SEMI International Standards
Standards New Activity Report Form (SNARF)
Date Prepared: 03/27/2009Revised (if Applicable): 03/23/2011

Document Number: 4804
SNARF for: New Standard: Specification for a Horizontal Communication Between Equipment for Photovoltaic Fabrication System

Originating Global Technical Committee: Photovoltaic (PV) - Automation
Originating TC Chapter: Europe
Task Force (TF) in which work is to be carried out: Photovoltaic – Equipment Interface Specification (PV-EIS)
Note: If a new task force is needed, also submit a task force organization form (TFOF)

1. Rationale:
a. Describe the need or problem addressed by this activity.
(Indicate the customer, what benefits they will receive, and if possible, quantify the impact on the return on investment [ROI] if the Document is implemented.)
IT Equipment integration as a basis for other shop floor IT systems

Looking into today’s photovoltaic production lines, there is an increasing need to improve the mass production and to achieve the best possible quality for each final product.

Tasks, such as equipment efficiency monitoring, substrate-related quality check during the whole production process, a blanket transparency of all process steps as well as equipment and at least the comprehensive comparability of equipment. Currently the production process is a black box related to a single substrate. At present there exists no standardized procedure in the photovoltaic industry how to get substrate-related-data from the tool and how to ensure that all equipment report the same ID for a single substrate.
There are two basic approaches for single substrate tracking:
Single Substrate tracking based on ID Tags, which is common in the Thin Film industry, or single substrate tracking based on virtual IDs.
To use ID Tags leads to more and more embarrassments. There are some significant drawbacks, like nonreadable tags, a high breakage rate or an inefficient reading speed during the throughput.
Admittedly the alternative solution of using virtual ID’s requires a communication between the equipment to ensure that all equipment identify the substrate exactly. Prerequisite to provide single substrate tracking is that the equipment sends substrate-related data assign to the substrate ID. Finally it doesn’t matter who is creating the substrate ID, this can be done by the equipment cluster loader or by the MES.

Another important thing to demonstrate is the non availability of a consistent concept in which case material data has to be sent and even more no consistent concept when material data has to be delivered from equipment to equipment as well as equipment to MES.
This kind of communication is a time and money consuming matter. Currently there exist proprietary solutions for connection and communication between equipment only.
Adjustment costs and time consumption for the adaptation depend on individual situation.

Task force objectives – revisited

For the reasons named above the overall objective of the PV-EIS task force is first to develop a standard providing a communication specification between adjacent equipment (horizontal communication) to be used for PV fabrication system or similar one. Equipment includes here process, handling / transport metrology equipment etc.

To lower costs for equipment integration, including invest, installation, integration and test.
To reduce required ramp-up time.
To improve data quality.
To compare wafer suppliers and also identical equipment
Transparency of production process, debugging and optimization the equipment.

b. Estimate effect on industry.
2: Major effect on an industry sector - identify the relevant sector
Sector or Company Information:

c. Estimate technical difficulty of the activity.
II: Some Difficulty - Disagreements on known requirements exist but developing consensus is possible

2. Scope:
a: Describe the technical areas to be covered or addressed by this Document development activity. For Subordinate Standards, list common concepts or criteria that the Subordinate Standard inherits from the Primary Standard, as well as differences from the Primary Standard:
The focus of this document is the development of a standard to specify and to define a generic horizontal communication (equipment to equipment) interface layer for photovoltaic (PV) production equipment – independent of the used base technology (crystalline silicon / thin film photovoltaic’s). In order to meet this overall objective, the scope for this document is defined as follows:

1. To specify a generic protocol for horizontal communication (equipment to equipment) in PV industry.
Result describing the following:
a. Material transfer operations for single work piece such as “Single substrate”, “Multiple substrates (as a set) without carrier” and “Multiple substrates in carrier” by single cycle with associated “Material data”.

b. Single HC line defined in this document to cover track types of “Uni-Direction”, “Alternate-Direction” and “Bi-Direction”, and multiple set and/or combination of them.

c. Functional coverage – Single HC line in this document covers concurrent operation of one full duplex “General Data” transfer channel” and n “Material and Material Data” transfer channel(s).
d. Communication tiers in scope:
i. Handshake and State Models
ii. Informational structure for Horizontal Communication
iii. Data Model
e. Data Definition layer as well as Media specific implementation is not in scope of this document and has to be solved in a subordinate document(s).

b: Expected result of activity
New Standard

For a new Subordinate Standard, identify the Primary Standard here:

For Standards, identify the Standard Subtype below:

Miscellaneous (describe below):

3. Projected Timetable for Completion:

a: General Milestones
a. Activity Start: 03/04/2009b. 1st Draft by: 08/01/2009
c. (Optional) Informational Ballot by: d. Letter Ballot by: 03/01/2012
e. TC Chapter Approval By:07/01/2012

4. Liaisons with other Global Technical Committees/TC Chapters/Subcommittees/TFs:
List global technical committees, TC Chapters, subcommittees, or task forces in your or other Regions/Locales that should be kept informed regarding the progress of this activity. (Refer to SEMI Standards organization charts and global technical committee charters as needed.)
b. Intercommittee Ballots:

Identify the recipient global technical committee(s):

5. Safety Considerations:
The resulting document is expected:
NOT to be a Safety Guideline

NOTE FOR "to be a Safety Guideline": When all safety-related information is removed from the Document, the Document is NOT technically sound and complete - Refer to Section 15.1 of the Regulations for special procedures to be followed.

NOTE FOR "NOT to be a Safety Guideline": When all safety-related information is removed from the Document, the Document is still technically sound and complete.

6. Intellectual Property Considerations:
a. For a new Standard or Safety Guideline and for any part to be modified or added in a Revision of published Standards and Safety Guidelines:
the use of patented technology or a copyrighted item(s) is NOT required

If "patented technology is intended to be included in the proposed Standard(s) or Safety Guideline(s) " is selected above, then also check one:

b. For Revision, Reapproval, Reinstatement, or Withdrawal of existing Standard(s) and Safety Guideline(s):

c. The body of the Document and any Appendices, Complementary Files, Related Information sections, or Various Materials that may or may not be a part of the Document by reference:
will NOT include copyrighted material

NOTE FOR "the use of patented technology or a copyrighted item(s) is NOT required": If in the course of developing the document, it is determined that patented technology or copyrighted item(s) must be used to comply with the standard or safety guideline, the provisions of Section 16 of the Regulations must be followed.)

NOTE FOR "will include reproduced copyrighted material": A copyright release letter must be obtained from the copyright owner.

7. Comments, Special Circumstances:

8. TC Member Review:

Member Review Start Date; None.
Member Review End Date: None.

NOTE FOR ‘TC Member Review’ is required by the Regulations for a period of at least two weeks
before approval of a new, or a major revision of an existing, Standard or Safety Guideline. (See Regulations 8.2.1)
9.. SNARF Approval Dates:
TC Chapter or GCS03/23/2011
Recorded in TC Minutes
Attach Pictures and Files here:
4804 Rationale and Scope Detail.doc