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Semiconductor Industry News, Trends, and Technology, and SEMI Standards Updates

14th Innovations Forum for Automation

The 14th innovations forum for automation was held on January 19 and 20, 2017 at the DGUV Akademie in Dresden, Germany.

14-Innovations-forum-snow.jpgCimetrix was one of the sponsors of the conference.  Dresden is hot bed for semiconductor manufacturing in Europe.  In fact, 50% of the chip output from Europe comes from Dresden. The conference is organized by the Automation Network Dresden which consists of 5 Dresden based companies; AIS, HAP, Ortner, SYSTEMA and Xenon.  SYSTEMA is a Cimetrix partner and helps us with integration projects. 

The focus of the conference is to bring the latest information on best practices, new technologies and the future of automation.  Themes this year were Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things).  Presentations by Bosch about their automation roadmap, Infineon about running experiments in a highly automated fab, Kostal about standardizing MES, and IAV about the challenges of automated driving where a few of the interesting case studies and technologies.  This is a great conference to meet semiconductor professionals from Europe and learn what the European community is doing in the area of fab automation. For Cimetrix, it is good to see that equipment to host connectivity plays a key role in all the projects outlined during the conference. Sponsoring and attending gave us the opportunity to meet with current customers and start discussions with new potential customers. 


Before the conference, SYSTEMA held an Expert Day session at the SYSTEMA facility in Dresden on the morning of January 19.  The session was a series of presentations targeting predictive maintenance.  SYSTEMA and its partners have a wealth of experience in this area.  



Topics: SEMI, Events, Germany

Don’t Miss this Webinar – Industry 4.0, IIoT, and the Semiconductor Industry

Posted by Cimetrix on Sep 20, 2016 1:11:00 PM

Wikipedia graphic putting Industrie 4.0 in historical context (Figure 1)


If the attendance at the most recent SEMICON West and SEMICON Taiwan trade shows are any indication, the terms “Smart Manufacturing”, “Industry 4.0” and “IIoT” (Industrial Internet of Things) have indeed gained recognition and momentum as the rallying cry for the 4th industrial revolution (see figure 1).

In order to reach an even broader audience, the folks at Extension Media will host a free Webinar next week (September 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EDT) with the provocative title “Is the Semiconductor Industry Ready for Industry 4.0 and the IIoT?”

Cimetrix’ VP of New Product Innovations, Alan Weber, is one of the presenters, and will make the case that the industry IS in fact ready for Industry 4.0 and the IIoT by virtue of the latest generations of SEMI Standards that support the kind of connectivity and control required by components of a Smart Manufacturing environment. He will not only show how the evolution of these standards has kept pace with the industry’s automation requirements for almost three decades, but also describe a number of concrete factory application examples that directly leverage the model-based aspects of the latest standards to achieve “plug-and-play” status across multiple process areas.

Sharing the agenda for the Webinar is Tom Sonderman, the VP and General Manager of Rudolph Technologies’ Software Business Unit. Tom has over 20 years of direct experience in the world-class Advanced Precision Manufacturing organizations of AMD and GLOBALFOUNDRIES before joining Rudolph, so there are few people in the world more qualified than he to talk about our industry’s automation capabilities.

The link for this webinar was published in Solid State Technology’s September 19 edition of “The Pulse,” but in case you missed it, you can register now by clicking below.

Register Now

This Webinar promises to be an exciting and informative session – don’t miss it!

Topics: Events, SEMICON, IoT

European Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing Conference XVI in Review

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Apr 19, 2016 2:01:05 PM


Cimetrix participated in the recent European Advanced Process Control and Manufacturing (apc|m) Conference, along with more than 130 control professionals across the European and global semiconductor manufacturing industry. The conference was held in Reutlingen, Germany, a picturesque city of stone and half-timber buildings just south of Stuttgart.


This conference, now in its 16th year, is one of only a few global events dedicated to the domain of semiconductor process control and directly supporting technologies. The conference’s attendance this year was comparable in numbers and demographics to that of the previous two years, a clear indication that this area continues to hold keen interest for the European high-tech manufacturing community. Another highlight this year was the sponsorship of Bosch, a relative newcomer to the conference but a pillar of the German manufacturing industry. Reutlingen is home to Bosch’s automotive electronics division and its related semiconductor manufacturing facilities, so they were very well represented in the conference and excellent hosts!

Cimetrix was privileged to make two presentations at this year's conference. The first was entitled “Data Fusion at the Source: Standards and Technologies for Seamless Sensor Integration,” authored and delivered by myself. The external sensor integration and related data unification topics have enjoyed increasing interest over the past year, and even though the techniques outlined in the presentation leverage the latest versions of the Equipment Data Acquisition (EDA)/Interface A standards, they apply equally well for the 200mm manufacturing nodes prevalent in European wafer fabs and assembly/test factories. The solution architecture is shown in the slide below, but for the background and rationale behind this approach, feel free to download a copy of the entire presentation from our website by clicking on the link below.


