SECS (SEMI Equipment Communications Standard)/GEM (Generic Equipment Model) are communication interface protocols for communication between semiconductor equipment and a fab host. Fab host is a software application that is controlling and monitoring equipment processing using SECS/GEM protocol. SECS/GEM compliant equipment can communicate with the fab host using either TCP/IP (using SEMI standards E37 and E37.1 – HSMS) or RS-232 (using SEMI standard E4 – SECS-I). The SECS/GEM standard interface is used to start as well as stop equipment processing, collect measurement data, select recipes for products and change variables. With SECS/GEM, all this can be performed in a standard way. SECS/GEM protocol has been standardized by the non-profit association SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International). Check www.SEMI.org to learn more about SEMI standards and SECS/GEM protocol.
In simple words, the SECS/GEM standard defines messages, state machines and scenarios to enable factory host applications to control as well as monitor manufacturing equipment. GEM standard is officially designated as SEMI standard E30, but frequently referred to as the GEM or SECS/GEM standard. The GEM is beneficial for both device manufacturers and equipment suppliers as it defines common set of equipment behavior and communication capabilities to provide functionality as well as the flexibility to support manufacturing. Since the GEM standard has only a few semiconductor-specific features, it has been adopted by other manufacturing industries as well, such as PV.