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EtherCat semiconductor profile ‘could lead to dramatic developments’

10 July, 2013

The EtherCat Technology Group (ETG) has released a new profile for semiconductor manufacturing applications which, it says, provides a starting point for a new generation of tools and could lead to dramatic developments in the industry.

The release of the new device profile (ETG.5003-1) means that EtherCat will no longer be used only for motion control, I/O, sensors and gateways in semiconductor manufacturing machines. Industry-specific devices such as mass flow controllers and vacuum valves can now be implemented directly in EtherCat.

“We expect that EtherCat will be found in nearly all tools – at the very latest, when the 450mm wafer diameter standard has been adopted for all semiconductor manufacturing machines,” says Florian Häfele, who supervises the ETG’s semiconductor technical working group

The new profile describes the requirements for nine different device types which are defined in Specific Device Profiles (SDP). Together with the standard’s Common Device Profile, they provide the starting point for a new generation of devices for future machines.

Devices from different manufacturers can now use the same data structures and synchronisation modes. This makes replacement and handling easier for tool manufacturers.

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