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The ability to acquire quality equipment and process data is important for future real-time process control systems to maximize opportunities for semiconductor manufacturing yield enhancement and equipment efficiency. Clock synchronization for accurate time-stamping and maintaining a consistent frequency in trace data collection are essential for accurate merging of data from heterogeneous sources. To characterize the factors impacting data collection synchronization and performance, a configurable fab-wide equipment data acquisition (EDA) simulator has been developed. By understanding the factors impacting clock synchronization and accurate time-stamping, the simulator is used to identify and explore methods to mitigate the latencies and provide guidance on accurate time-stamping for equipment data acquisition systems.