Increased tool quality
Obtaining the highest possible equipment reliability requires testing all the permutations of the equipment. Since variations for equipment configurations are unlimited—varying process types, wafer flows, processing and loading positions, and third-party components from different manufacturers—fully testing equipment reliability is a complex challenge. Testing “normal” operation using a SECS interface reveals only a small percentage of failure rates and does not fully exercise the equipment software. With PFAT, you can build a side communications channel with the equipment control software (ECS) or hardware simulators to expand your test scope and generate alternate scenarios that impact the automation interface, such as triggering hardware failures, introducing alternate timing sequences, or analyzing equipment data. Results or data from these other applications can be reintroduced into PFAT and used to alter the execution flow of the test.
PFAT is only product on the market today which is specifically designed to do comprehensive production testing of SECS-based equipment for production readiness. Both high-volume manufacturers and their suppliers use PFAT to find and solve problems on their equipment in order to accelerate installation, increase equipment reliability and avoid costly repairs in the field.
“PFAT enables us to quickly build and execute fab-specific tests that mimic our customers’ production environments, and to run such tests repeatedly and automatically to evaluate the robustness of our equipment controller. PFAT can help us improve our overall equipment performance and reliability.”
Senior R&D and Software Director