CORBA standard (was OPC Server robustness)


Thread Starter

Paul McGuire

> So I wondered if anybody is trying to create a real open standard, based
> on the proven CORBA model?

Roger -

Yes, there has been some work on defining a CORBA-based manufacturing object model. I spent 2 1/2 years at SEMATECH working with a group defining a
Semiconductor Manufacturing CIM Framework, using CORBA IDL to define standard interfaces for lot data, equipment data, engineering specifications, material transport, etc. NIST also did some work with this framework, and you should be able to find some references to it at their web site (see I left SEMATECH to work for a software company that is now implementing a process control framework based
on the SEMATECH CIM Framework, using CORBA as the component-to-component communication platform. (I will not tell you their name, because I'd like
this to remain a non-commercial message.) Since then, the SEMATECH CIM Framework was picked up by SEMI, and can be tracked at You can find other references if you do a web search for the phrase "CIM Framework".

I've not really joined in in this discussion because I think CORBA and the CIM Framework are at a different strata than DeviceNet/Profibus/Fieldbus/XYZBus. For instance, the CIM Framework does not specify low level communications to specific equipment data ports - this is already well-covered in other standards, mostly SECS and GEM in the
semiconductor world. The CIM Framework is more of a systems integration standard - using object-oriented notation and techniques, it defines
integration interfaces for (hopefully) interoperable components from multiple suppliers. CORBA is very handy for this, since it gives you a common denominator for communication, while hiding the actual integration
details behind the component interface.

By the way, this does not leave COM out of the picture; one of my recent projects was an application-specific bridge to permit Excel spreadsheets to be used to define control algorithm logic. The component talks CORBA to the
rest of the framework, and talks COM to Excel, and neither is the wiser.

-- Paul McGuire