 Download the Presentation


The second presentation, entitled “'Smart Manufacturing' solutions for high-mix manufacturing using Wait-Time-Waste improvement opportunities” was authored by Jan Driessen, a Principal Industrial Engineer with NXP Semiconductor in the Netherlands. It summarized the work of a project team from six companies and as many countries, and funded by the European Union's “integrate” program (cover page is on the left). Because of an unexpected work conflict during the conference, however, Jan was unable to attend, and, based on our companies’ shared interest in the Wait-Time-Waste technology and standards over the past several years, he thought that Cimetrix would be well qualified to give his presentation. I willingly agreed, worked with Jan to make sure I understood the latest material, and made the presentation. It essentially makes a compelling case for using equipment event data in a legacy 200mm fab to improve OEE, operational effectiveness, and factory capacity through a “chain of data operations” paradigm that he explains in some detail. The good news for 300mm fabs is that these same results can even more readily be achieved, because the availability and fidelity of the event data is much higher, especially if the fab has a full GEM300/EDA E164-compliant system infrastructure. For more information, request a copy of this presentation directly from Jan Driessen at jan.p.driessen@nxp.com.

Other themes that were evident at the conference included 1) applications of APC and supporting metrology techniques for structures found in smart sensors, MEMS devices, LEDs, and other semiconductor products outside the traditional processor and memory segments; 2) increasing emphasis on equipment data collection in the back end to support productivity monitoring and control applications; 3) unit process control for a number of equipment types; and 4) an entire session devoted to industrial engineering topics.

As with other similar conferences around the globe, the takeaway for Cimetrix is that “Smart Manufacturing,” Industrie 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), advanced process control and fault detection applications, “big data” analytics, and a host of other high-tech manufacturing technologies all depend on the ability to get the right data at the right time from the right sources on the factory floor, and then make it available wherever and whenever needed… For more information about how Cimetrix’s product families that directly address this “sweet spot,” please contact us.

Topics: SEMI Standards, Interface A, EDA, Events, Data

2015 Advanced Process Control (APC) Conference Focused on High Quality Equipment Data

Posted by Alan Weber: Vice President, New Product Innovations on Oct 23, 2015 1:00:00 PM





Cimetrix participated in the recent Advanced Process Control (APC) Conference in Austin, Texas, along with more than 120 control professionals across the semiconductor manufacturing industry. This conference, now in its 27th year, is one of only a few global events dedicated to the domain of semiconductor process control and directly supporting technologies, so it was encouraging to see its attendance and energy level rebound from its low water mark a few years ago. The calendar may have indicated it was fall, but nobody told the weather forecasters… Austin set temperature records that week, even hitting 99°F one day!

Given the importance of high quality equipment data for all types of equipment- and factory-level process control applications, it is vital that Cimetrix and its customers understand the current requirements and future direction of this industry segment. Many presentations addressed these topics indirectly, but perhaps the newest insights in this regard came not from the wafer fabrication processes, but rather from the Back End, OSAT (Outsourced Assembly and Test), and advanced packaging segments.

As evidence, a number of presenters mentioned the growing need for equipment data collection in these areas, and cited the following reasons: 1) increasing demands by the consumer product manufacturing customers of these facilities (especially smart phone providers, but others as well) for equipment data to support their product quality and supply chain optimization initiatives; 2) emphasis on the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) productivity metrics, and the event/status data needed to support their automated calculation; 3) broader deployment of multi-variate Fault Detection and Classification (FDC) applications, which require more equipment trace data parameters than have typically been collected from back end equipment; and finally, 4) actual feedback control based on back end metrology – the best example of this presented last week was an application on dicing equipment that showed how kerf data collection and analysis can be used to adjust saw process parameters

The takeaway for Cimetrix in all this is that the back end equipment suppliers will need to anticipate this demand and may need to upgrade their interface capabilities substantially.

Since some of Cimetrix’ customers have pioneered the application of the latest generation of SEMI EDA (Equipment Data Acquisition) / Interface A standards in plumbing data from external “add-on” sensors to fault detection applications, I presented a generalization of this approach during one of technical sessions. This presentation, “Data Fusion at the Source: Standards and Technologies for Seamless Sensor Integration” is available on the Cimetrix website for those who want to learn more about how this is done.

05_Weber_Presentation_Cover.jpg       Download Presentation  

Check back next week to learn more about creating good EDA/Interface A purchasing specifications.

Topics: Equipment Data Acquisition, Market Trends, Interface A, EDA, Events, Data Management, Data

SCW10 Follow Up

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 19, 2010 4:48:00 PM

We've returned home from the show... tired, but excited about some of the great discussions and opportunities from the show! Although it was evident that SEMICON West is changing, it was also clear that the industry is rebounding and many new projects are getting underway.

Here a couple of quick snap shots of our booth:

SEMICON West 2010 Booth

SEMICON West 2010 booth 2

We will be following up with visitors and customers this week. If you saw us at the show, thanks for stopping by and we look forward to continuing the conversation!

Also as reminder, from now until August 27, you can catch up on keynotes and select presentations at the Virtual SEMICON West site: http://vsemiconwest.semineedle.com/

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, SEMICON West, Semiconductor News, Events, SEMICON

Updates from SEMICON West 2010

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 14, 2010 7:50:00 PM

We're having a great time at SEMICON West 2010!

