The Software Framework for Equipment Automation

CIMControlFramework CIMControlFramework™ is an equipment automation framework based on the latest Microsoft .NET technology. The CIMControlFramework equipment control solution allows OEMs to meet the supervisory control, material handling, platform and process control and factory automation requirements of the fabs. Equipment suppliers can leverage framework components through configuration and extension, or customize when unique requirements exist.

CIMControlFramework, unlike one-off solutions, is supported and maintained as a product with upgrades, improvements, and performance enhancements.

With a data-driven architecture at the core of the framework, data generated at any point on the tool can be quickly and easily accessed by any other module or external application. This next generation tool control solution allows equipment suppliers to focus their resources on process technology and product differentiation, providing a sustainable solution for meeting the requirements of today, tomorrow, and the future.


Our customers [were] demanding high-speed, dependable information from tool suppliers in order to improve yield, productivity and reliability. Axcelis and Cimetrix developed software for our Integra RS tool using CIMControlFramework to deliver optimum data collection, storage, management and analysis. Process and equipment engineers now have more information accessible to them for accurate monitoring and troubleshooting, saving them time and improving performance of the toolset.

Bill Bintz, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Axcelis Technologies, Inc.

CIMControlFramework Conceptual Model

CIMControlFramework consists of interoperating components with concrete interfaces. New components can be easily added and take advantage of existing services (e.g. status messaging logging). Components can also be distributed over a network of computers or concentrated on a single computer as dictated by performance and cost requirements. In some cases, it might be necessary to replace an individual component in order to address a unique set of requirements. The modular architecture of CIMControlFramework permits component replacement without impacting the reliability of the rest of the framework. 


Integration Example

Consider a next generation tool that will leverage an existing process control solution. The process control application can be integrated with CIMControlFramework by simply implementing a set of well-defined interfaces. The scheduler interface coordinates job execution with the process controller (e.g. substrate delivery, recipe execution). The data collection interface module combined with CIMPortal™ Plus makes process controller data available to all interested clients. The recipe management interface exchanges process recipe content and/or meta-data. The alarm management interface allows the process controller to notify the supervisory controller, and factory, of exceptions.


What Makes CIMControlFramework Unique?CIMControlFramwork Architecture

Data-Driven Architecture

Fabs demand more and higher quality data for process improvements and overall equipment efficiency (OEE). The data-driven architecture, at the core of this equipment automation framework, utilizes the power of Cimetrix's CIMPortal Plus product as a high speed data router, to provide a high bandwidth backbone for diagnostics and process data that is fed to multiple applications within the tool and to external factory interfaces. Data generated at any point on the tool can be quickly and easily accessed by any other module or external application. Additional functionality enables equipment suppliers as well as device manufacturers to make data-driven decisions to optimize productivity through predictive maintenance, data quality, fault detection, recipe and parameter management and APC/SPC.

Service-Oriented Architecture

Monolithic software applications cannot provide the level of modularity, flexibility and extensibility of a truly configurable framework. This equipment automation framework is composed of services, with well defined interfaces, that can be reused in new ways to solve new problems and replaced or configured without impacting the reliability of the other components. The interfaces between CIMControlFramework modules are transport layer and programming language neutral. This allows existing OEM software (e.g. process control applications) to communicate with CIMControlFramework regardless of the underlying programming technology.

Latest Microsoft Technologies

Created with the latest Microsoft™ development technologies, the flexible framework can be applied to a wide variety of equipment types and provides unique configuration capabilities to address specific equipment control requirements. Visual Studio and the .NET framework dramatically increase efficiencies throughout the software lifecycle. CIMControlFramework leverages these tools to decrease OEM development costs.

Product Approach

Unlike other solutions, CIMControlFramework is supported and maintained as a product. OEMs can benefit from the improvements, upgrades, and enhancements of a continuously improving tool control product.

