Industrial Ethernet technology standards group EtherCAT released device standard ETG.5003-1 and its corresponding nine specific device profiles, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) for semiconductor industry.
The new device profiles extends the use of EtherCAT not only for motion control, I/O, sensors and gateways in semiconductor manufacturing machines and also in industry specific devices such as mass flow controllers or vacuum valves can be implemented directly into the EtherCAT system. On the technical side of this process, Florian Häfele supervises the ETG Semiconductor Technical Working Group and explains: “Since the release of the device profiles developed in 2012, we responded to machine builders’ demands to establish EtherCAT in the semiconductor industry as well to facilitate the creation of new industry-specific devices. We expect that EtherCAT will be found in nearly all tools, at the very latest when the 450 millimeter wafer diameter standard has been adopted for all semiconductor manufacturing machines.”
The new profile ETG.5003-1 (Common Device Profile = CDP) describes the general requirements for devices that are published within the specification series ETG.5003.
EtherCAT explains: At the moment this concerns nine different device types which are defined in the so-called Specific Device Profiles (SDP). Together with the CDP they provide the starting point for a new generation of devices with which more advanced machines of the future will be designed. The benefits of the new standard are as simple as they are compelling: From the view of EtherCAT even devices from different manufacturers are now equal regarding their data structures and synchronization modes. This makes replacement and handling easier and significantly more understandable for tool manufacturers. Additionally, the industry-specific devices thus will get a more unique look and feel.
Semiconductor equipment manufacturing companies like Applied Materials, Lam Research and Tokyo Electron not only participated actively in the specification process, but also encouraged their device suppliers to take part in the ETG Semiconductor Technical Working Group, as per EtherCAT.