Data acquisition is not the problem. To be useful for automated process monitoring, this data should be reduced to figures of merit that concisely describe tool behavior over a process step (or interval) of interest. Statistical key numbers (maximum, mean, and standard deviation), calculated to represent the behavior of each signal during a process step, are used for this purpose. By synchronizing the collection with the tool operation, real time, automated analysis of the information is possible.
Most metrology schemes test the integrity of the process tools regularly, but there can be significant jeopardy in the intervals between the qualifications. Adding a layer of qualification that continuously monitors the system is a significant enhancement to the operation.
In Situ Host is compatible with many different instruments manufactured by different companies. If you lock your company into a specific hardware company by choosing their Advanced Process Control (APC) Software, then you will have no choice (leverage) when negotiating your next hardware purchase. In Situ Host can interface with multiple hardware companies on the same system.