SEMI GEM300 Standards Overview

GEM, or SECS/GEM was the initial approach for enabling IC makers to communicate and control wafer fabrication equipment. The introduction of 300mm wafers, with the attending demand for solutions that enabled far greater automation, created a whole new set of challenges. The GEM300 standards were developed by SEMI to solve these challenges.

Why did SEMI extend the SECS/GEM standard to GEM300?

Prior to the development of 300mm wafers, IC manufacturers required equipment suppliers to support only the SECS-II/GEM SEMI standards with basic features for controlling and monitoring the equipment. This included SECS-II messaging (E5), GEM (E30), and either the HSMS (E37) or RS-232 (E4) transport protocol standard. With the move to larger and heavier 300mm wafer sizes and plans to maximize production throughput via automation, semiconductor factories required automated material delivery to and from each unit of equipment. They also required remote equipment configuration and control. In order to achieve this, additional communication standards were created to manage the material delivery, configure the equipment processing, and track the material.

Today, IC makers require production equipment to comply with the SEMI GEM300 standards, including at least the following SEMI standards:

  • E39 Object Services Standard: Concepts, Behavior, and Services
  • E40 Standard for Processing Management
  • E87 Specification for Carrier Management (CMS)
  • E90 Specification for Substrate Tracking
  • E94 Specification for Control Job Management

These standards allow the factory to control and monitor the equipment in a consistent way to implement automation. These standards are built upon the SEMI standard E30 (GEM).

Additional standards may also be required, such as:

In order to develop industry-wide standards all equipment suppliers and IC makers could agree to and use, the GEM300 standards were developed by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) organization, the trade association serving the global semiconductor equipment, materials, and flat panel display industries. SEMI represents approximately 2,400 members. For more information on SEMI, please visit their website at

Transport Protocol Standard – E37

The Transport Protocol Standards define how messages are transferred between the host and equipment. The SEMI E37 High-Speed SECS Message Services (HSMS) standard defines a TCP/IP based Ethernet connection. HSMS-SS is the single session implementation of this standard for point-to-point communication between one host and one equipment. 

HSMS is the transport protocol required in all 300mm fabs.

Message Format Standard – E5

The SEMI E5 Equipment Communications Standard 2 Message Format (SECS-II) standard defines a library of messages available for use in the GEM300 standards. E5 defines the structure of the messages as well as a list of data types that are allowed, including ASCII, binary, Boolean, floating point, and signed and unsigned integers.

GEM 300 Standards

The GEM300 standards describe how and when to use specific SECS-II messages.

SEMI Standard Description Function
Required for GEM300 Compliance
E30 Generic Model for Communications and Control of Manufacturing Equipment (GEM) Defines when a certain SECS-II message should be used, in what situations, and what the resulting activity should be
E39 Object Services Standard: Concepts, Behavior, and Services Defines how various types of objects are dynamically created and deleted during material processing. Specifies object attribute interaction
E40 Standard for Processing Management Process job management is concerned with the processing of material by a processing resource. It's function is to ensure that material delivered to the process module is processed with the correct recipe
E87 Specification for Carrier Management (CMS) Standardizes the coordination, execution, and completion of automated and manual carrier transfers to and from the equipment and, if it exists, its internal buffer space
E90 Specification for Substrate Tracking Defines a standard means for tracking substrates in manufacturing in the same manner as E87 does for Carriers
E94 Specification for Control Job Management Provides a supervisory level of control for Process Jobs on material processing equipment, allowing hosts to manage complex processing scenarios. 
Additional GEM300 Standards that may be specified by the IC maker
E116 Specification for Equipment Performance Tracking (EPT) Enables the host computer to track basic equipment performance in an automated and consistent manner without operator or host input
E148 Specification for Time Synchronization and Definition of the TS-Clock Object Synchronize all the equipment clocks to provide a meaningful reference when reviewing collected data and events
E157 Specification for Module Process Tracking (MPT) Provides a common paradigm for equipment to report data associated with recipe step execution without requiring equipment to change existing recipe definitions.


GEM300 Standards Compliance

Many factories require an equipment to pass compliance testing as part of the basic equipment acceptance. Most of the standards have a published compliance checklist, which outlines the functionality the IC manufacturers require. The degree of compliance is included and explained in the equipment's GEM & 300mm Interface Manual. Every GEM compliant unit of equipment must include a GEM interface manual.

In order to comply with these specifications for 300mm wafer manufacturing, equipment makers must provide:

  1. Hardware and software to implement the HSMS-SS standard as the Transport Protocol
  2. Software to implement the Message Format Standard, SECS-II
  3. Software to implement each of the required GEM 300 Standards including software to integrate these standards into the equipment.
  4. Software to integrate the SEMI standards into the equipment

Cimetrix Incorporated GEM300 Software Solution

Cimetrix offers a GEM300 software development kit called CIM300™. Our product documentation, training, working examples (including a complete sample application usable as a starting point), and world-class support make our products easy for equipment suppliers to use to implement the GEM300 standards on their equipment.