sufficient. In an ideal situation, the equipment supplier will implement just enough features in its GEM interface to satisfy all of its customers and therefore ship an identical GEM interface to all its customers. It is up to the equipment supplier to decide what GEM features to implement and how to adapt them for a particular type of equipment, but the factory should provide clear expectations about its planned use of the interface. It is also the factory’s responsibility to qualify the GEM interface during equipment acceptance. Note that it is not uncommon for factories to withhold partial equipment payment until the GEM interface has also passed its own acceptance.

Some equipment suppliers include the GEM driver as a standard feature on all equipment. This is ideal because it makes the GEM interface much easier to support and distribute. Some equipment suppliers only install GEM when it is specifically purchased. This often results in installation problems because the field technicians may or may not be knowledgeable enough or specifically trained to do this correctly. Other equipment suppliers include the GEM driver on all equipment, but only enable it when the feature has been purchased. This is better than attempting GEM interface installation after equipment delivery because the GEM interface can often be enabled with a simple equipment configuration setting.

Here are some key reasons for implementing a SECS GEM driver:

1. “One ring to rule them all”

By implementing a GEM interface, an equipment supplier can avoid having to implement multiple interfaces. Because GEM is the most feature complete option, the it should be implemented first and Thoroughly integrated with the equipment control and user interface software. If other protocols must be supported, they can usually be mapped onto the GEM capabilities or a separate external system because they only include a subset of GEM functionality.

2. Equipment Supplier Application Software

If the GEM implementation includes support for multiple host connections, then the GEM interface can be used by the equipment supplier itself for many applications. For example, an equipment supplier can develop a software package that monitors and controls their specific equipment at a factory. This can run simultaneously and independently while the factory GEM host software is connected. Many factories are willing to buy applications from the equipment supplier that enhance the productivity of the equipment they have purchased. As an example, equipment suppliers are better equipped to develop predictive maintenance applications that determine when parts are approaching failure and need replacement. These applications can save the factory time and money by avoiding unscheduled downtime. Other applications can also be developed by equipment suppliers to analyze and optimize equipment execution.

3. Competitive Advantage

A well implemented GEM interface can differentiate a supplier’s equipment from that of its competitors. Factories are beginning to recognize the value in controlling and monitoring equipment remotely, and know that a poor GEM interface contributes nothing to a factory’s Smart Manufacturing initiatives. A GEM interface that goes the extra mile to be truly useful empowers the factory to excel at Smart Manufacturing and to be far more productive. Selling equipment in today’s market without a GEM interface is like selling a television without a remote. On the other hand, providing a fully featured GEM interface is like selling a smart television.

Final Words

Experts on GEM technology are available all over world. Because GEM is a mature industry standard and well defined, it can be implemented by anyone in a range of different programming languages and operating systems. however, to save time I recommend using a commercially available product rather than developing the complete GEM interface from scratch. This can save massive amounts of time and effort, and ensures the quality of the resulting implementation.

To speak with a Cimetrix GEM expert, or to find out more about our GEM software products, you can schedule a meeting by clicking the link below.

Ask an Expert

Topics: Industry Highlights, SECS/GEM, Semiconductor Industry, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

Cimetrix is headed to Tokyo for SEMICON Japan 2019 – our last show of the year!

Posted by Kimberly Daich; Director of Marketing on Dec 4, 2019 5:00:00 PM

SEMICON Japan 2019 is coming soon and we will be there! You can read about it now in Japanese or below in English.

2019NewHero_bnr-1Cimetrixは本年最後の業界エキジビションである、セミコンジャパン2019に出展致します。

今回Cimetrixとして初めての単独ブースを、東京ビックサイトで開催されるセミコンジャパン2019出展します。期間は1211()~1213()です。
パートナーのブース(ローツェ株式会社様 #8419、および株式会社明電舎様#7714)、またはCimetrixブース(#2467)に是非お立ち寄りください。

日本は世界半導体製造産業界に生産設備の3分の1、材料の半分以上を供給しています。ITを利用した高度な生産効率の改善を実現するためのスマートマニュファクチャリングの推進にあたり、革新的なソリューションとテクノロジーをセミコンジャパンをはじめとする展示会で積極的に紹介しています。

弊社ブースでは今回GEM装置接続・制御ソフトウェアソリューション、EDA/Interface A組み込み開発ソリューション、及び最新製品であるGEM/GEM300スタンダードコンプライアンステスターのEquipmentTestをご紹介します。お客様はEquipmentTestを使用することで、工場側通信システムに接続するための装置通信機能を迅速に検証できます。
本ツールはベーシックバージョンとプロフェッショナルバージョンが準備されており、GEM、PCBECI、及びSEMI SMT-ELSの完全な標準コンプライアンステストを使用可能です。

