Common Industry Protocols Used in Semiconductor Manufacturing

  • January 9, 2024

    author: Ramya

Introduction:


The semiconductor industry is a crucial player in the progression of technology and the acceleration of innovation across a wide range of industries. Industry protocols have been devised with the purpose of ensuring that communication within the processes of semiconductor manufacture is both efficient and dependable. In this article, we will investigate some of the most widespread industrial protocols that are utilized in the production of semiconductor devices. We will highlight the significance of these protocols as well as their impact on the manufacturing process.



SECS/GEM (SEMI Equipment Communications Standard/Generic Equipment Model):


In the semiconductor industry, SECS/GEM is a protocol that facilitates communication between manufacturing equipment and host systems. This protocol has gained widespread adoption throughout the years. It offers a uniform user interface for the control of equipment, the collecting of data, and the maintenance of recipes. The SECS/GEM standard defines a collection of messages and transaction sequences for the purpose of controlling and transferring data between the equipment and the host. This standard enables seamless integration and interoperability among various manufacturing tools.


EDA stands for "Equipment Data Acquisition," and the purpose of EDA protocols like Interface A and Interface B is to make the process of data gathering from semiconductor equipment easier. They make it possible to collect data in real time from various pieces of equipment, such as readings from sensors, alarms, and performance measures. In the manufacturing of semiconductors, it is essential to have a method for process monitoring, defect detection, and predictive maintenance. EDA protocols offer a standardized framework for gaining access to and exchanging data from various pieces of equipment.


GEM300 (Generic Equipment Model for 300mm):


The GEM300 protocol is a version of the SECS/GEM protocol that has been specifically optimized for fabrication facilities that use 300mm wafers. GEM300 handles the one-of-a-kind requirements and complications that come along with higher wafer sizes, which is becoming increasingly important as 300mm wafer technology gains popularity. It establishes new standards for increased equipment control, automation, and data management in production environments with a 300mm metric dimension.


OPC stands for "OLE for Process Control" and is an acronym that stands for "Open Architecture for Process Control." OPC is a set of standards that was established by the OPC Foundation to allow interoperability and data sharing across various industrial automation systems. In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, OPC protocols, such as OPC Classic and OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), are utilized extensively for the purpose of linking various pieces of equipment, data servers, and manufacturing execution systems (MES). OPC makes it possible to integrate hardware and software from a wide variety of manufacturers in a seamless manner, which enables more effective data sharing, monitoring, and control across the industrial ecosystem.


SEMI Standards: The Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International organisation, or SEMI, is a global industry organisation that represents the semiconductor and allied sectors. SEMI has established a wide number of standards that encompass many elements of semiconductor manufacturing. These standards cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to equipment communication (SECS/GEM), data acquisition (EDA), wafer tracking (SEMI E84), equipment performance (SEMI E10), and many others. Throughout the supply chain for semiconductor production, compliance with SEMI Standards ensures consistency, interoperability, and the use of best practices.


Protocols for the Manufacturing Execution System (MES): 


MES protocols, such as SEMI E95 and ISA-95, are used for communication between Manufacturing Execution System (MES) systems and other manufacturing systems, including equipment, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and quality management systems. These protocols allow for the efficient transmission of production data, scheduling information, work instructions, and product traceability. As a result, semiconductor manufacturing facilities are able to optimize their operations and make more informed decisions.


(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) TCP/IP is the basic protocol suite used for communication in computer networks, including semiconductor manufacturing environments. TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. It ensures that the movement of data between devices that are connected to the network is both dependable and safe. In the manufacturing of semiconductors, TCP/IP makes it possible to control equipment, exchange data, and perform remote monitoring. These capabilities assist crucial processes like as equipment maintenance, recipe management, and yield monitoring.


RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technique that is used in the manufacturing of semiconductors for wafer and product identification, tracking, and traceability. RFID stands for "radio frequency identification." When mounted to wafers or containers, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags retain one-of-a-kind identification information that can be read remotely. The use of RFID protocols makes it possible to efficiently record and handle data related to the movement of wafers, inventory control, and quality assurance, so improving both the efficiency of the process and the visibility of the product.



Conclusion:


Within the operations of semiconductor production, industry standards play an essential part in facilitating communication that is both efficient and standardized. The acronyms SECS/GEM, EDA, GEM300, OPC, and SEMI Standards, as well as MES protocols, TCP/IP, and RFID, are all examples of typical protocols used in this sector. These protocols make sure that the integration, data sharing, and control of the various pieces of manufacturing equipment, host systems, and other parts of the manufacturing ecosystem are seamless. In the fast advancing field of semiconductor technology, manufacturers of semiconductors can increase their productivity, vastly improve their product's quality, and propel the industry forward in terms of innovation if they embrace and abide by the relevant protocols.