Photovoltaic (PV) Manufacturing and Connectivity Standards

In 2008, the Photovoltaic Equipment Interface Specification task force decided to use SEMI SECS-II (E5), GEM (E30), and HSMS (E37) standards as the foundation for host communication throughout the photovoltaic industry. The result was the new SEMI PV2 standard.

Manufacturers in the photovoltaic industry can gain greater efficiency, faster equipment integration, and reduced operating expenses by using the PV2 standard.

Cimetrix is an expert in the SEMI factory connectivity standardsb, and we have been working with members of the PV manufacturing community to implement the SECS/GEM standards. We have been actively involved in the PV-EIS Task Force since its inception, and we have an in-depth understanding of the unique requirements of PV manufacturing. In addition, Cimetrix is a member of the PV Group, a SEMI-sponsored special interest group serving the PV serving the manufacturing chain.

QCellsQ-Cells has been very active in the PV-EIS task force. We immediately decided to adopt the SECS/GEM for PV specifications outlined by the taskforce as the standard interface between the equipment and the MES in our PV manufacturing facilities. We believe adoption of the new standard will decrease integration time, increase yield and decrease the total cost of ownership of the equipment.

Matthias Bartels at Q-Cells

To read more about the industries Cimetrix supports, visit our Industries page.

PV Equipment Connectivity Software Solutions for PV2

Cimetrix is the industry's most trusted source for efficient implementation of the SEMI standards, including SECS/GEM and SEMI 300mm Standards. We have a complete set of proven and tested software products for both Equipment Suppliers and the Host/ Fab. Combining our technically superior products with our Professional Services for PV Manufacturing, we offer the industry's only total solution. Request a FREE architecture discussion with a application engineer to further understand your needs.

Equipment Supplier Products

The CIMConnectTM software development kit enables equipment suppliers to quickly develop host equipment communications interfaces and is specifically designed to allow easy customization of the protocol and message format. The CIMConnect architecture allows equipment suppliers to support the PV2 protocol defined by the PV-EIS Task Force and any future protocols that may be defined as the industry matures. The current release supports the GEM, SECS-I, SECS-II, and HSMS standards. CIMConnect also supplies the tools to support the GEM 300 SEMI standards. CIMConnect includes TESTConnect™ and SECSConnect™.

As an active member of the PV-EIS Task Force and the PV manufacturing community, Cimetrix understands not only the requirements included in the PV2 standards, but also the additional factory demands yet to be adopted industry-wide. CIMConnect provides a robust, long-term solution with included functionality beyond the new standards.

  • MULTI-CLIENT: CIMConnect is the first and only GEM product to support multiple host connections, allowing users to simultaneously support any legacy interfaces and communicate with more than one GEM host. This feature reduces software development time, maintenance, and lines of code for our customers while improving overall quality.
  • WIDE-SPREAD USE: CIMConnect is fast becoming the emerging leader for implementing the SECS/GEM standards. This proven and tested solution enables faster fab acceptance and time to market for our customers. To date, Cimetrix has shipped over 10,000 GEM interfaces to the semiconductor, SMT and photovoltaic industries.
  • PERFORMANCE: CIMConnect is fast! If you have a demanding application, ask our solution architects about configuring CIMConnect for maximum performance.

Centrothermcentrotherm chose CIMConnect primarily based on its robust functionality as well as the decreased integration time and developer learning curve compared to the other options considered. I also contribute Cimetrix's design win to the length of time the product has been in the market and its widespread use on tools worldwide.

Hans-Peter Jakob, Head of Software Development for centrotherm


For more information on the CIMConnect product, please visit the CIMConnect Resources Page.

Fab/Host Products

TESTConnect is an easy-to-use graphical point-and-click testing tool that can be used for generating and logging host or equipment SECS-II message scenarios. TESTConnect is designed so personnel with minimal programming knowledge can easily perform SECS testing or characterization.

For more information on the TESTConnect product, please visit the TESTConnect Resources Page.

SECSConnect is a library for creating host or equipment software applications using SECS-II messaging over HSMS-SS or SECS-I and it enables the user to write automated tests.

For more information on the SECSConnect product, please visit the SECSConnect Resources Page.

Photovoltaic (PV) Manufacturing Factory Automation Services

While the SECS/GEM, and subsequently the PVECI, standards provide an excellent foundation for equipment interfaces, they certainly do not guarantee that the equipment supplier will meet factory expectations with a useful and thorough implementation. Cimetrix provides the opportunity for equipment suppliers to benefit from its engineering experience to ensure the factory's satisfaction.

Although CIMConnect can be purchased as an off-the-shelf product to implement the new PV2 standards, some customers have very tight time schedules, limited resources and/or no experience with these standards. For first-time SECS/GEM interfaces and even first time CIMConnect users, bundling Cimetrix integration services with the CIMConnect product can be the most cost-effective solution. It allows customers to implement a first-class SECS/GEM interface the first time and establish a solid framework and example for other machines, future projects, and future versions. Cimetrix can provide as little as a few days of consultation and advanced training to help customers start with a great design. Alternatively, we can provide extensive custom software that involves minimal customer resources to complete the SECS/GEM interface.

Cimetrix Global Services utilize a disciplined software engineering lifecycle to ensure customer satisfaction and quick end user acceptance. Please ask us for references from satisfied PV equipment suppliers. Also, you can request a FREE architecture discussion with a application engineer to further understand your needs.

PLC Bridge

Many PV equipment manufacturers use scan-based PLC controllers for real time control. Cimetrix has developed a PLC bridge to facilitate easy movement of data from most popular PLC controllers to the GEM interface using OPC or vendor specific proprietary protocols. Using this tool, Cimetrix engineers can quickly develop a GEM solution for your PV equipment.

PV Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) Experience

The PV industry has different needs from a typical semiconductor MES solution. Cimetrix has direct experience interfacing with the most common MES solutions used by PV Manufactuerers, thereby helping our customers gain fast equipment acceptance.

To read more about the industries Cimetrix supports, visit our Industries page.