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PFAT Release History

PFAT Release Version 2.1 - Current Release

Release Information

 

Version: 2.1
Release Date: March 25, 2015
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

What’s New in this Release

 

Testing Multiple Equipment in Parallel

Linked semiconductor equipment such as testers, coaters and steppers provide unique testing challenges that require synchronization and data validation across multiple SECS communication interfaces. With PFAT’s support for testing multiple SECS connections, PFAT test scenarios bridge the gap between disparate equipment communication interfaces. Leveraging PFAT’s dynamic testing abilities, data received from one equipment interface can be used as input to control secondary or downstream equipment and even used by the tests to perform conditional execution.

 

SECS/GEM Communication 

PFAT can now operate as either an active or passive entity within the SECS communication protocol. This allows creation of test suites that can verify your equipment behaves correctly when configured as the active entity for use within specific factory scenarios.

 

Technology Support

Our products continue to adopt new computing technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. PFAT has added support for the Windows® 8.1 operating system and Microsoft® SQL Server 2014 Express.

 

General Improvements

We have also resolved many customer-logged issues and requests for PFAT. Please contact us for details.

 

Contact Us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu on the right side of this page.

PFAT Release Version 2.0

Release Information

 

Version: 2.0
Release Date: June 25, 2014
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

What’s New in this Release

 

Enhanced Dynamic Testing

Static testing—using fixed data input values—is inefficient and has limited success in increasing equipment software reliability in production. PFAT™ provides easy-to-use mechanisms that let you vary your input values and dynamically alter test scenarios based on real-time results. With PFAT’s dynamic testing capability, you can increase your test coverage, closely simulate a production environment, and run fully automated reliability test suites.

PFAT tests can now reference data from collection event reports, equipment-initiated custom SECS messages, and equipment replies. This data can be used for test decision logic as well as can be input to other test and SECS messages. This capability further increases the dynamic nature of PFAT tests, thus increasing the reusability of test scenarios.

 

Unified Equipment Software Testing

PFAT’s ability to integrate with equipment software as well as independent applications and simulators allows every engineer in the equipment supply chain to share a common equipment software testing platform that includes test plans and results.

  • OEM software developers can leverage PFAT’s ability to directly execute any portion of their equipment software, thus increasing software test coverage.
  • OEM and factory test engineers can now extend testing beyond operational scenarios via the SECS interface and include virtually any software for equipment data verification, increasing software quality.
  • OEM field engineers and end-user factory automation engineers can re-use the same automation scenarios used prior to shipment and create new ones over the life of the equipment, reducing overall test development time.

In this release, full cycle equipment software testing with PFAT’s integrated SEMI E84 test capability is now supported. An interactive E84 control dialog along with sample E84 test scenarios give test designers the tools to quickly leverage this capability.

In addition to integrating with customer software that supports a .NET remoting interface, PFAT is now able to communicate via Microsoft’s Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), thus further expanding the possibilities of PFAT’s testing scope.

 

Reduced Test Design Effort

To continue to reduce the test design effort, we have identified areas for productivity improvements by targeting the tasks a user needs to repeat during test design. In this release we have reduced the effort to create and maintain the events and associated event reports that are used throughout test scenarios.

 

Technology Support

Our products continue to adopt new computing technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. This also includes dropping support for older technologies. PFAT no longer supports Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems as well as development tools of Visual Studio 2005, and .NET Framework 2.0. PFAT has added support for Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.0 and 4.5.

 

General Improvements

We have also resolved many customer-logged issues and requests for PFAT. Please contact us for details.

 

Contact Us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu on the right side of this page.

PFAT Release Version 1.10

Release Information

 

Version: 1.10
Release Date: March 27, 2013
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

What's New in this Release

 

PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) version 1.10 is an upgrade release that further expands the capabilities added in the 1.9 release; namely, dynamic test design and execution, the integration of customer applications into PFAT test scenarios, multi-language support, and equipment configuration integration.

 

Enhanced Dynamic Testing

Static testing—using fixed data input values—is inefficient and has limited success in increasing equipment software reliability in production. PFAT provides easy-to-use mechanisms that let you vary your input values and dynamically alter test scenarios based on real-time results. With PFAT’s dynamic testing capability, you can increase your test coverage, closely simulate a production environment, and run fully automated reliability test suites.


