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PTO release history

PEER Tool Orchestrator 7.5 - Current Release

Release information

Version:
7.5
Release Date:
October 6, 2017
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com

What's new in this release

E10 support

In today’s high-tech manufacturing world, smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and IIoT initiatives are top of mind for many companies. These initiatives all depend on more and better data from equipment. OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is one type of rich data that provides insight into the availability, performance, and quality of equipment operation. Instead of only looking at overall tool operation, OEE measurements on a tool’s subcomponents will provide valuable insights into processes; for example, identifying a subtle performance degradation of a vacuum chamber.

With this release of PTO®, we've made it possible to generate OEE data that is specific to the topography and processing details of your tool. You can quickly configure your data reporting and create OEE dashboards that will visualize your tool’s performance.

Enhanced recipe execution

With PTO, your tool has always been able to run fully automated jobs in any production environment. Support for custom recipe development has also been part of PTO for several years. Now, PTO lets you run an individual recipe outside the context of a job, giving you the ability to control the flow and execution of individual recipe steps—repeating, skipping, or revisiting earlier steps as needed. This can be used to run recipes that prepare chambers for processing or to run a series of production recipes against a single wafer. Its most significant use is for testing and debugging newly developed recipes, allowing you to adjust parameters for individual steps and try them again until the recipe yields the desired results.

General improvements

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 7.4

Release information

Version:
7.4
Release Date:
May 26, 2017 
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com

What's new in this release

Enable effective collaboration

It's no secret that semiconductor equipment is some of the most advanced machinery found in any manufacturing facility. Effective deployment, operation, support and maintenance of this equipment requires collaboration. This could take the form of two people working on different ends of a large tool at the same time, an operator adjusting a new operating procedure with the assistance of the tool owner, or factory personnel troubleshooting a support issue with a remote expert located at the OEM’s headquarters.

This release of PTO® enables these collaboration scenarios. The PTO UI framework now lets you pass control capability between different PTO UIs running on different computers, whether they are local (i.e., on the equipment) or remote (in an office in the manufacturing facility, or across the globe).  Of course, PTO's security infrastructure lets you control which roles can receive or manage control.   

Do more, faster

PTO is designed to accelerate the development and ongoing improvement of your equipment. However, we recognize that there is always room for further productivity improvements. We've made some significant enhancements to the Visualization editor to help you develop your visualizations faster:

  • New visualization widgets allow you to hook up directly to PLC tags.  
  • You can now build modular visualizations by composing them from other nested visualizations. 
  • To help you navigate between all the components on your visualization screens, you can use the Object Explorer (formerly the Layer editor) to navigate and manipulate through an unlimited number of controls.

If you're new to using PTC (PTO's designer) or just want to leverage capabilities you haven't used before, try out the new set of PTC Tutorials. Step-by-step instructions and completed tutorial solutions will allow you to quickly grasp new capabilities as well as the best techniques for completing different design and configuration tasks.

General improvements

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 7.3

Release information

Version:
7.3
Release Date:
March 2, 2017
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com
 

What's new in this release

The Semiconductor industry continually looks for ways to drive down the cost of manufacturing. These cost optimization techniques can include the flexibility to buffer materials at more equipment locations within the factory, automate the delivery of supplementary materials to the equipment, and support multiple types of materials for high mix / low volume production scenarios. All of these factors demand greater flexibility in how equipment manages carriers of material.

This release of PTO® provides the flexibility to manage a much broader range of carrier material introduction scenarios. In addition to traditional fixed-buffer carrier equipment, PTO now makes it easier to automate sorter and batch processing equipment (e.g., ovens, wet bench) that utilize internal carrier buffers. Using PTC, PTO’s equipment designer, you can define internal carrier locations and associated carrier robot transfers. PTO’s scheduling and carrier reconciliation infrastructure use this meta data to provide complete carrier management. And of course, PTO fully supports the E87 SEMI standard, including all internal buffer requirements, so the factory host has complete control and visibility into carrier operations on the equipment. 

