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SECSIM Pro+ data sheet

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SECSIM Pro®+ makes it possible for users with or without programming experience to develop robust test and simulation applications based on the SECS protocol. Acting as either a host or equipment, SECSIM Pro+ allows you to simulate either end of the communications link for efficient, cost-effective testing. SECSIM Pro+ supports multiple lines for complex testing and simulation, enabling the simultaneous use of several ports and providing the ability to implement a wide range of validation strategies.

Software testing expertise

PEER Group® provides three automation software testing products to the high-technology manufacturing market:

  • SECSIM Pro+ - The first SECS/GEM simulation product on the market, and still the one most widely used, it provides a fast, easy way to test SECS/GEM equipment for basic communications as well as for compliance with host-driven operational scenarios.
  • CCS Product Suite - Used to test semiconductor equipment for 300mm automation compliance.
  • PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) - PEER Group’s most advanced and powerful test application, it is targeted for users looking to perform comprehensive testing of equipment performance and software reliability against real-life, complex automation scenarios.

Each product delivers a different set of capabilities to meet the needs of any user. All three are used by both high-volume manufacturers (e.g., wafer fabs) and equipment suppliers to assure that SECS/GEM based equipment will meet the factory owners’ need for reliable factory automation communications and control. You can learn more about these products on our website.

Basic operation

Using SECSIM Pro+’s Windows® interface, you can execute testing using three methods. The first, and most straight-forward, is by sending messages manually using SML (SECS Message Language). Users often deploy this method during early phases of test script development or while troubleshooting specific communication or automation sequencing problems. 

The majority of testing, however, is performed using SSL™ (SECS Script Language), an easy-to-use scripting language designed specifically for automation testing of SECS-based equipment. PEER Group provides many useful scripts for popular automation scenarios. As a third method, utilizing SECSIM Pro+’s IPC (InterProcess Communication) mechanism, users can have any application interact with SSL scripts, giving the script-writer increased flexibility when designing SECS simulation and testing scenarios.

Strong user base

SECSIM Pro+ is the fourth generation of the SECSIM product line, which, over the past 20 years, has developed the largest installed base of active users, estimated at over 1,000. This includes multiple users at many IC manufacturers and at least one user at nearly every semiconductor equipment manufacturer worldwide. The advantages of this larger user base include:

  • Sharing of SECSIM Pro+ scripts - High-volume manufacturers can send SECSIM Pro+ scripts to their suppliers for compliance testing.
  • Strong user base - A Google search on ‘SECSIM’ reveals numerous resumes of automation software engineers with SECSIM experience. Going to LinkedIn and searching for ‘SECSIM’ results in more than three pages of LinkedIn users who list SECSIM as a skill-set, as of this writing.
  • Software reliability - With literally tens of thousands of hours of use across the globe, SECSIM Pro+ defects have been reduced to near zero. Our support call log for SECSIM Pro+ is practically non-existent.

Applications

Automation engineers use SECSIM Pro+ in the semiconductor (wafer, assembly, and test), MEMS, LED, Solar/PV (wafer and thin film), and electronics industries. There are four primary applications:

  • Host simulator - Both factory owners and equipment suppliers use SECSIM Pro+ to test equipment automation compliance. This starts with basic SECS message validation and data transfer, and can expand to include automation scenario testing. In order to quickly develop a host simulator, many users first attach SECSIM Pro+ to the host as an equipment simulator. Using the disk log, messages sent from the host can be captured on disk and used to generate the host message set.
  • Equipment simulator - SECSIM Pro+ can be configured as an equipment simulator in order to test a station controller application. Users write scripts that react to host commands, quickly validating the SECS messages of a host computer. Scripts can also be created to make robust equipment simulators for long-duration testing.
  • GEM compliance testing - SECSIM Pro+ can validate the GEM interface on any equipment, and is an approved test tool for Equipment Interface Characterization Test Procedures and GEM compliance testing. The ISMI-approved GEMTEST Project, included with SECSIM Pro+, is easy to configure and can test all GEM communication scenarios and equipment-specific data.
  • Field troubleshooting - SECSIM Pro+’s small footprint consumes little disk space and runs on any Windows notebook PC, enabling engineers to maintain a copy that is readily available for automation testing.