In 1.10, PFAT tests are integrated with a random number generator giving you more options for simulating equipment operation in production. You can leverage this capability in the design of your timing tests, to alter real-time test execution paths, and to vary data supplied to your SECS messages. With this ability you can test a higher percentage of abnormal scenarios to verify that equipment recovers correctly.

 

Unified Equipment Software Testing

PFAT’s ability to integrate with equipment software as well as independent applications and simulators allows every engineer in the equipment supply chain to share a common equipment software testing platform that includes test plans and results.
  • OEM software developers can leverage PFAT’s ability to directly execute any portion of their equipment software, thus increasing software test coverage.
  • OEM and factory test engineers can now extend testing beyond operational scenarios via the SECS interface and include virtually any software for equipment data verification, increasing software quality.
  • OEM field engineers and end-user factory automation engineers can re-use the same automation scenarios used prior to shipment and create new ones over the life of the equipment, reducing overall test development time.
In this release, we have showcased each application integration point, giving test designers a head-start.

 
Optimized Test Execution for Complex Test Designs

PFAT’s powerful test designer makes it easy to create large test scenarios using modular, reusable test blocks that mimic complex and long running production operational scenarios. PFAT has been optimized for designing, executing and reviewing results for large scale test scenarios. With the increased power provided by PFAT’s test designer in terms of dynamic data, software integration, and production-level simulation, the possibilities for production simulation are endless, enabling the opportunity to uncover more software defects than ever before.

 
Equipment Performance Testing

In order to meet product throughput and responsiveness requirements mandated by manufacturers, equipment suppliers need to quickly and effectively measure equipment performance. Timing measurements give OEMs insight into bottlenecks and can be used to assess the effectiveness of hardware and software changes. PFAT enables test designers to capture and use message delivery and receipt times to calculate performance, all within the confines of a PFAT automated test. This capability further expands the value that a unified software test application can bring to your automated equipment solution.

 
Multi-Language Support

PFAT’s test designer lets you name and create tests using your native language. PFAT results and reports are then presented in the language used to design your tests scenarios. PFAT has been qualified for English, Japanese, German, and French operating systems.

General Improvements

We have also resolved many customer-logged issues and requests for PFAT. Please contact us for details.


Contact Us

For global contact information, click on the "Sales and Support" link in the navigation menu on the right side of this page.

PFAT Release Version 1.9

Release Information

 

Version: 1.9
Release Date: December 14, 2011
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

What's New in this Release

 

PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) version 1.9 is an upgrade release that expands dynamic testing capabilities, integrates customer applications into PFAT test scenarios, and reduces test setup time with expanded configuration import capabilities.

 

Enhanced Dynamic Testing

Static testing—using fixed data input values—is inefficient and has limited success in increasing equipment software reliability in production. PFAT provides easy-to-use mechanisms that let you vary your input values and dynamically alter test scenarios based on real-time results. With PFAT’s dynamic testing capability, you can increase your test coverage, closely simulate a production environment, and run fully automated reliability test suites.

 

Unified Equipment Software Testing


PFAT’s ability to integrate with equipment software as well as independent applications and simulators allows every engineer in the equipment supply chain to share a common equipment software testing platform that includes test plans and results.
 • OEM software developers can leverage PFAT’s ability to directly execute any portion of their equipment software, thus increasing software test coverage.
• OEM and factory test engineers can now extend testing beyond operational scenarios via the SECS interface and include virtually any software for equipment data verification, increasing software quality.
• OEM field engineers and end-user factory automation engineers can re-use the same automation scenarios used prior to shipment and create new ones over the life of the equipment, reducing overall test development time.

 
Ad Hoc Testing

Test scenario design can be an iterative process as you optimize the order of messages and validation steps within your scenario. With PFAT’s message control capabilities, you can now combine manual SECS message execution with automated testing to reduce test development time and equipment software troubleshooting effort. 