General improvements

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 7.2

Release information

Version:
7.2
Release Date:
November 4, 2016
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com
 

What's new in this release

Substrate scheduling insights

Successful tool operations depend on the ability to glean insight during processing. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task that requires mining disparate data sources, understanding context, and viewing tool data from different perspectives.

This release of PTO® helps to address this need by providing a powerful substrate-centric visualization called the Substrate Location Timeline. This new visualization allows you to quickly understand the path of substrates through the tool for a given period of time. It helps you understand critical bottlenecks in the substrate flow, identify under-performing processing locations, and gives insight into the nuances of scheduling dependencies between parallel jobs. 

You can analyze historical job runs via the Process Job History screen or from any visualization screen you create for your tool. You can even extend this capability to end users, such as process engineers, who can include substrate location timelines as part of their runtime-defined Chart Views.

Technology

Our products continue to adopt new computing technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. PTO now supports the following OS versions: 

  • Windows 10 LTSB 2015
  • Windows 10 LTSB 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

PTO now also supports the following development environments and other technologies: 

  • Visual Studio 2013 
  • Visual Studio 2015
  • .NET 4.6 framework

General improvements

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 7.1

Release information

Version:
7.1
Release Date:
July 29, 2016
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com
 

What's new in this release

Flexible material management 

The Semiconductor industry has had good success defining and adopting standards that describe how to manage production material in front-end fabrication equipment. However, there are many types of supplementary materials – such as reticles, filler wafers, thin wafer holders, and satellites – used in this environment whose usage and management is not part of an accepted standard. As an OEM, you are left to “roll your own” solution and hope it stands up to different fab interpretations for managing supplementary materials.

This release of PTO® provides the flexibility to manage different types of materials within a tool. PTO’s powerful infrastructure greatly reduces the time it takes to automate your complex, multi-material tool. Using PTC, PTO’s equipment designer, you can define multiple material types for a tool configuration.  You can also define unique attributes for each type – very useful for tracking things like available lifetime for a “process durable” substrate. You can even define containers – such as thin wafer holders, satellites, process cassettes, or Jedec trays – that hold other “child” material. PTO gives you complete control over how material information is published to host systems so you can easily adjust to different factory station controller capabilities and expectations.

PTO also makes scheduling of different material types easy. Through configuration, you can define which material locations are capable of holding which types of material, which end effectors of which robots can access which locations, and which locations are home locations for a material type.  With all this metadata, writing custom scheduling algorithms is greatly simplified. It also means PTO’s sophisticated material reconciliation infrastructure has the information it needs to restore all the material in your tool after a job abort or an E-stop. 

Technology

Our products continue to adopt new technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. PTO now supports .NET Framework 4.5.1 and 4.5.2.

General improvements 

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 7.0

Release information

Version:
7.0
Release Date:
April 29, 2016
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com
 

What's new in this release

Increase equipment availability 

Ideally, any tool you deliver to a fab runs at the highest level of productivity in a lights-out factory environment for years. However, scheduled maintenance routines, hardware failures, or software logic flaws all reduce equipment availability. It may never be possible to completely eliminate these productivity killers but we can provide equipment control solutions that reduce the level of production disruption and the amount of downtime. 

This release of PTO provides significant support for this level of flexibility. PTO now allows you to control the operating mode of individual tool components or subsystems without changing the operating mode of the tool itself. With this capability, you can run diagnostic commands against an individual piece of hardware while a production job is running, write adaptive scheduling routines that route around an out-of-service process chamber or load lock, re-initialize a robot, or even physically replace hardware parts while the tool is still operating. 

Reduce user interface design time with visual building blocks

Despite the fact that many semiconductor tools work with standards-defined data and operating scenarios, OEMs still require customized user interfaces to reflect unique tool topologies and company-specific requirements. PTO's new modular GUI framework enables the composition of screens from component parts, significantly increasing user interface reusability and reducing design time. Using PTO’s designer, you can use available GUI plug-ins for different regions of a screen to customize or create unique reusable screens. 

