The 300mm SEMI Standards
Built to work in conjunction with GEM (SEMI E30), the suite of standards often referred to as the “300mm standards” (SEMI E39, SEMI E40, SEMI E87, SEMI E90, SEMI E94, SEMI E116) describe a more sophisticated approach that factory hosts can use for remote process control and material handling. These standards were developed when the emerging 300mm wafer size and smaller chip topologies made it impractical for local operators to load and unload material, both from an ergonomics and contamination standpoint. Many newer fabs with similar challenges – regardless of the type of material processed – have adopted these standards on their highly automated production lines, requiring all tools in the facility to have a fully compliant 300mm interface.
SEMI E87: Carrier Management
The SEMI E87 (Carrier Management) standard describes in detail the material transfer scenarios for loading and unloading carriers (cassettes) full of substrates (wafers). Material can only be accessed for processing once its carrier has been successfully loaded, with its CarrierID and SlotMap scanned and validated. After material has been accessed from a carrier, the SEMI E90 (Substrate Management) standard is used to track material progress through the tool, so that its location is known at all times. Component states are tracked very carefully to ensure material, hardware, and operator safety: for example, an Automated Material Handling System (AMHS) cannot place material on a load port if it is in Manual mode and expecting operator delivery; a robot cannot pick a substrate out of a carrier if it is incorrectly slotted; a location in the tool cannot have anything placed into it if it already contains a substrate, and so on.
SEMI E94, E40, and E87
Process control is critical for complex tools with long-running, multi-step, or repeat procedures. Instead of using custom remote commands to initiate single process programs, the host can use a well-defined set of SECS-II (SEMI E5) messages to create and manage a queue of SEMI E94 Control Jobs and SEMI E40 Process Jobs that can be run on the tool. Once the required material has been successfully introduced to the tool as per SEMI E87 requirements, the Control Jobs (which specify a sequence of Process Jobs to run) and Process Jobs (which specify the material to process and the tool-specific recipe to use) can start executing automatically. While jobs are running, they can be paused temporarily and resumed later, have processing parameters adjusted, or be stopped entirely. When jobs complete, material can be unloaded automatically or used in subsequent jobs.
SEMI E116: Equipment Performance Tracking and SEMI E39: Object Services
When the factory host is responsible for running the tool, knowing exactly what is going on is critical. The SEMI E116 (Equipment Performance Tracking) standard describes whether the tool is Busy, Idle or Blocked (in error). The SEMI E39 (Object Services) standard is used by all the other 300mm services to report on their objects (Carriers, Substrates, Control Jobs, Process Jobs, etc.) and their attributes. The host can monitor the data that is published automatically by the equipment or query for extra details at any time, then use this wealth of information to decide when and how to perform its next steps, whether it is loading or unloading material, defining a new job, changing processing parameters on the fly, or responding to an unexpected error scenario.
Much like the GEM (SEMI E30) standard, these 300mm standards describe how specific SECS messages should be used to execute particular scenarios, provide state models that determine what actions are allowed at what times, and mandate what detailed events and data the equipment must report for almost every possible action. Our connectivity products implement all capabilities described in the 300mm SEMI standards, giving you full compliance whether you are developing Equipment Control Software for your equipment or a Station Controller or Host for your fabrication facility.