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By Inna Skvortsova (SEMI), Albert Fuchigami (PEER Group)

Data is critical to understanding and managing the semiconductor manufacturing process. The irony is that the smaller the node size, the larger the dataset required to implement it. As node sizes continue to shrink, the ability to collect high-speed, high-volume data becomes more critical. Data collection at these levels is itself a complex problem, leading to a desire to standardize how data is collected in order to increase reliability and reduce the costs and time to implement in a fab environment.

EDA is a collection of Equipment Data Acquisition SEMI Standards, first introduced in 2005, that defines high-speed data publication from any manufacturing equipment to any data consumer through web services with the ultimate goal of increased productivity, improved product quality, and reduced costs. Also known as “Interface A,” the EDA suite of SEMI Standards includes SEMI E120, E125, E128, E132, E134, E138 and E164. These standards address many different aspects of data collection: equipment modelling, data transmission, encoding, collection, management, and more.

Each of these standards is developed independently, which allows for granular updates. However, it is very important not to disrupt manufacturing processes with EDA implementations that are not working with the same version of interfaces and behaviors. That is why we need a Freeze… Each Freeze identifies a specific set of SEMI Standards and versions that equipment suppliers and chip makers use as a unified set to implement the interface. Freeze 3 is the next proposed edition of the SEMI EDA Standards.

EDA Quote

EDA Freeze 3 is not cold, but actually a hot topic. It allows SEMI to enhance and develop new EDA standards while equipment suppliers and chip makers integrate on the official Freeze versions. It also ensures everyone is using the same unified set of specific versions of the EDA standards to implement the interface in production.

One of the major initiatives proposed for EDA Freeze 3 is to improve the performance of EDA server/client communication by replacing HTTP/1.1 and SOAP/XML protocols used today with HTTP/2, gRPC™, and Protocol Buffers. HTTP/2 is a well-established major revision focused on performance.  These technologies use a binary encoded protocol that is significantly more efficient in transmitting data, and a single connection between machines makes much better use of computing resources.

SEMI’s Diagnostic Data Acquisition (DDA) Task Force under the Information & Control Technical Committee has introduced two proposals for voting and feedback in Cycle 5 as the first standards to work with Protocol Buffers and gRPC:

  • Document 6344 is a proposal for a New Standard: Specification for Protocol Buffers Common Components to define the common components that will be used by the new Protocol Buffers-based SEMI standards.
  • EDA Quote 2
    Document 6346 is a proposal to add a New Subordinate Standard: Specification for Protocol Buffers for Equipment Client Authentication and Authorization (ECA) to SEMI E132-0419: Specification for Equipment Client Authentication and Authorization. This new subordinate standard will provide an implementation mapping of SEMI E132 to the Protocol Buffers protocol. This standard is similar to SEMI E132.1 Specification for Soap Binding for Equipment Client Authentication and Authorization (ECA).

Additional documents to incorporate Protocol Buffers and gRPC into other EDA standards are also under development. As part of creating these new standards, SEMI E132, SEMI E134, and E125 will be revised in future ballots to incorporate new features and functionality to improve EDA, including data caching and better support for data consumers.

Proposed EDA Freeze 3
HTTP2 with gRPC/Protocol Buffers

Image source: The PEER Group Inc.

To support the industry’s growing demands to collect more data from equipment at faster rates, the EDA Standards will be updated to use newer and better technologies and practices. Integrating gRPC and Protocol Buffers will boost EDA capabilities to meet modern throughput requirements by using best practice techniques developed and tested by other big data users. EDA Freeze 3 provides a unified target across the various standards so that equipment makers, software providers, and factories can all work towards a common data collection infrastructure.

If you have any questions regarding the SEMI Standards mentioned in this article or would like to participate in standards development, please contact Inna Skvortsova at

Get Involved

SEMI Standards development activities take place throughout the year in all major manufacturing regions. To get involved, join the SEMI International Standards Program at: Make sure your company influences the development of Standards critical to the industry.

The next North America Information and Control Technical Committee Meeting is scheduled for July 10, 2019 in conjunction with the SEMICON West 2019 Standards Meetings at the Moscone Center, South Hall, in San Francisco, California. To attend these meetings, you must be a SEMI Standards Program member. There is no cost to attend meetings, but registration is required.

Standards Watch
June 13, 2019