Ensure safe tool operation with a flexible software interlock infrastructure 

While hardware interlocks are effective and reliable at ensuring tool safety, they are not always a cost-effective option. Additionally, the need for a specific interlock isn't always evident when a tool is first designed. PTO's new software interlock infrastructure can help. With PTO, you can configure which interlock rules are applied when specific hardware operations are requested. This mechanism vastly increases the flexibility and coverage of interlocks within your equipment. You can even quickly create and apply new interlocks in the field as part of tool installation or validation. 

General improvements 

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

Contact us 

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 6.4

Release information

Version:
6.4
Release Date:
September 30, 2015
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com
 

What's new in this release

Support for seamless software upgrades

Providing software upgrades for a tool in production is complicated. As an OEM, you need to ensure compatibility with the host interface, the recipe editing and management infrastructure, as well as the user interface. You rely on software development tools and policies within your facility to manage this complexity. However, managing configuration data associated with the upgrade is even more complex because this responsibility spans geographic regions and organizations.

In this release of PTO, you can use the new PEER Instance Composer (PIC) to host simplified tool configuration editors designed for field service engineers or fab tool owners to isolate instance-specific configuration changes made in the field from those that are managed centrally at your facility. This means you can avoid the effort of merging and validating disparate tool configurations manually. At runtime, tool instance-specific configuration is merged seamlessly with your base tool configuration. Separation of instance-specific configuration from base tool configuration simplifies the upgrade process and eliminates the risk and complexity of managing many disparate configurations in the field. Now, upgrading software on a tool in the field doesn’t necessarily require a visit to the fab.

General improvements

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details. 

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 6.3

Release information

Version:
6.3
Release Date:
May 29, 2015
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com
 

What's new in this release

Design a powerful recipe management infrastructure quickly

A process recipe is the most critical piece of information that travels through the layers of tool automation software After all, a recipe contains the processing instructions that inform the tool how to do what it was built to do. This release builds on PTO's existing recipe infrastructure. A generic wafer flow editor now allows you to define wafer flows for cluster tools, integrating with either PTO's process recipe editor or with your own process recipe editor. A recipe publication mechanism makes it possible to isolate development recipes from production recipes. It also looks after assembling all parts of a recipe for easy transmission of recipes to and from a host system. Although fully functional right out of the box, the recipe infrastructure is extensible, allowing you to customize behaviors such as validation.

Create more powerful visualizations, faster

Visualizations are the most effective way to convey important information about the state of your tool. However, just as your tool is complex, the visual data you need to convey can also be complex. This release helps you manage visual complexity in several ways.

  • We've introduced the concept of multi-binding, allowing you to evaluate multiple pieces of data to control the appearance or behavior of a visual element on your screen. For example, you could use a multi-binding to make an action visible on your screen only when the system is in job mode and the associated chamber is in service.
  • Layers are an effective way to build complex screens by enabling run-time and design-time control of logical groups of visual elements. We have extended your ability to manage layers, enabling selection and manipulation of visual elements from the layer selection view. This is a great way to select controls hidden beneath other layers on the canvas or to select multiple visual elements belonging to different layers.
  • New linear and radial animation converters help bring your screen to life by converting your model data into movement on any visual element. With this capability, you can animate actions such as pin lift or table rotation without writing any code.

Improved configuration management

It is a reality that configuration changes occur after your tool has been deployed to the field. Managing which configuration changes are allowed in the field and how they are made is crucial. In this release, we have enabled you to control production-site configuration practices by applying security to the various editors that comprise PEER Tool Composer (PTC), PTO’s tool design application. As with PTO, PTC security allows you to target permission rights to specific roles. For example, you could grant the fab tool owner rights to administer PTO security and light tower rules while granting a field service engineer rights to adjust IP and port settings without providing either role access to other settings that could jeopardize the integrity of your automation if improperly applied. And, with PTC's built-in audit trail capabilities, you have full traceability of who made what types of changes, even after the tool has left your facility.

Support for the emerging OPC UA protocol

PEER Group recognizes the trend in the industry towards the new OPC Unified Architecture (UA) protocol for communicating with an OPC server via Unified Access. OPC UA communication standards are being adopted by many players in the industry and this is driving down the cost of ownership of PLCs. In this release, PTO has added support for the OPC UA protocol.  

