The IC assembly and test industry never standarized on one or even a few wafer map formats. Larger and older manufacturers created their own formats; the SEMI standards committee created a number of different formats over the years; wafer probe manufacturers created their own proprietary formats as did some die assembly equipment manufacturers. The result is that assembly and test engineers are left to deal with a large number of formats - many are not documented or poorly documented. Some of these formats are in plain text; others in XML and a few are binary files.
When writing software to convert various formats into each other, one not only has to be able to read and write each format, but one has to take into account that various parameters are either not present in some formats that are mandatory in other formats.
Initially Artwork created 1:1 converters but soon realized the problem with this approach as more formats were needed. We changed our architecture to use a single internal neutral map structure to which we can read in various formats and write out various formats. We've had to refine this structure as we encountered new formats that had unusual rules or special elements.
At this point we have a fairly comprehensive internal format and normally can add new map files in a straightforward manner.
Unless specially noted, when we support a format we support it for both read and write.
Formats not currently supported but which have run across our desk:
If you are faced with a format you can't convert or don't recognize, please send us a sample or two. If you can, additional information such as the source of the file may be helpful in tracking down documentation. We will be glad to see if it matches (or nearly matches) an existing format we support. Any supporting data concerning the machine or software linked to the format is appreciated as it can affect our decision as to whether it makes business sense to support the new format.