Attendance (and the industry) is up and everyone is in good spirits. We've met with several customers introducing them to our new GEM Framework as well as our equipment automation solution, CIMControlFramework. The 1st day of SCW10 produced more leads for Cimetrix than the entire 2008 show!

The Cimetrix team has also been busy attending several industry and SEMI standards related events. Yesterday, Dave Faulkner, EVP of Sales & Marketing, facilitated the PV Group's interactive workshop: "The Middle Ground – The Role of Industry Collaboration in PV Manufacturing to Accelerate the Path towards a Sustainable Energy Future." In addition, Brian Rubow, Product Manager, was named the new GEM300 Task Force co-chair.

Today, Interface A is creating some buzz at the show. ISMI officially announced the new Freeze Version. During the ISMI eManufacturing workshop, Les Marshall, of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, publically stated that they need E148, E157, and Interface A. This is great news for Cimetrix - who invested early on in its development of Interface A Software Solutions! (Read Dave Faulkner's earlier post on the importance of Interface A data and Brian Rubow's earlier post on the need to "Be Prepared" for the new Freeze Version)

If you're at the show, please stop by and say, "hello." Cimetrix's booth is located in the south hall in booth #2331.

Topics: SEMICON West, Events, SEMICON

SEMICON West 2010

Posted by Cimetrix on Jul 8, 2010 12:57:00 PM

describe the imageThe semiconductor industry's largest event of the year, SEMICON West, is right around the corner.  And with the market in recovery, we expect it to be a good turn out and a great show.

This year, Cimetrix has several exciting new developments to discuss at the show:

  • GEM Implementation - Faster & Better
    We've been at work developing a new solution that enables an even faster GEM implementation... while still improving the already high level of quality you've come to expect from Cimetrix. Designed to cover 90% of typical GEM interfaces, the new solution helps reduce time to market (and headaches) for our customers.
  • The Year for Interface A - Are you Ready?
    ISMI announced the new Freeze Version of the Interface A Standards on June 17. Also, with increased SEMI investment and fabs requiring implementation, this has quickly become a hot topic. Is your software able to support multiple versions of the Interface A standard at the same time? Are you set up to adopt the new version effectively and efficiently?

We would love the opportunity to discuss your unique needs and projects with you further at the show.

schedule meeting button2

Not registered for the show?  Email us for a free pass.

We will be in the South Hall - Booth #2331.

See you at the show!

Topics: SECS/GEM, Semiconductor Industry, SEMI, Interface A, Semiconductor News, Events

2010 Annual Shareholders Meeting

Posted by Cimetrix on May 24, 2010 10:12:00 AM

This weekend, we held our Annual Shareholder's Meeting at our corporate headquarters in Salt lake City, UT.  We had a good turn out of shareholders, board members, and employees. Company executives shared about the company - who we are and what we do - as well as the financial results of 2009 and our goals for 2010.

 Cimetrix Board of Directors

Cimetrix Shareholders Meeting

Cimetrix Employees

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Topics: Events, Investor News

Visit Us at SEMICON Japan 2009

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 30, 2009 12:42:00 PM

This week, SEMICON Japan 2009 will be invading the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. The largest international exhibition of semiconductor equipment and materials, vistors can expect over 1500 exhibiting companies as well as co-organized events including the SEMI Technology Symposium (STS). SEMICON Japan takes place Wednesday, December 2 - Friday, December 4.Exhibits will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Cimetrix representatives will be available for discussions and meetings at the Rorze booth in Hall 4, #4B-509. To view the map of Hall 4, please click here. Please stop by to learn about our new tool control solution, CIMControlFramework™.

We hope to see you there!

You might also be interested in:

Topics: Semiconductor Industry, SEMI, SEMICON Japan, Events, SEMICON, Rorze

New to the Interface A Standards?

Posted by Cimetrix on Nov 3, 2009 11:16:00 AM

Interface A WebinarIndustry organizations, such as SEMI and ISMI, have been touting the benefits of the Interface A, also known as EDA, standards for years. This year, SEMI approved an important revision to these standards to incorporate many of the lessons learned from early implementations. In addition, SEMATECH member companies (which make up 50 percent of the worldwide chip market) wanted ISMI to focus on a smaller number of projects with short-term benefits for 2009. Interface A (EDA) is on this short list.

Want to learn more?

Cimetrix is hosting a FREE webinar outlining the features and benefits of the Interface A standards. The material will be presented by Doug Rust, Director of Quality Customer Support and co-chair of the SEMI North America GEM300 Task Force.

FREE WEBINAR: Interface A Features & Benefits
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009
Time: 8:00 am MST/ 7:00 am PST/ 10:00 am EST/ 3:00 pm GMT
Duration: 1 hour

Learn from Cimetrix's experienced engineering staff just what the Interface A standards are and how you can benefit from better quality and higher quantity data.
  • The key features & benefits of Interface A
  • Data & reporting features available through Interface A
  • The role of Interface A in manufacturing

You may also be interested in:


Topics: Equipment Data Acquisition, SEMI Standards, Interface A, Events

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