Technology support

Our products continue to adopt new computing technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. PTO now supports the Microsoft Windows 8.1 operating system (64 and 32-bit) and SQL Server 2014.

General improvements

We resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details. 

Contact us

For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

PEER Tool Orchestrator 6.2

Release information

Version:
6.2
Release Date:
January 16, 2015
Customer Support:
support.pto@peergroup.com

What's new in this release

On-tool tactical analysis

The complex analysis and visualization applications used by MES factory systems aren’t typically available to OEMs. However, charts are a powerful visual aid that can help you better manage your equipment, either as part of your daily routine, like determining when you next need to do preventive maintenance, or when troubleshooting error scenarios, such as identifying a deposition process going out of control.
 
This release continues to advance PTO’s on-tool tactical analysis capabilities. Three new types of charts—Control, Histogram and Pareto—let you see your data in different ways. Now, you can visualize in a Control chart when the speed of a vacuum pump exceeds the upper control limit for the motor. Or perhaps you want to use a Pareto chart to quickly identify the most common types of defects reported by your inspection tool. Custom charts can be added to your PTO user interface without requiring a single line of code.
 

Improved configuration management

Once a piece of equipment has been deployed in the field, integrating new software and configuration data can be a challenge. A factory may be very particular about software upgrades. A field service engineer or your customer has probably made one-off changes to the tool, which you’ll need to synchronize with your new release.
  • A new Audit Trail viewer for the PTC application can help you reconcile configuration changes: what was changed, when, and by whom. PTC takes a snapshot of a tool configuration every time it is changed and saved. You can use your favorite XML diff tool to isolate changes within individual files. You can also roll back your tool configuration to a known good snapshot.
  • If you ship multiple tools to a customer, PTO can be configured to look for configuration files in an accessible network share so you can share a single tool configuration between multiple tools of the same type. This greatly simplifies the overhead of applying the same configuration change to each tool individually.
  • Finally, PTO can now be configured to use the Windows user credentials of the person who launched the PTO user interface. PTO rights will be granted based on the Windows groups or Domain roles they belong to. For environments with many users, this greatly simplifies security configuration.

Create more powerful visualizations, faster

When your tool is running in your customer’s facility, operators use the PTO “Overview” screens to monitor and interact with the tool. These screens need to effectively provide the operator with the critical data and control required for efficient operation of the tool.

In this release, we have added the concept of layers to Visualization screens. Layers can be used to efficiently build complex screens that display or enable functionality based on things like system mode, security rights, or user actions. At design time, layers help logically group related items and manage overlapping user controls. If you manage configuration of different types of tools from a single tool configuration (using the deployment concept), you can use the layers to turn on/off the parts of a visualization screen based on deployment.

    Contact us

    For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 6.1

    Release information

    Version:
    6.1
    Release Date:
    June 20, 2014
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    Charting

    Visibility into equipment operation is critical for reliable control and process improvements. With PTO’s integrated data and visualization management, you can quickly build visualizations that give you deeper insight into tool operation. In addition to creating charts at design time, users can now define their own real-time and historical charts at run-time from either the tool’s user interface or at their office via a remote user interface. In PTO™ 6.1, we continue to enhance your ability to quickly gain access to vital tool control and process information.

    Expanding automation platform flexibility

    One of the many benefits of PTO is that it can be used by OEMs in a wide variety of industries, with different equipment automation and factory integration needs. In this release, we have continued our ongoing flexibility improvements focusing on the following areas:

    Factory integration flexibility

    Historically PTO has supported any factory automation needs from GEM (SEMI 30), 300mm standards (SEMI GEM300) to solar automation (SEMI PV2) standards. In PTO 6.1, you are able to design a single automation solution that can be integrated with either GEM (SEMI E30) or GEM300 factory automation requirements without changing any tool software. Internally, PTO operates with 300mm SEMI standard capability, since these standards are the most comprehensive way of modelling and controlling tool automation. Using a single tool automation solution that allows switching between factory integration types, without impacting the automation layer, makes it easier to adapt to your unique customer needs. 

