AUSTIN, Tex. -- ILS Technology Inc. and domainLogix Corp. said they are now offering the first commercially available e-diagnostics framework for semiconductor manufacturing, called e-CentreT. The system results from a recently announced technology alliance between the two companies.
The e-Centre is built upon guidelines defined by semiconductor consortium International Sematech in Austin, said the two companies. ILS Technology in Boca Raton, Fla., and domainLogix in Austin said the new framework is the first industry standard product designed for secure fab and supplier connectivity to tools for remote access, data collection, and troubleshooting over the Internet.
The e-Centre system currently provides Level 0/1 functionality and security, as defined by Sematech's e-diagnostics guidelines, according to the two companies. The Level 0 calls for collaborative troubleshooting with basic remote connectivity, while Level 1 of the guidelines provides remote performance monitoring and tool operation, according to the two partners.
ILS Technology and domainLogix said they are planning additional releases of e-Centre products for Levels 2 through 4 to address automated reporting and advanced analysis, prediction capabilities, and cross-tool correlation.
Last summer, Sematech announced efforts to help create standards for e-diagnostics capabilities in chip plants after interest in the remote monitoring capabilities began to heat up (see July 7, 2000, story). Since then more than a dozen companies have been racing to the market with new e-diagnostics software, networks, and services (see March feature story).
At the Semicon Europa trade show last April, domainLogix rolled out "data-on-demand" fab software for e-diagnostics applications based on the company's latest implementation of OBEM XP (see April 25 story). And now the e-Centre platform is being aimed at enabling tool suppliers and chip makers to "rapidly deploy effective e-diagnostic solutions based on an open architecture, saving time and money otherwise spent building custom, technically challenged solutions," said Mark Pendleton, vice president of consulting services at the Austin-based company.
The e-Centre has been developed as an adaptable e-diagnostics framework built upon the OBEM XPT from domainLogix and Automation ConnectionT from ILS Technology. The two companies said it enables companies to create both fab and tool specific e-diagnostic solutions.
"We have already received a positive initial response from select customers on e-Centre," said Richard Mason, president of ILS Technology. He said the "generic framework approach" has also been well-received by tool suppliers because it allows them to easily adopt the e-diagnostics architecture.
"But the Internet is only one of three primary keys required to establish the 'data-on-demand' foundation of the e-factory," Mason said. "The other two keys are the understanding of data relationships and managing data access. Together, domainLogix and ILS are developing the infrastructure necessary to enable and realize these 'data-on-demand' capabilities," he added.