With the recently released device standard ETG.5003-1 and its corresponding nine specific device profiles, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) now provides a starting point for a new generation of tools in the semiconductor industry, breaking ground for dramatic new developments within the industry as a result.
The release of the new device profiles ensures that EtherCAT will no longer only be used for motion control, I/O, sensors and gateways in semiconductor manufacturing machines. From now on industry specific devices such as mass flow controllers or vacuum valves can be implemented directly into the EtherCAT system. On the technical side of this process, Florian Häfele supervises the ETG Semiconductor Technical Working Group and explains: "Since the release of the device profiles developed in 2012, we responded to machine builders' demands to establish EtherCAT in the semiconductor industry as well to facilitate the creation of new industry-specific devices. We expect that EtherCAT will be found in nearly all tools, at the very latest when the 450 millimeter wafer diameter standard has been adopted for all semiconductor manufacturing machines."