    Flexible material introduction

    The mechanism to deliver material to the equipment can vary across tool platforms. With PTO, material can be delivered through a variety of options including, load ports, vacuum cassette elevators (VCEs), conveyors, or other custom loaders. Access to the individual ports can be configured to specify operator control and material dependencies for job creation.

    Increased tool operation visibility and control

    Having control over the user experience is important for an equipment maker. With PTO, your automation solution can be aligned with your branding and visualization strategy. PTO’s expanded robot control and visualization now include support for Cartesian robots, as well as custom animated controls that can be integrated with substrate locations and movement events. Automated material movement visualization can be fully customized to meet your needs. PTO’s advanced visualization designer simplifies the effort to create user interface screens that match your equipment design and user experience needs.

    Technology support

    Our products continue to adopt new computing technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. PTO now supports Windows Server 2012 operating system.

    General improvements

    We also resolved several customer-raised issues and requests for PTO enhancements. Please contact us for details.

    Contact us

    For global contact information, click on the “Sales and Support” link in the navigation menu.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 6.0

    Release information

    Version:
    6.0
    Release Date:
    December 9, 2013
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    Charting

    Visibility into equipment operations is critical for process improvements and control. Using PTO™ 6.0’s data management and visualization capabilities makes real-time and historical data available to facilitate charting and data analysis on or off the tool. Advanced data visualization can be incorporated into your overall equipment solution. Configuring a chart is as easy as dragging a widget onto the visualization canvas, then selecting the data and contextual information you want to plot.

    Powerful and intuitive equipment design with PTC

    Our goal with PTC is to optimize equipment design time to result in faster tool development. With PTO 6.0, advancements in PTC reduce your effort during iterative equipment design as well as deployment packaging.  

    Reduced design time

    Ensuring your equipment model is valid at design time continues to be important but during your iterative equipment design process, PTO helps you achieve productivity improvements by giving you control over what information to check for accuracy. Optimizing performance also continues to be a key focus area for PTO, and in 6.0 the automated tool model generation time has been reduced by 50%. 

    Deployments

    With PTC, the standard modular software paradigm is applied to equipment designs, giving users finer control over individual design artifacts. If you have several different tools that differ only slightly, it can be time consuming and error prone to maintain unique tool configurations for each of the related variants. With PTO 6.0, you can now create your own deployment types via a deployment editor, to share configuration information. For example, you may have a tool platform that you ship with variations in the number of load ports,  type of EFEM robot, or  AMHS settings. In all these cases, 80 to 90% of the configuration remains the same and you can now use a single tool configuration with multiple deployment types to account for the minor differences. With PTC, your configuration management and deployment time is significantly reduced. 

    Recipe editing

    A dynamic, extensible recipe editor has been added to this release of PTO. Every tool needs a recipe editor, but how can this be done generically when recipes are so tightly coupled to the specific processing of a tool? PTO solves this problem by dynamically rendering the content of recipes based on recipe schema data. With minimal effort, your recipe editor can keep pace with the development of your process module. If you’re an OEM with existing recipes where backwards compatibility is important, the recipe editor is flexible enough to support pre-existing recipe file formats through custom plug-ins.

    PBL

    Tool requirements change quickly, especially in the evolving 450mm tool market. It can be a challenge to incorporate processing algorithm enhancements quickly with automation software, especially since process engineers and automation software developers are often working on separate deliverables. PBL, or PEER Business Logic, allows various domain experts to contribute directly to the equipment control software without having to understand the intracacies of the automation software, or without even having to write code at all. Using PTC’s workflow editing environment, process engineers can add supplementary logic to do things like validate a recipe, calculate derived statistical data, or monitor for preventive maintenance scheduling. PTO provides a robust management system to ensure that PBLs do not adversely affect the performance or stability of the overall equipment control software.