Key Product Features

Supervisory Control

CIMControlFramework provides a complete and configurable supervisory control solution.

  • User Interface (E95) - The user interface server supports multiple local or remote clients. A complete set of standard user interface 'screens' is included (e.g. job management, configuration, recipe management, process data viewer, etc.).
  • Control Jobs (E94) and Process Jobs (E40) - Job management functionality is built-in. Historical job data is recorded and can be reviewed.
  • Recipe Management - Recipes are organized into production and engineering namespaces. Recipe changes are traceable.
  • Scheduler - Jobs are converted into work-items which are sequenced based on configurable business rules.
  • Data Analysis - Run-time and archival data is analyzed. On-tool data visualization is supported.

Factory Automation

CIMControlFramework leverages Cimetrix's industry-leading factory automation solutions: CIMConnect™ for SECS/GEM, CIM300™ for GEM300, and CIMPortal Plus for on-tool data collection and Interface A.

  • Carrier Management (E87) — All aspects of carrier delivery and verification are implemented.
  • Substrate Tracking (E90) — The equipment automation framework manages tracking of each substrate from arrival to departure.
  • Local Operation — The CIMControlFramework supervisory controller supports local and remote operation modes.
  • 200mm Operation Mode — This tool control solution emulates the 200mm SECS/GEM interface and converts process-related remote commands into Control Jobs and Process Jobs to preserve consistent operation.

Platform Control

CIMControlFramework includes support for common substrate handling platforms and can be extended to support new or custom platforms.
Alternatively, an existing platform control application can be integrated.

  • Flexible Platform Control
    • Cluster Tools
    • Single-Wafer Tools (e.g. metrology)
    • Batch Tools
    • 200mm/300mm/Bridge
    • Custom Substrates
  • Platform Modules
    • EFEM
    • Transfer Modules
    • Loadport
  • Device Control
    • Robots
    • Vacuum System Control
    • Distributed I/O

Process Control

CIMControlFramework can be integrated with existing process control solutions. Alternatively, new process control applications can be created based on the process control framework included with the product.

  • Flexible Process Module Configuration
    • Single-Wafer
    • Min-Batch
    • Batch
  • Process Module
    • Substrate Handoff
    • Recipe Execution
    • Status and Data Reporting
  • Device Control
    • Gas/Liquid Supply Control
    • Temp Control
    • Pressure Control


  • Simulation — CIMControlFramework can realistically simulate equipment behavior to enable testing when equipment is not available.
  • Configuration Management — Any module can extend the data model and access current configuration information. Configuration changes are annotated and recorded for traceability.
  • Logging — Any module can publish status information to a shared service which records the information.

Related SEMI Standards

  • SEMI E5 SEMI Equipment Communications Standard 2 Message Content (SECS-II)
  • SEMI E30 Generic Model for Communications and Control of Manufacturing Equipment (GEM)
  • SEMI E37 High-Speed SECS Message Services (HSMS)
  • SEMI E39 Object Services Standard: Concepts, Behavior, and Services
  • SEMI E40 Standard for Processing Management
  • SEMI E84 Specification for Enhanced Carrier Handoff Parallel I/O Interface
  • SEMI E87 Specification for Carrier Management (CMS)
  • SEMI E90 Specification for Substrate Tracking
  • SEMI E94 Specification for Control Job Management
  • SEMI E95 Specification for User Interface
  • SEMI E99 Specification for SECS-I and SECS-II Protocol for Carrier ID Reader/Writer Functional Standard
  • SEMI E116 Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking
  • SEMI E120 Specification for the Common Equipment Model (CEM)
  • SEMI E125 Specification for Equipment Self Description (EqSD)
  • SEMI E132 Specification for Equipment Client Authentication and Authorization
  • SEMI E134 Specification for Data Collection Management
  • SEMI E148 Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object
  • SEMI E157 Specification for Module Process Tracking (MPT)
  • SEMI E164 Specification for EDA Common Metadata