最新製品としてもうひとつ、Sapienceを展示します。
Sapienceはスマートマニュファクチャリングを実現するための、装置データハンドリングプラットフォームです。イベント駆動型フレームワークを採用しており、さまざまな装置設備と工場をシームレスに接続可能です。
工場のITシステムが設備に直接アクセス可能とすることで工場主体の装置通信、データ収集、プロセス制御を実現し、インダストリー4.0、ビッグデータ、スマートマニュファクチャリングの基盤を確立します。

また弊社は12月11日(水)午後3時10分から会議棟608号室、TechSTAGE SMART Manufacturingフォーラムにて講演を行います。今年のテーマは「組み立てラインにおけるスマート化」です。この講演では、弊社のシステム構築のエキスパートコンサルタントであるアラン・ウェーバーが、「半導体スマートマニュファクチャリング:後工程ファクトリーのスマートマニュファクチャリング実現の要件、スタンダード、ソリューション」というタイトルのプレゼンテーションを行います。

展示会期間中に、是非、弊社ブース#2467にお立ち寄りください。
生産設備のスマート化、スマートファクトリーソフトウェアの専門家がお待ちしています。
下のボタンをクリックして事前にミーティング予約することも可能です。
お客様のご来訪をお待ち申し上げております。Meet with Us


2019NewHero_bnr-1Cimetrix is headed to Tokyo for SEMICON Japan 2019 – our last show of the year!

We are travelling to Tokyo, Japan next week to exhibit in our own booth at SEMICON Japan for the first time! This year’s show is once again located at Tokyo Big Sight from Wednesday, December 11 – Friday, December 13. Whether it’s at our partner booth (Rorze Corporation #8419 and Meiden #7714) or at the Cimetrix booth (#2467), we hope to see you there!

Japan supplies one third of the equipment and more than half of all materials to the global semiconductor manufacturing industry. As the world gets smarter, innovative solutions and technologies continue to be introduced at big shows like this.

Cimetrix will be showing all of our GEM equipment connectivity and control software solutions, as well as our EDA/Interface A products. We will also be introducing Japan to some of our newest products: Cimetrix EquipmentTest. This flexible software tool allows you to quickly validate an equipment’s ability to connect to a factory control system. It can be purchased in both the Basic and Pro versions, and supports full standards compliance tests for GEM, PCBECI and SEMI SMT-ELS out of the box.

Cimetrix Sapience will also be on display at our booth. Sapience is the Smart Factory Platform that seamlessly connects varying factory equipment within a single event-driven framework. The Sapience platform allows factory IT systems direct access to factory equipment, and the resulting equipment communication, data collection and process control establishes the foundation for Industry 4.0, Big Data and Smart Factory initiatives.

We are also privileged to have been invited to speak at the Smart Manufacturing Forum on Wednesday (Dec 11) afternoon at 3:10 pm on the TechSTAGE in Room 608 of the conference Tower. This year’s theme is “Realizing the SMART Assembly Line.” In this context, Alan Weber will deliver a presentation entitled “Semiconductor Smart Manufacturing: Requirements, Standards, and Solutions for the Back End.”

We encourage you to stop by booth #2467 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: Semiconductor Industry, Doing Business with Cimetrix, Events, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0

EDA Programmatic Model Building

Posted by Derek Lindsey: Product Manager on Nov 27, 2019 11:00:00 AM

The Cimetrix CIMPortalTM Plus software product allows users to achieve compliance with the SEMI Interface A standards. This includes E120, E125, E132, E134 and E164. A key element in enabling the data collection provided by Interface A is the equipment model, which has three main purposes:

  1. It defines the structure and relationships of the components that make up equipment (E120)
  2. It defines the data (parameters, events and exceptions) that are available to be used in data collection (E125)
  3. It defines the supporting structures (state machines, parameter type definitions, logical elements, etc.) for creating objects throughout the life of the running equipment (E125)eda-programmatic-model-building-pic-1

Part of the CIMPortal Plus Software Development Kit (SDK) is an application called Equipment Model Developer (EMDeveloper for short) that uses a simple drag and drop interface to allow CIMPortal Plus users to create a fully EDA-compliant equipment model. This includes making the model compliant with the E164 (Specification for EDA Common Metadata) standard which incorporates best practices from many production EDA implementations by defining common structures and other important conventions for the equipment metadata.

While EMDeveloper makes it simple to create, validate and deploy a fully compliant equipment model, there are times when equipment manufacturers want to provide a more flexible way of creating the equipment model. For example, an equipment manufacturer may offer multiple configurations of a unit of equipment with different arrangements of load ports and/or process module combinations. It is possible for the equipment supplier to save multiple equipment models that are shipped with each equipment, but this opens the door for possible human error in deploying an incorrect model file. It is also possible to create a “master model” that has all possible components defined. When the model is deployed, the equipment developer can use DisableModelNode functionality to disable the components that are not present. However, this approach may also result in errors, and is in the “gray” area of the standards (i.e., it is possible, but not encouraged).

Wouldn’t it be convenient if there was a way to create a model that exactly matched the equipment configuration?

