Ucamco Releases Major Revision of the Gerber File Format Specification


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Revision 2016.11 allows designers to include the CAD netlist with Gerber files and offers several text improvements and clarifications.  

The goal of the Gerber CAD netlist is to facilitate upfront communication between the different parties involved in design, assembly and automation. The three new X2 attributes include CAD netlists in Gerber fabrication data and allow designers to: 

  • Attach the component reference designator, pin number and net name to the component pads in the outer copper layers. This information is essential for a complete board display. More importantly, the netlist provides a powerful checksum to guarantee PCB fabrication data integrity. 
  • Attach the netlist name to any conducting object on any copper layer. Lightweight viewers can then display netlists without the need for an algorithm to compute connectivity. 
  • Attach the component reference to any object, e.g., to identify all the legend objects belonging to a given component.  

Revision 2016.11 was developed by Karel Tavernier. Jean-Pierre Charras provided essential input on the CAD netlist, and further remarks by Remco Poelstra and Wim De Greve were included.  

KiCad is the first software vendor to implement support for the new netlist attributes.  

About Ucamco 

Ucamco (formerly Barco ETS) is a market leader in PCB CAM software, photoplotting and direct imaging systems, with a global network of sales and support centers. Headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, Ucamco has over 25 years of ongoing experience in developing and supporting leading-edge photoplotters and front-end tooling solutions for the global PCB industry. Key to this success is the company's uncompromising pursuit of engineering excellence in all its products. Ucamco also owns the IP rights on the Gerber File Format through its acquisition of Gerber Systems Corp. (1998).

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