 
Equipment Configuration Enhancements

The equipment host interface details (e.g., collection events, equipment constants, alarms, and variables) are configured in many connectivity products and test applications. We have continued to leverage this host configuration information across our product stack. We have expanded PFAT’s import capabilities to reuse this information from a variety of other sources. PFAT can now share configuration information with EIB™ OEM, EIB™ Factory, ConX300™, GWGEM®, and CCS Envoy™, and supports loading configuration information from generic text-based files, such as GCD, and CSV.

 
Multi-language Support

PFAT has increased the usability of the user interface to support multiple languages and regional settings, including German and Japanese. 

Expanded Test Activities

With an expanded list of test activities and additions to several previously existing test activities, PFAT continues to enhance testing capabilities. We have highlighted a few of the test activity additions below.

Perform real-time calculations

With the Calculate activity, you can manipulate the numeric values available within a test from static configuration, equipment responses, or output from other test activities to produce a calculated result. 

Wait for equipment-initiated messages

With the generic Wait for SECS Message activity, you can wait for any SEMI standard based or user-defined equipment message and reply with a customizable response back to the equipment. As with all PFAT activities, you are able to validate the message received from the equipment, ensuring the content is as expected.
 

Wait for property changes

To increase the flexibility of Property Manager integration with PFAT tests, the Wait for Property Change activity lets you wait for the value of a Property Manager property to change to any value or a specified value before the PFAT test continues.

 
Contact Us

For global contact information, click on the "Sales and Support" link in the navigation menu on the right side of this page.

PFAT Release Version 1.8

1.8 Release Information

 

Version: 1.8
Release Date: December 15, 2010
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

What's New in this Release

 

PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) version 1.8 is an upgrade release with a focus on expanding operating system support, as well as providing new features and fixes to existing capabilities.

 

Operating System Support

PFAT now supports Microsoft® Windows® 7 (32-bit and 64-bit).

 

Software Environment / Integration Upgrades

PFAT now integrates with custom implementations of the PEER Property Manager and External Data Processor that have been developed using Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 and Microsoft® .NET Framework 4.0. Integrating components using Microsoft® .NET Framework 1.1 is no longer supported.

 

PFAT’s test results database has been upgraded to Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 Express.

 

Automated Testing Enhancements

We’ve expanded PFAT’s use within automated equipment software build and testing environments. PFAT’s command line test execution now provides additional information to manage errors as well as the capability to override global properties to simplify changing global data in an automated environment.

 

To correlate PFAT tests with test cases administered by a test management application, we have also introduced a global property to track your test case identifier.

 

With these additions, it is possible to create a test harness that can run PFAT tests against software builds and update the results in a test management application automatically, further simplifying your execution of automated testing.

 

Test File Transfer Utility

As an enhancement to the test management support already provided by PFAT through test import/export, PFAT now includes a test file transfer utility to automate the process of moving test-related files. This utility is useful when changing your default working directory.

 

General Improvements

We have also resolved several customer logged issues and requests for PFAT. Please contact us for details.

 

Contact Us

For global contact information, click on the "Sales and Support" link in the navigation menu on the right side of this page.

 

PFAT Release Version 1.7

1.7 Release Information

 

Introduction

PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) version 1.7 is a minor release with new features and enhancements to existing capabilities.

 

Contents

  • What's New in this Release
    • External data processor
    • Dynamically varying wait within a test
    • Enterprise licensing
  • Contact Us

What's New in this Release

 

This version of PFAT contains the following new features and enhancements.

 

External data processor

PFAT has extended its event handling capabilities to allow custom processing on the report data attached to event notifications that are received asynchronously from the equipment. With the external data process test activity, you can connect a PFAT test to an external data processing component, which can perform any action using the report data as input.

 

PFAT provides a .NET interface that allows you to develop your own data processing component to meet your specific requirements. You can create a custom data processing component that is used to perform advanced validation of the report data where you need to compare the reported data to data stored elsewhere. Custom data processing components can also provide results back to the PFAT test, allowing pass/fail determinations to be made by the custom component.

 

With this capability, you can now integrate your advanced data validation SQA processes within your PFAT test scenarios.

