Different equipment characteristics combine to determine the overall precision and accuracy of a given manufacturing tool. This paper focuses on those characteristics of equipment controllers that can be optimized for more precise and accurate process control. Specifically, there are certain characteristics that are exhibited by the control hierarchy and equipment configuration used in a wafer processing tool that are critical for meeting today’s challenges of very small geometries and tight process tolerances. Two control characteristics that play defining roles in achieving the level of process control necessary for semiconductor device manufacture are the latency and determinism of the control process.