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In today's semiconductor fabrication facilities ("fabs"), coordination of time-based information throughout the factory and enterprise has become necessary to support fab-wide diagnostics, control, and information management. This has driven the need to have time synchronization at all levels of the enterprise. Time synchronization protocols such as network time protocol (NTP) and precision time protocol (PTP) have been defined for performing synchronization over distributed systems. Lack of time synchronization among the various subsystems is seen as a factor of poor data quality in equipment data acquisition (EDA) and advanced process control (A PC) analysis. The focus of our study is to investigate the extent and precision of time synchronization that can be practically applied with the available protocols at various levels of the semiconductor factory environment to meet next generation manufacturing requirements. To this end, we describe the objectives, details, and implementation of the simulator that aims to model a semiconductor factory network This will provide a practical perspective to study the accuracy achievable and potential network factors contributing to accuracy degradation of factory-wide time synchronization.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Oct. 2007