 

Dynamically varying wait within a test

PFAT's production-level testing capabilities have been further enhanced with the introduction of varying delays in test scenarios. This capability allows actions within a test to be performed at varying intervals, providing behaviour that more closely resembles that which is encountered during production. With the ability to introduce varying wait times throughout the lifetime of a test scenario, you can also test a higher percentage of abnormal scenarios to verify that equipment recovers correctly.

 

Enterprise licensing

In addition to our existing seat licensing model, PFAT now supports a flexible enterprise model that works with your team member's individual needs. A PFAT license can be acquired at run-time for temporary use or can be assigned for longer-term use, such as during a testing cycle or for off-site testing.

PFAT Release Version 1.6

Release Information

 

Version: 1.6 (download)
Release Date: February 25, 2009
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

Introduction

PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) version 1.6 is a minor release with new features and enhancements to existing capabilities.

 

Contents

  • What's New in this Release
    • PEER Property Manager integration
    • Reporting enhancements
    • User Interface improvements
    • Test Activity Toolbox change
  • Contact Us

What's New in this Release

 

This version of PFAT contains the following new features and enhancements.

 

PEER Property Manager integration

The PEER Property Manager application was added to provide the following functionality:

  • Test equipment software before all hardware components are available.
  • Perform advanced abnormal scenario testing that in the past may have only been triggered by hardware failures or errors that were difficult to trigger within the process software.
  • Automate operator actions by triggering simulation software and hardware.

PEER Property Manager provides a mechanism for communicating with other software applications during the execution of PFAT test scenarios. These components communicate with each other using a user-defined set of properties that your applications can set or react to. For example, within a PFAT system test, you can set a value on a property that can then trigger your application to perform a specific action. Within the PFAT system test, property values that are set by your application can also be read, allowing decisions within the test to be made based on the value. Processing modules, measurement components, and hardware simulators are just a few examples of applications that can be integrated with PEER Property Manager.

 

This enables your PFAT system tests to interact not only with the equipment through the SECS/GEM interface, but also with other software applications, allowing you to further expand your test coverage, validating advanced production-level test scenarios.

 

Reporting enhancements

Information was added to the Execution Summary report, including more statistics and contextual information about the tests that are included in the schedule.

 

User Interface improvements

To support a growing list of activities in the Test Activity Toolbox, the activities have now been grouped into functional areas. You can organize these groups by alphabetical or functional order and add them to your favorites list.

 

Test Activity Toolbox changes

The Test Activity Toolbox library has been expanded to provide enhanced support for the following capabilities:

  • Added the Get Date Time activity to enable retrieving the equipment time and validating it against an expected result.
  • Added the Set Date Time activity to enable setting the equipment time.
    Simplified the configuration of the Get Property activity and the Set Property activity by guiding the user through the selection of properties to get or set from the PEER Property Manager.
  • Reduced the time it took to select CEIDs by providing find and filter capabilities for the following test activities: Wait For CEID, Link and Enable Event Reports, Wait For Event Report, and Event Report Request.
  • Simplified the building and sorting lists of data values in the following test activities: Create Control Job With Carrier and Create Process Job.

Contact Us

Contact PEER Group to purchase PEER FACTORY Acceptance Tester, renew your existing subscription, or if you are interested in doing a software evaluation.

Email: sales@peergroup.com
Phone: +1 519-749-9554

 

 

PFAT Release Version 1.5

Release Information

 

Version: 1.5 (download)
Release Date: September 25, 2008
Customer Support: support.pfat@peergroup.com

 

Introduction

PEER FACTORY® Acceptance Tester (PFAT™) version 1.5 is a major release with many new features.

 

Contents

  • What's New in this Release
    • Production-level testing capabilities

    • Command line test schedule execution

    • Enhanced equipment configuration

    • Advanced validation

    • New reporting capabilities

    • Simplified test collaboration

    • Test activity improvements 

  • Contact Us

What's New in this Release

 

This version of PEER FACTORY Acceptance Tester includes many new features and improvements.

 

Production-level Testing Capabilities

Increased control when building system tests and test schedules allows for enhanced burn-in test support.

  • New flexibility for system tests lets you repeat sections of your system test, execute system tests asynchronously, or nest system tests within each other to encapsulate common functionality.
  • New flexibility for test schedules lets you design test schedules that support looping, conditional branching, and parallel execution.