    Reducing development effort

    Configuration, code, and documentation samples have been expanded, reducing the effort to integrate or customize your equipment solution. These samples demonstrate common development integration points as well as PTO functionality that can be customized or extended. Examples include scheduling planners, process module interfaces (PMI), hardware drivers, recipe access services, custom UI screens, and vizualization widgets. Samples highlight how PTO can integrate with your solution thus reducing your overall development time.

    Technology support

    Our products continue to adopt new computing technologies, enabling our customers to take advantage of new computing platforms as they become available. PTO now supports Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, and the development tools of Microsoft® Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5.

    General improvements

    We also resolved several customer-raised issues and requests for PTO enhancements. Please contact us for details.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 5.4

    Release information

    Version:
    5.4
    Release Date:
    May 31, 2013
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    Advancing hardware automation control

    PTO™ eases the integration of SECS-based hardware with the overall equipment automation solution. PTO’s flexibility enables the automation of a wide variety of tool topologies with different host automation communications and material processes. With PTO’s generic approach to integrating hardware components, SECS-based hardware is yet another tool component type which integrates seamlessly into the overall tool solution’s configuration, host communications and visualization.

    OEMs can leverage PTO’s SECS-based hardware integration to:

    • Integrate hardware components that have established SECS communications interfaces
    • Interface with Integrated metrology modules (IMM)
    • Provide the host a 300mm communications interface for GEM-capable equipment

    PTO’s automation solution flexibility easily adapts to new tool designs and manufacturing needs.

    Version compatibility

    PTO 5.4 is fully compatible with equipment control solutions developed with PTO 5.0 and later.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 5.3

    Release information

    Version:
    5.3
    Release Date:
    January 31, 2013
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    Advancing hardware automation control

    PTO™ quickly automates a variety of tool topologies, with different host automation communications and material processes. Its flexible architecture gives equipment makers control over the material sizes and types processed by their automation solution. Bridge tools, which process substrates of different sizes and types concurrently, are now dynamically configurable at runtime through a variety of mechanisms including infopads, data from the host or the equipment’s user interface. As equipment adapts to new wafer sizes, PTO accelerates this transition and provides the processing flexibility that device manufacturers demand.

    Largest library of hardware drivers

    Hardware selection is a key decision which impacts the overall cost, quality and performance of your equipment. Because of PTO’s vast library of hardware drivers, you are able to quickly adapt your automation solution as you adjust your equipment design over the lifetime of the tool. The list of hardware drivers included in PTO is expanding continuously reducing the time needed to automate your equipment and providing the flexibility to integrate into any automated manufacturing environment. Please contact us for details on the list of hardware drivers.

    As hardware is changed, PTO limits the impact it has on your automation solution in terms of communications, data visualization and hardware control. Generic hardware services ensure the differences at the protocol layer do not impact high-level configuration and equipment control. PTO’s generic tag access service is the newest example of this where tag-based communication protocols such as OPC and Modbus, as well as any user-defined tag-based protocol details, are isolated allowing implementers to focus on their control logic.

    General improvements

    We also resolved several customer-logged issues and requests for PTO. Please contact us for details.

    Version compatibility

    PTO 5.3 is fully compatible with equipment control solutions developed with PTO 5.0 and later.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 5.2

    Release information

    Version:
    5.2
    Release Date:
    July 13, 2012
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    This release of PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) focuses on expanding its solution for 300mm tool automation platforms, increasing its flexibility and extensibility to adapt to varying tool topologies, industry standards, and fab requirements.

    Easily adapt to unique fab automation needs

    Beyond compliance to GEM, GEM300 and Interface A (EDA) SEMI standards, it is essential that your tool automation solution easily adapts to unique fab requirements. With PTO’s large equipment install and fab deployment base, it is designed to comply with the unique requirements of all major 300mm fabs. Configurable options provide advanced control in areas such as carrier management, load port lights, light tower, and communications interface behavior reducing the effort to deploy to each fab while ensuring solution reliability.

