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Specialisation and standardisation

One of the most prominent potential benefits of an open modular cluster tool standard is the ability it offers users to mix and match components-process modules, wafer handlers, etc.—from different manufacturers in a way that takes advantage of the ‘best of breed’. A user might mix a CVD module from manufacturer A with an etch module from manufacturer B and a wafer handler from manufacturer C, all assembled and guaranteed by system integrator D, who might add in some off-the-shelf components like valves and controller software. If, however, manufacturer E produces a CVD module that is innovative or otherwise superior in the eyes of the user, that module could replace module A in the package. In this way, the user does not have to rely on the capabilities of any single firm, which may not be at the cutting edge in all technologies.12