Easy to use

SECSIM Pro+ has numerous capabilities that make it easy to use and increase productivity. As a fourth generation product, SECSIM Pro+ has improved with each iteration, becoming more powerful, more versatile, and easier to use. Some of its user-friendly features include:

  • View SECS messages before transmission - A Message Viewer Window allows the operator to view static SECS messages before transmission. If a field needs to be changed, simply edit the data in an edit window and click on the message, which is automatically checked for errors before being sent.
  • Object-based SSL - SSL is designed to work with SECS message data, such as objects, data items, SECS messages, communications ports, and device IDs. These are manipulated via specific keywords in SSL (e.g., Decode, SendPrimary, and EnablePort). Waiting for messages and sending replies are also based on message objects.
  • SSL supports procedural-based scripts and state machine logic - SECSIM Pro+’s powerful procedural based SECS Scripting Language (SSL) is easy to use and familiar to experienced software and test engineers. SSL’s rich set of scripting keywords aids in the rapid development of compact and efficient scripts. SSL fully supports state machine logic, which is a good choice for simple tasks.
  • Familiar software design environments - SSL’s familiar C-style script environment lends itself to modular designs and reusable script components, allowing you to organize your tests or simulations based on projects. This makes it easy to organize your work, sharing data and scripts among projects or keeping them specific to each project.
  • Comprehensive documentation - SECSIM Pro+ provides detailed help for all of its features, as well as a complete online reference manual for scripting language keywords. Every keyword has code examples provided with it to ease development time. Sample scripts for specific tasks are also provided. In addition, the 300mm factories are attempting, as much as possible, to standardize the operational aspects of their factories  

Flexible test environments

  • Supports multiple SECS ports simultaneously - In order to support complex testing and simulation, SECSIM Pro+ supports multiple SECS ports.
  • Multi-tasking environment for script modification - SECSIM Pro+ is a multi-tasking environment that lets you modify or write new test scripts while other scripts are running. All runtime and editing capabilities of SECSIM Pro+ are fully active while SECS messages are being transferred. SECSIM Pro+’s Task Management module makes modifying scripts, checking for syntax errors, and re-running scripts as simple as pressing a single key.
  • Create and send SECS messages from dynamic data or SML files - SSL can be used to send static messages already defined in SML files. Some testing on the equipment or host does not require complex scripts. In these cases it is often easier to use SSL in combination with SML.
  • Multi-tasking capability to monitor messages - Complex tests often have many activities running at once. With SECSIM Pro+, monitoring test activity is as easy as a few mouse clicks. Any number of scripts can be running at one time, and all of these scripts could be “listening” for incoming messages or sending messages to poll the equipment at predetermined intervals using a timer mechanism provided by SECSIM Pro+.
  • Configurable logging mechanism - SECSIM Pro+ writes various types of data to a single log file, including SML and HEX character trace and script logging information. Time, Date & Time, or no timestamp can be written to the log. The screen log and file log have separate configurations, so you can save the HEX trace to a disk file without seeing it on the screen. File I/O operations allow you to create your own logs, if desired. All compilation-related errors are displayed in a separate window, letting you see errors immediately and/or make copies of them.
  • LOCAL or GLOBAL data - SECSIM Pro+ stores SECS data in its memory during execution. SECS data can be defined as LOCAL, meaning it is only available to a particular script, or GLOBAL, meaning any script can access the data. Any script can view or modify GLOBAL data. For specific scenarios, use LOCAL data so that only the current script can manipulate it.
  • Complete file operations - SSL supports the file I/O operations Read, Write, Delete, Find, and Append. With this set of powerful file operations, any data can be transferred between your hard drive and SECSIM Pro+. The most popular use of file I/O is for testing or simulating process program management. SECSIM Pro+ ships with a project called ppsend.pro that demonstrates the basics of opening a file, reading it, and sending the data as part of an S7F3 Process Program Send message. All other file operations fully support process program management.
  • Microsoft Windows GUI interface - SECSIM Pro+’s graphical user interface is designed for ease of use and for efficient script creation, execution, and analysis. Users of previous versions can continue to use familiar keystrokes.

SECSIM Pro+ features

  • Supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
  • Approved by ISMI for GEM compliance testing
  • Host Development and Verification
  • Powerful script language that supports simultaneous tasks and dynamic runtime editing of variables and SECS messages
  • ProjectManager supports single- and multi-script applications
  • Able to build projects with or without State Machine logic
  • Versatile dual-interface for SECS-I or HSMS-SS communication
  • Complete GEM-compliance testing capabilities
  • Able to simulate host or equipment
  • Sends and receives any SECS message
  • Supports sending purposely invalid SECS messages to test error handling
  • Captures Host information
  • Communicates with other Windows applications via IPC
  • Displays SECS Messages for viewing during test execution
  • Online Help
  • Designed with GW’s Object-Based SSL script language
  • Supports multiple SECS ports simultaneously
  • Multi-tasking environment for script modification
  • Multi-tasking capability to monitor messages
  • Large SECS message support
  • C++ Development environment for user program interaction
  • Configurable logging mechanism
  • Compile Errors window with Scrolling Runtime Log
  • Complete file operations
  • Multiple database support
  • C# samples provided
  • 150+
    OEM customers
  • 50,000+
    equipment connections in service
  • 70+
    tool platforms automated
  • 40+
    fab acceptances