We wouldn’t have a blog post if we didn’t already a positive answer to this question! EMDeveloper uses an API provided by the CIMPortal Plus CxModelLibrary. It does not use any sleight of hand or backdoors to create the equipment model. If a CIMPortal Plus user had the desire to do it, they could recreate EMDeveloper on their own. The API provided by CxModelLibrary allows users to programmatically create an EDA-compliant equipment model that exactly matches the desired equipment configuration.

When using programmatic model building, Cimetrix recommends first becoming familiar with the available API and determining the model building approach that works best for your equipment. The Solutions Engineering team at Cimetrix provides a sample application (including source code) that shows how to programmatically build an equipment model. This sample builds an E164-compliant model. In other words, all the expected parameters, events and exceptions and associated structures required by the standards are included as part of the resulting model.eda-programmatic-model-building-2

The EDA standards – and specifically E164 – define the types of data that are required for various components in the equipment. For example, each substrate location in the model is required to implement a SubstrateLocation state model. Moreover, this state model must appear within the equipment node in the model hierarchy that matches the physical structure of the equipment. This sample illustrates best practices in constructing model objects that can be reused based on the type of component. Programmatic model building may take a little more investment up front, but in the end, it can pay big dividends to those equipment providers that may need to change their equipment model on the fly depending on its configuration.

Once a model has been programmatically created/modified, Cimetrix also provides an API for validating the model, deploying the model to be used by an EDA client and creating an Access Control List (ACL) entry to allow a client to securely connect to the interface and gather data.

There is also a provision in the standard for addressing the concern that if the model is updated dynamically, an EDA client may have data collection plans (DCPs) that become out of sync with the modified model. In this case, the client is notified of model changes, and can also be designed to dynamically update the data collection plans based on the changes.

The Cimetrix CIMControlFramework (CCF) product makes use of this programmatic model building functionality. CCF dynamic model building is described in a blog post that you can find here.

To learn more about the EDA/Interface A standards, CIMPortal Plus or programmatic model building, click below and a Cimetrix expert will contact you. 

Topics: Industry Highlights, Semiconductor Industry, EDA/Interface A, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, EDA Best Practices

Industry Standards Activity Report November 2019

Posted by Brian Rubow: Director of Solutions Engineering on Nov 20, 2019 11:00:00 AM

The SEMI North American standards meetings for the Information and Control Committee were held recently and the following is a summary of some of the highlights and action items. 

In the GEM 300 task force, a revision to GEM officially removed E139 as a recipe management option. A planned revision to GEM should be much more exciting and progressive, but this work cannot begin until E30 is published with the current changes. In the meantime, future near-term plans include defining new SECS-II messages to improve host access to data collection setup and some terminology clarification. Brian Rubow from Cimetrix continues to co-lead this task force with Chris Maloney of Intel.

In the DDA (Diagnostics Data Acquisition) task force, which Brian Rubow from Cimetrix continues to co-lead, the standard that establishes gRPC and Protocol Buffers for EDA freeze 3 was approved. However proposed changes to the other core standards E125, E132 and E134 all failed, as well as the gRPC adoption for E132. The failures were expected. Additionally the North America DDA task force leaders continue to actively collaborate with the co-leaders of the DDA task force in South Korea. It is a great example of competitors working together at SEMI to create common solutions that satisfy everyone’s requirements.

Tami Tracy, a Cimetrix Solutions Engineering Manager, was officially voted in as a GUI task force co-leader for 2020, co-leading with Frank Summers. Congratulations and thanks to Tami for volunteering for this position. This will accelerate the task force's plans to modernize the SEMI E95 standard.

The Computer and Device Security (CDS) task force announced a vastly improved collaboration with its sister organization in Taiwan which has officially agreed to "divide and conquer" rather than attempting to address the entire scope of this domain with a single standard. A few months ago, the two groups seemed to be at odds with each other...The Taiwan task force proposed to include all factory and equipment security issues in one effort, while the North American task force wanted to focus initially on the equipment issues. The Taiwan, Japan and North America Task Force Leadership have now agreed to convert the Specification for Malware Free Equipment Integration (SNARF) 6506 into an overarching standard. The CDS task force is moving forward on SNARF 6566, and received authorization for a ballot on this proposed new standard for Cycle 2-2020.

The Advanced Factory Factory Integration (ABFI) task force, headed by Brian Rubow (Director of Solutions Engineering, Cimetrix) and Dave Huntley (PDF Solutions), held its first task force meeting. One order of business is to update E142 substrate mapping. The task force intends to map equipment features to SEMI standards including GEM and GEM 300. This effort could facilitate adoption of the GEM standard on equipment that previously had little interface standardization. It should also encourage further advance the goals of Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 in related industries, encouraging more factories and equipment to adopt the standards that have been so successfully applied in semiconductor manufacturing for decades.

To find out more, you can speak with an industry standards expert today by clicking the link below.

Ask an Expert

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