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Proceedings Paper

Flexible distributed architecture for semiconductor process control and experimentation
Author(s): Aaron E. Gower; Duane S. Boning; Michael B. McIlrath
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Paper Abstract

Semiconductor fabrication requires an increasingly expensive and integrated set of tightly controlled processes, driving the need for a fabrication facility with fully computerized, networked processing equipment. We describe an integrated, open system architecture enabling distributed experimentation and process control for plasma etching. The system was developed at MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories and employs in-situ CCD interferometry based analysis in the sensor-feedback control of an Applied Materials Precision 5000 Plasma Etcher (AME5000). Our system supports accelerated, advanced research involving feedback control algorithms, and includes a distributed interface that utilizes the internet to make these fabrication capabilities available to remote users. The system architecture is both distributed and modular: specific implementation of any one task does not restrict the implementation of another. The low level architectural components include a host controller that communicates with the AME5000 equipment via SECS-II, and a host controller for the acquisition and analysis of the CCD sensor images. A cell controller (CC) manages communications between these equipment and sensor controllers. The CC is also responsible for process control decisions; algorithmic controllers may be integrated locally or via remote communications. Finally, a system server images connections from internet/intranet (web) based clients and uses a direct link with the CC to access the system. Each component communicates via a predefined set of TCP/IP socket based messages. This flexible architecture makes integration easier and more robust, and enables separate software components to run on the same or different computers independent of hardware or software platform.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 January 1997
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2912, Open Architecture Control Systems and Standards, (20 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.263364
Show Author Affiliations
Aaron E. Gower, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Duane S. Boning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael B. McIlrath, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2912:
Open Architecture Control Systems and Standards
Frederick M. Proctor, Editor(s)

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