Empowering communication

Blog: comX 51CA-RE\R – It’s now the turn of the Semiconductor Industry

The semiconductor industry relies on state-of-the-art technology when planning new production facilities. Thanks to the comX 51CA-RE\R machine builders are now finally able to fully concentrate on the development of their applications when designing their tools for the semiconductor industry.

On the visual side, the new comX for the semiconductor industry and the proven comX 51CA-RE module are only separated by some minor differences. It is important to highlight two features. Alongside saving a heatsink, the comX 51CA-RE\R also has three rotary switches. These rotary switches are used to set an Explicit Device Identification in the industrial protocol EtherCAT.

Explicit Device ID
The use of the EtherCAT device identification serves to explicitly identify an EtherCAT slave. Two application scenarios are specifically described in the ETG.1020 specification “Protocol Enhancements” for the use of this ID.

Hot Connect

Hot Connect allows devices to be removed or added from data traffic while the system is operating. For example, in the event of a fault, devices may be replaced during the live operation. Thanks to Explicit Device Identification, the master is able to identify which part of the network is available.

Avoiding replacing cables

Furthermore, there are applications with identical devices where interchanging cables needs to be avoided to prevent the transmission of incorrect process data. Being able to clearly identify devices using Explicit Device Identification also helps at this point.

Requesting ID mechanism
The comX 51CA-RE\R encompasses the “requesting ID mechanism” that has been especially developed for more complex slaves containing an application CPU. The slave writes its Explicit Device ID into a status register and also sets a bit there to signal that the ID has been loaded. The master can request the ID by setting a bit in the control register.

ETG Standard
Over the years, the EtherCAT protocol has won recognition in the semiconductor industry. This is why today twelve out of thirteen companies producing wafer-level manufacturing equipment rely on EtherCAT technology in their equipment.1 The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) is laying the groundwork for semiconductor manufacturing equipment with the device profile ETG.5003-1, including devices, such as mass flow controllers, temperature controllers and turbo pumps. General features and functionalities that these devices must possess are specified in this device profile. The profile is therefore also known as “Common Device Profile” (CDP) and forms the first part of the ETG. 5003. “Semiconductor Device Profile.”

The second part of the ETG.5003 describes “Specific Device Profile” (SDP), specifies nine different types of devices and their data structure.

The SDPs include the following device types:

  • Abatement and Sub Fab Systems
  • DC and RF Power Generators
  • Mass Flow Controllers
  • Process Control Valves
  • RF Match
  • Roughing Pumps
  • Temperature Controllers
  • Turbo Pumps
  • Vacuum Pressure Gauges
comX 51CA-RE\R

Both profiles are relevant for machine builders who are represented in the semiconductor industry when designing new tools.

With the comX 51CA-RE\R Hilscher supports the CDP and makes it easier for machine builders to design new semiconductor equipment. The support for the requesting ID method is explicitly required, for example, in the semiconductor device profile ETG.5003.

What is interesting about the comX module is that alongside EtherCAT the entire range of industrial protocols may be used. Manufacturers of devices are therefore able to cover several application areas for several application areas even outside the semiconductor industry with a single motherboard design.

In the following Video, Simon Fischer explains the Hilscher Embedded Modules

Watch the Video on YouTube...

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Four different embedded modules from Hilscher on a colorful background. The devices are slightly mirrored on the bottom.

Embedded modules from Hilscher are the ideal solution for integrating a fieldbus or Real-Time Ethernet interface into a compact automation device. They allow field devices such as drives or controllers to be quickly and easily integrated into automated systems.

Hand holding a pair of tweezers over a Hilscher printed circuit board

The comX communication module was developed to equip automation devices with a network interface. Here, all communication tasks are executed autarchically on the module - independent of the target platform processor.


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