SEMI S2 – Setting Up The Standard

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Equipment suppliers often find SEMI S2 difficult and contradictory, however they do have to complete the evaluation and have equipment that is found conforming to SEMI S2, SEMI S8, SEMI S14 and other related standards in order to sell their equipment to major customers.  Figuring out how to design the equipment to SEMI S2, design interlock safety systems, provide documentation for the installation, operation and maintenance of the equipment, putting together manuals are other things that are difficult, time-consuming and there is no clear pathway forward. As a third party testing laboratory, we are here to help you through the process. In our continuing SEMI S2 Video Training Series, CEO, Steve Barcik Amstel shares the resources used to simplify the process.

(Link to video also available here: )

The last three videos were about what to expect, timeline and costs, which were great questions that we have gotten from the previous videos and from other customers. Now we are going to dive back into the standard and talk about the various sections. In this video, Steve goes through the first five sections of SEMI S2 in a little more depth. The first five section are really what set up the standard.


Section 1 is the purpose of why SEMI S2 was written. Steve was the task force leader and the chairman of SEMI S2 overarching leading committee and SEMI S2 Standards committee for North America for 10 years and has been a participant in that process for 23 years now. So he has deep knowledge of the original writing of the standards and the ongoing revisions. Steve was also part of the drive to reduce the number of revisions to make it more manageable for the industry. Back then, they were having revisions quarterly and it was driving everyone crazy. Steve championed the idea of only changing the standard every 3 years, but give people insight into what is going to change in the standard.


The purpose behind SEMI S2 is to make the equipment in the semiconductor fab and related areas safe, reliable and as a side benefit more cost effective.


We here at High Tech Design Safety have seen with all of our clients that if we dig into this process the equipment obviously becomes safer and as a side benefit you do get increased reliability and increased acceptance of your equipment across the semiconductor industry.


Next in Section 2 is the scope and it really deals with all semiconductor, manufacturing equipment and ancillary support equipment. Your individual client will provide you with a list of requirements in their RFQ that will list SEMI S2 and then any other related standards that they want to look at. A lot of them are going to want the equipment CE marked; they are going to want to make sure that if you have toxic chemicals that it is tracer gas tested, and other things like that. It is critical that you share with us what that document contains. We want to be sure that we are providing you evaluation and certification that match what your client is asking for.


The limitations of SEMI S2 are found in Section 3 and talk more about the applicability of the standard. For example, compliance with SEMI S2 doesn’t mean it automatically complies with CE marking. An SEMI S2 certification and compliance doesn’t mean you comply with local or national requirements for that same piece of equipment. As a scoping technique, we will help you understand what those other requirements are and help you get those complete. For example, on a project we just came in on we are going to help them get their US Food and Drug Administration, FDA, Center for Diseases, Radiological Health accession numbers for that piece of equipment so that they can import it into the US. Similarly, other clients want SEMI S2 but they also need CE marking because they are sending that product either to Europe or other countries that accept the CE mark. Other limitations include… the current standard is not intended to be applied retroactively to equipment that is already in use… and if you do make significant changes to your equipment, the standard suggests that you update to the newest standard. This is something that we at High Tech Design Safety can help you with. Let say we have already done a SEMI S2 or you have a piece of equipment and you are intending to make substantial changes or changing the chemistry or the safety circuitry or something like that…Let us know and we can help you to scope those changes with you.


The next section 4 is reference standards and documents. SEMI S2 lists a huge number of reference standards and documents, only a few of which will apply…. sometimes only 1 or 2 sections or even a small part of each of those reference documents. SEMI S2, by referencing those, doesn’t mean that you have to dig through that whole entire standard and be certified or evaluated by that entire standard, just the required parts. So for example, let’s say you have a Class 1 laser in your equipment…SEMI S2 references IEC 60825-1, which is safety for lasers, you really only need to focus on those parts which deal with Class 1 Lasers.


Now SEMI S2 uses a lot of specific terminology to the semiconductor industry and to the standard itself. And most of those specific terms are defined in the Section 5 – Terminology. There are a few that aren’t and we are working with the task forces to be sure that each of those terms are clearly defined so that we have a very clear way of proving conformance. That terminology section is very useful to your team, if you are new to applying SEMI S2 or if you have a new section in SEMI S2 that you haven’t had to work with before. You can always refer back to the terminology section.


So if you like this information, please be sure to like and subscribe. Leave a comment below and please contact us. We would like to help you with your SEMI S2 needs or if you just have a question you would like to bounce off of us about what you need or what might be next, then please reach out.

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