With these capabilities, you can now repeat tests for mid to long-term stability testing, execute tests in parallel for multiple load ports or error monitoring, as well as other options that let you exercise your equipment at production levels.

 

Command Line Test Schedule Execution

PFAT now supports test schedule execution from a command line interface, giving you the ability to run tests as part of automatic equipment software builds or to automate test execution for a series of tests using batch files.

 

Enhanced Equipment Configuration

Equipment configuration has been enhanced through two key initiatives: reduced effort to create equipment configurations and the ability to use context data to describe tools.

  • Creating equipment configurations is now faster and easier. A simplified user interface that includes sort/find functionality lets you quickly update mappings for equipment items, data items, and equipment-specific settings. In addition, you can now import CCS Envoy equipment definition worksheets.
  • User-defined context data, such as tool type, tool ID, customer, and software version, can now be stored directly with your equipment configuration. You can then retrieve test results using your context data criteria.

Advanced Validation

Many test activity properties use the equipment configuration as their data source. To provide more flexibility in defining tests and using them against different equipment configurations, PFAT now provides advanced validation within system tests and test schedules. Now, during design time as well as prior to execution, validation is performed to ensure your tests are setup correctly before connecting to your equipment. If you change which tool you will be testing against or modify the current equipment configuration, referenced event reports, system tests and test schedules are automatically updated to reflect your changes. If an incompatibility is detected, PFAT displays which test activities need to be updated to work with the new equipment configuration.

 

This advanced validation provides another step in reducing your overall testing effort.

 

New Reporting Capabilities

Several new reporting features are now available in PFAT.

  • Management-level execution summary reports let you gain visibility into tool quality. Now, you can quickly review pass/fail statuses for all tests against a specific tool instance, tool type, or using a variety of other criteria.
  • Image capture capabilities let you review test schedules and system test scenarios offline, improving collaboration on test scenarios.

Simplified Test Collaboration

PFAT's new test packaging feature simplifies test collaboration and test management by gathering all associated test files and including them automatically in a single zip file that is ready for transfer. This allows you to share system tests and test schedules easily within your QA team and with your customers or suppliers.

 

Test Activity Improvements

The test activity toolkit library has been expanded to provide enhanced support for the following capabilities:

  • A new GetNamelist activity lets you retrieve alarms, equipment constants, and status variables from the equipment. You have the flexibility to specify expected results and perform validation on retrieved values to ensure the equipment is operating correctly, or to retrieve all alarms, equipment constants, and status variables reported by the equipment.
  • A new GetAttributes activity lets you request attributes for a specific object defined by the equipment and validate the attributes against expected values to ensure the equipment is SECS-compliant.
  • A new SetupTrace activity lets you instruct the equipment to send back a trace message.
    Process job activities now provide support for specifying substrate identifiers along with carrier and slot identifiers.
  • You now have the option to upload and download formatted recipes.
  • CreateEventReport activity lets you create one or more reports by selecting them from a list of defined event reports.
  • LinkAndEnableEventReport activity links reports to collection events and enables them on the equipment.
  • EventReportRequest activity requests event reports by specifying either the report ID or the collection event.
  • The Repeat activity can be used in both system tests and test schedules to repeat portions of a test for a specified number of iterations, a set duration, or until a specific event has occurred.
  • The Execute system test activity is now available in the test schedule editor to link a system test into a test schedule workflow. Building test schedules with this new test activity is now the same as building system tests.
  • The Synchronize activity has the added capability to cancel branches based on completion of other branches. For example you can define one branch to wait for unexpected alarms, and the other branches to run normal processing. If an unexpected alarm is received on one branch, you can use the synchronize activity property to cancel execution on the other branches if needed.
  • The WaitForAlarms activity now lets you wait for multiple alarms.
  • The ConnectSecs activity now provides the capability to specify the stream/function to use to establish communications after connecting to the equipment successfully.

Contact Us

Contact PEER Group to purchase PEER FACTORY Acceptance Tester, renew your existing subscription, or if you are interested in doing a software evaluation.

Email: sales@peergroup.com
Phone: +1 519-749-9554