    Increase tool operation visibility and control

    In highly automated manufacturing facilities remote equipment control is the norm, however, local operators remain vital to equipment operation and troubleshooting. PTO’s extensible user interface screens provide the same access and control as a 300mm remote station controller in a layout that is intuitive, powerful, and time-saving. Job control is consolidated allowing the operator to create, monitor, and control jobs within a single view. An overview screen provides tool status, giving operators insight into the nuanced relationship between the various 300mm SEMI standards as well as the capability to drill into details as required. PTO’s modal dialog infrastructure can optionally be used in your solution as a mechanism to force operator intervention for situations that demand immediate attention – such as AMHS transfer failures.

    Take your tool development to the next level

    Whether you use a PEER Group services team to create a turn-key PTO solution or you work directly with PTO, its architecture and supporting materials ensure that you have the ability to extend your solution as your tool requirements change and expand. In our continued effort to empower SDK customers and expand integration flexibility, we included a comprehensive Developer’s Guide. The guide covers the wide array of integration and extension points within PTO: writing custom scheduling, custom vacuum workflows, integrating process modules (either “black box” or directly with PTO tool components), extending PTO screens, writing custom screens, and customizing PEER Tool Composer (PTC), our tool design application. The Developer’s Guide will support your efforts through all phases of your tool’s evolution.

    Sample solutions provide common configuration containing definitions for simulated and physical driver integration, as well as common user interface screens that provide you with a significant starting point for your solution development.

    Contact us

    For global contact information, click on the "Sales and Support" link in the navigation menu.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 5.1

    Release information

    Version: 
    5.1
    Release Date:
    January 16, 2012
    Customer Support: 
    support.pto@peergroup.com

    What's new in this release

    PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) version 5.1 is an upgrade release that provides supports the latest version of the Equipment Data Acquisition (Interface A) set of standards as well as incremental improvements in the areas of user interface, scheduling, configuration and security.

    EIB 6.3 integration

    This release of PTO integrates with EIB™ 6.3, which provides support for the 0710 version of the Interface A SEMI standards.

    Enhanced installer

    The installer now provides more flexibility with regards to the installation of hardware drivers and launch options for the PTO server process.

    Contact us

    For global contact information, click on the "Sales and Support" link in the navigation menu.

    PEER Tool Orchestrator 5.0

    Release information

    Version:
    5.0
    Release Date:
    October 31, 2011
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    PEER Tool Orchestrator (PTO™) version 5.0 is a major new release that builds on the strength of the existing product. The primary goals for this release are better support for customization and maintenance, accelerated integration development and adoption of the latest technologies.

    New GUI screens 

    The PTO UI has been completely re-written with usability in mind. Its design is well suited for the SEMI conductor industry as well as other high tech industries such as LED, PV and flat panel. Screens are simpler to use while giving operators more visibility into equipment operations and control over critical processes.

    EIB integration

    PTO now integrates with EIB™ (Equipment Interface Bridge) for host connectivity. However, EIB provides more than just a host connection; its robust data reporting gives you the ability to supply data for Interface A, analysis, charting, and status animations. Because PTO and EIB run in the same process space, high data volumes can be pumped into EIB’s data model.

    Configuration editor

    PTO’s new configuration editor, PEER Tool Composer (PTC), provides a single interface to manage all PTO configuration activities with no manual modification of files required. All of the editors within PTC are extensible, allowing custom or equipment-specific components to be edited alongside core PTO components.

    Vacuum control

    PTO now uses Microsoft Workflow Foundation (MWF) to implement vacuum control. Workflow sequences can be defined to vent or pump down a chamber without the need to write code. The sequences are integrated with PTO’s automated wafer scheduler and manual control infrastructure and can be tailored to work with the equipment’s exact vacuum hardware and implement custom failure/retry logic. This infrastructure makes it easy to deploy a tool into the field, swap out a turbo pump or migrate a vacuum configuration from one tool to another.

    Visualization 

    A new, powerful Visualization Engine supports the creation of equipment-specific graphical status and control screens. In the PTC application, a WYSIWYG editor lets anyone create screens by dragging graphical elements – for example load ports, robots, pumps, valves - onto the screen and linking them to either EIB data or PTO commands.

    SDK support

    PTO 5.0 was designed with the understanding that many of our customers are also software developers;  it has been made more SDK-friendly by improving code extensibility, documentation, installer customization, and enabling different deployment modes.

    Client/server architecture 

    The entire PTO product, including EIB, is written in .NET, fully supporting both x86 and x64 platforms.  

    The user interface runs in a separate process from the services, allowing multiple UI connections to a single tool.

    Installer

    The installer has been enhanced to include all the applications that make up PTO, including PTO Services, PTO UI, PTC, and EIB.  The command line interface has been retained so PTO’s installer can be encapsulated within a customer tool installer. Licensing – necessary to run both PTO and EIB – is also now managed by the installer.

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    PEER Tool Orchestrator 4.2

    Release information

    Version:
    4.2
    Release Date:
    January 31, 2011
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    What's new in this release

    PTO™ version 4.2 is an upgrade release with a focus on expanding operating system support, simplifying the installation process, as well as increasing product flexibility and defect fixes.

    Operating system support

    PTO now runs on the Microsoft® Windows® 7 platform (32-bit and 64-bit).

    Improved installation process

    PTO now ships with an installer, which includes the base PTO framework as well as core connectivity products (SDR™, GWGEM®, and ConX300™). In addition, PTO’s MSI-based installer publishes an interface that enables OEMs to incorporate the PTO installer within their own tool-wide installer. PTO now installs with two sample ECS applications−one for an Atmospheric tool and another for a Vacuum tool−so that you can evaluate the screens and capabilities that are available in PTO.

    Configurable overview / manual control screens

    PTO now includes configurable Overview and Manual Control screens that can be customized to display elements such as contextual load port information and vacuum status for chambers. Configuration is done through XML files.

    Scheduler enhancements

    In addition to numerous scheduling enhancements made to PTO’s new planner-based scheduling, we have added a Manual Planner and associated Manual Control GUI that enables movement of a single wafer between any two locations, including locations at different pressure levels.

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    PEER Tool Orchestrator 4.0

    Release information

    Version:
    4.0
    Release Date:
    January 10, 2010
    Customer Support:
    support.pto@peergroup.com

     
    Introduction

    PEER Group's PEER Tool Orchestrator 4 (PTO™ 4) is a major software release targeting the development of high throughput, multi-chamber equipment. PTO 4 features a new wafer scheduler along with a myriad of new user interface and control capabilities, as well as ready-to-use software drivers for the latest hardware components from leading automation suppliers. Leveraging the experience of 35 tool platforms, PTO 4's new capabilities enable equipment suppliers of today's most advanced tool configurations to quickly customize their equipment for each factory's unique process and automation requirements.

    What's new in this release

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

    Cluster tool controller and wafer scheduling software

    PTO 4's new scheduling software enables OEMs to take control of the timing, sequencing, and speed of automation components in order to achieve the highest possible throughput, even for individual tool shipments. The scheduler is fully extensible, allowing OEM software engineers to consider process timing information from the tool's control system and make predictive sequencing decisions. A PTO 4 beta user has achieved 400 WPH throughput for their vacuum cluster tool and has successfully tested a wide variety of difficult recovery scenarios.

    User interface development environment 

    PTO 4 also features a new user interface development environment that provides OEMs advanced visualization techniques for presenting tool data. Designers can graphically represent the tool's topography, creating a user experience that is grasped quickly by the wide variety of engineers, technicians, and operators that may need to operate the tool manually. Information access has been improved with new quick-job editor, log viewer, and job history screens, enabling easier tool operation and troubleshooting. OEMs can efficiently create modern, tool-specific user interfaces that are loaded with information for real-time decision making.

    Embedded components 

    By embedding the latest hardware drivers and factory requirements as configurable software components, PTO has always reduced the cost of developing and maintaining equipment software. With PTO 4, PEER Group is now able to offer producers of the most complex, multi-chamber equipment a rapid and robust software development platform that meets their customers' requirements for high throughput, flexible configuration and reliability.

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    • 150+
      OEM customers
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      equipment connections in service
    • 70+
      tool platforms automated
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